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Plants Plant-related topics that do not have a dedicated board.

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  #1  
Old 04-30-2010, 02:04 AM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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Default Using Cornmeal as a Garden Fungicide

Using Cornmeal as a Garden Fungicide

Who would have thought that something as seemingly innocuous as cornmeal would have such potent fungicidal properties? Researchers at Texas A&M Research Station in Stephenville, TX, noticed that a peanut crop planted following a crop of corn didn’t suffer the usual fungus diseases. Further research showed that cornmeal contained beneficial organisms that were at least as effective as common chemical fungicides.

Somehow cornmeal is able to attract a member of the Trichoderma fungus family, which is a good fungus that kills off disease causing fungi in a matter of weeks.

Howard Garrett, the Dirt Doctor, has continued the study and finds cornmeal effective on most everything from turf grass to black spot on roses. Furthermore, since it is entirely organic, it can be used on edible crops.

How To Apply

Dry:
Work 2 pounds of cornmeal into the soil for every 100 square feet. Water well, to activate the fungus killing properties. One application per season is usually sufficient, but repeat applications won’t hurt anything.
Spray: What’s called ‘cornmeal juice’ can be made by soaking 1 cup of cornmeal in 1 gallon of water overnight. Strain the liquid and use as a spray on susceptible plants.

Cornmeal vs. Horticultural Cornmeal vs. Corn Gluten

Any type of cornmeal can be used as a fungicide.

Food grade cornmeal, found in grocery stores, will work just fine, but it is more expensive and comes in smaller quantities than horticultural cornmeal.

Horticultural cornmeal has not been stored under the stricter guidelines required for food grade cornmeal. Hort cornmeal is general used for livestock feed. It too will work just fine as a fungicide and it comes in bulk.

***Corn Gluten should not be used as a fungicide. Corn Gluten is cornmeal that has been processed to have a higher protein content. Iowa State researchers discovered that cornmeal gluten can inhibit seed germination. It is now used as a pre-emergent weed killer. That’s a great tip, but don’t confuse corn gluten with the fungicidal properties of corn meal.

A final bonus, cornmeal also appears to be a source of nutrients for the soil.

http://gardening.about.com/od/natura...t/Cornmeal.htm

This really works! I used it on some of my herbs last year and it completely cured the fungus they had. I didn't even follow the instructions, I just dusted the plants with dry yellow cornmeal a few times.
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2010, 10:55 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Interesting!

Thanks for sharing.
Lee
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  #3  
Old 04-30-2010, 09:10 PM
Vintagerose Vintagerose is offline
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Thanks.

I put this in my garden notebook.

I'm always looking for organic solutions.
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  #4  
Old 04-30-2010, 11:12 PM
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sissy sissy is offline
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Very cool, I may use it in the garden very soon. as soon as I get the wild onions out so I can plant my veggies.
sissy
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2010, 11:31 AM
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sissy sissy is offline
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Question Three questions???

I know this sounds stupid, but!!!!!! I would rather sound stupid than be stupid.
Corn meal & corn gluten will be labeled different won't they?
I want to try corn meal in the garden this year, but don't want to goof up.
And here's another question plain or self rising, or yellow or white?
Maybe I need more coffee this morning.
Sorry not to bright this morning.
Thanks for any help you can give.
sissy

Last edited by sissy; 05-01-2010 at 11:46 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-01-2010, 03:53 PM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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Sissy, not stupid questions at all. In fact, I had to google corn gluten because I've never even seen it. Turns out it's a by-product of the corn milling process and you get it in garden centers. It's used as a weed suppressant. So, no danger of picking up the wrong product at the grocery store.

Here's a article about it, if you'd like to read more~
http://www.eartheasy.com/article_corn_gluten.htm

As for the type of cornmeal, you just want plain cornmeal, either white or yellow (doesn't matter). The self-rising kind has leavening, salt, and flour added. Those wouldn't be too good in the garden. My grocery store doesn't carry plain cornmeal, so I have to get it at (*choke*) WALMART!

Disclaimer: Although this wasn't a stupid question at all, it isn't true what they say, that there's no such thing as a stupid question. Anyone who believes that doesn't have kids.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:05 AM
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sissy sissy is offline
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Junie, Thank you very much for searching this out & giving the link. Sorry I have not thanked you sooner. I've been so busy in the garden (digging out wild onions) for 3 days now. I've just pooped in to read once & a while. Hubby's been trying to get me to let him till it under, but I don't want so many onions in my veggies. If I had enough space I could leave them there & have a wild onion bed.
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2010, 11:50 PM
firegirl969 firegirl969 is offline
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Thanks for this idea. I had never heard of it, but am going to try it on my roses. I wonder how it will work on tomatoes?
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  #9  
Old 05-08-2010, 01:00 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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Sissy,

Corn gluten is used in livestock feeds. It can come in pellet form or loose.
IF you use it on your garden be sure your plants are already up. If you put in on the garden prior to germination, it may stop them.

There are a lot of people that use corn gluten. If you decide to give it a try, you can find it in bulk at a lot of feed mills (co-ops).

Paul
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2010, 08:41 AM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firegirl969 View Post
Thanks for this idea. I had never heard of it, but am going to try it on my roses. I wonder how it will work on tomatoes?
I have a friend who used it on her tomatoes last year and she said it worked great. It took about a month to totally rid her plants of the fungus and some of the new leaves looked stunted, but the next ones were fine. She said she'd be using it again this year, but start sooner since her humidity is so high.

I have another friend who used it on squash last year. She lost her squash to fungus every year before, but they did great last year, after treating them with the cornmeal.

I'm having some issues with damping off of my seedlings. I'm going to apply some cornmeal today and see how it does on that.
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  #11  
Old 05-09-2010, 04:35 PM
Moody Vaden Moody Vaden is offline
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Great info. Thank you!
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2010, 04:59 PM
oeb oeb is offline
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Default toe nail fungus, too

Forgive this little aside but, although Howard Garrett has always been careful not to directly recommend corn for this, many of his readers whom he has in the past quoted extensively swear by corn's effectiveness against common foot and toe/finger nail fungi.
I picked this up on his radio show in Texas, read about it some on his site, tried it and now I'll attest to it also.
Since corn works for that then garden fungi shouldn't be much problem for it.
Otis
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2010, 07:39 PM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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Otis, can you tell us how you use it for nail fungus?
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2010, 08:26 PM
oeb oeb is offline
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Junie,

I just follow the simple directions on Garrett's web page linked below. At one time I think he was pushing the use of corn gluten meal but I used yellow corn meal from the grocery store. A few soaks in the slurry did the trick for me. Hope this helps some.

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/ga...estion/id/116/
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  #15  
Old 05-09-2010, 09:27 PM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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Thank you, Otis! I know a woman who has been troubled by toenail fungus. I'm going to pass this information along to her.
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