Weeds In Flower Beds - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Karen
St. Cloud, MN
Question by kerrandy
November 6, 1999
My question involves a product called corn gluten meal.
Three years ago we started two flower beds. One 130' x 15' and the other
130' x 6' plus several other smaller gardens. We have included in these beds
many bulbs etc. such as tulips, asiatic and oriental lilies, iris plus numerous
other periennials and plant dahlias, glads plus annuals each spring.
My concern is I am told that corn gluten meal could eliminate weeds and
grasses. However, after some research on the subject, it appears that the
test initially were on lawns. The article I read stated although it is highly
effective against weed seed, it could not determine bad seed from good and
it eliminated root growth. Would it do the same with roots of my bulbs and
other periennials? I do mulch. but not heavily because I do plant annuals each
spring. We live in a zone 3/4 area. Help!! What would you advise me to do?
Thanking you now for your advice.

Answer from NGA
November 6, 1999


The corn gluten meal works on seeds when they try to germinate so it should not affect already established plants (or already germinated weeds). If however you tried to grow your flowers from seed then it could inhibit their germination just as it does that of the weeds. If you are mulching your flower beds with several inches of organic mulch then you should not be having too much of a problem with weeds grminating with or without the corn gluten meal because the muclh should smother the weed seeds. I hope this helps.

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