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Organic Weed & Feed

July 18th, 2008

We try not to use lawn chemicals or pesticides here at Chiot’s Run, I believe that we really need to reduce our use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides before we do too much damage to the natural ecosystem. I read a book recently that streams were more polluted in residential areas than in agricultural areas because homeowners use far too many and too much product when the treat their lawns.

We live in a lake community and phosphate use has been banned, so the first year we lived here I bought phosphate-free weed & feed. I started reading about how much damage those products do to the environment and decided not to use them. For several years, I didn’t use anything on the lawn, I didn’t want to pollute the lake or any of the surrounding streams.

I finally found out about corn gluten meal, it’s a natural pre-emergent (meaning it inhibits seed germination) and it’s nitrogen rich (just what grass needs to be green and lush). So I ordered some bags of corn gluten from my local garden center. It’s actually cheaper than regular lawn chemicals if you can find a good source (I paid $29.99 for a 40lb bag – last year I paid $19.99 for a 40lb bag). It is applied just like regular fertilizer but you don’t have to worry about chemical burns on the lawn, so you can apply anytime. (In some cases you can buy it from you local farm supply store since it is also used as animal feed). Corn gluten is applied at 20 – 40 lbs per 1000sq ft and needs to be applied every 4-6 weeks depending on rain fall.

It is applied with a lawn spreader just like your normal weed and feed products. It’s also high in nitrogen so it greens up the grass beautifully!

It worked great the first year I applied it. I have also read that it starts working better and better each year. I must say, my front lawn has never looked better! I apply it 3 times per summer, once when the Forsythia is blooming, once again at the beginning of July, and then once again in early September.

2 Comments to “Organic Weed & Feed”
  1. MeghanO on July 18, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    I love reading your blog–I am learning so much information to use in my garden and ideas to use next year… Thanks for posting all of this, I love it!

    Oh, and I got Maxed Out from the library based on your recommendation and both Kirk and I really enjoyed it!

    Talk to you soon,

    Reply to MeghanO's comment

  2. Susy on July 18, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Glad you’re getting ideas! I read a lot of gardening books & blogs for ideas.

    We’re huge documentary fans. You should get Frontier House (a PBS show) from the library. Fantastic!!!

    Thanks for reading!

    Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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