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weed seed inhibitor

Did you know that corn gluten meal is birth control for seeds? Sprinkle it on your garden and it will keep weed seeds from germinating and growing into plants. Of course, corn gluten meal will keep any seed from germinating, so don’t try this on your vegetable garden until your plants are established and you’ve finished planting seeds.

Smother weeds and prevent new ones from growing by covering them with old newspapers. A thick layer of newspaper will keep sunlight from reaching weed seeds, so they can’t sprout. Wet the soil first, and then lay your newspaper down, wetting it thoroughly again before covering with mulch. This is a great way to recycle, and as a bonus, you’ll encourage earth worms to come and stay.

By Hand

You can rid yourself of weeds the old fashioned way—pulling them by hand—if you’re vigilant. Wear a dedicated pair of gardening gloves for the task to avoid inadvertently transferring seeds elsewhere. Good gardening tools like a claw or sharp trowel can help you loosen the weed roots from the soil first. Pulling a weed completely out by the root is the only way to ensure it will not return.

Cover your planting areas with mulch and you’ll keep weed seeds from coming into contact with the soil in the first place. Mulch will also keep sunlight from reaching seeds that are already underground, so they won’t get a chance to sprout. Mulch offers the added benefits of retaining moisture and breaking down to enrich your soil. And it looks really pretty, too.

Apply vinegar with a spray bottle, pump sprayer, or brush. Like other natural herbicides, vinegar cannot differentiate between weeds and other plants. Do this early in the morning, when there’s little wind, to avoid contaminating nearby plants. Vinegar’s killing properties are activated by the sun, so try this on a cloudless day, which also ensures that rain won’t wash it off before it works its magic.

Dr. Nick Christians’ original field work showed that c orn gluten meal applied at 99, 198, 297, 396, 495, and 594 g/m2 reduced crab grass infestation by 50, 65, 80, 95, and 93%, respectively when applied 1 week before crab grass germination. Applying it 4 weeks before germination required higher amounts to have the same effect.

This is an important fact since this nitrogen makes both turf grass and existing weeds grow better. It is actually a good, but expensive, lawn fertilizer.

Is It Safe for Grass?

Corn gluten meal will not alter the pH of the soil to any significant amount.

Corn gluten meal is the new herbicide for lawns. The movement away from synthetic chemical herbicides has left a gap for managing lawns and researchers are scrambling to find an organic solution. One product that is showing promise is corn gluten meal. Its proponents claim that it prevents weed seed from germinating, and if seeds don’t germinate you have a weed free lawn. Sounds like a perfect solution.

Corn gluten meal will not harm any existing type of lawn grass or other perennials. It should not be used at the same time as seeding a new lawn.

Chemische Hemmung der Keimung von Kulturpflanzen durch Unkrautsamen und die Ursache der Hemmwirkung durch Abutilon theophrasti

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With numerous kid-, pet- and earth-friendly ways to rid your garden of pesky weeds, here are nine stand-outs to put to the test.

There are two problems with this advice; different weed species germinate at different times and germination is affected by the environmental conditions, which change from year to year. So it is tricky to apply it at the right time. Apply too late and the nitrogen feeds the already germinated seed. Apply too early and it has limited effect.

You can rid yourself of weeds the old fashioned way—pulling them by hand—if you’re vigilant. Wear a dedicated pair of gardening gloves for the task to avoid inadvertently transferring seeds elsewhere. Good gardening tools like a claw or sharp trowel can help you loosen the weed roots from the soil first. Pulling a weed completely out by the root is the only way to ensure it will not return.

Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison 5, Wisconsin, U.S.A.