Hello all, love this site. I want to change to organic for my lawn needs. I have St. Augustine grass. I am unable to find corn gluten meal anywhere in my city, I am able to get bulk regular cornmeal though. I ordered vinegar and orange oil online and the shipping charges makes ordering corn gluten meal cost prohibitive.
I do have a crabgrass problem and want to know what you think if I use regular cornmeal monthly as a fertilizer and then use a synthetic pre-emergence twice a year to keep down the weeds. Will this be defeating the whole purpose?
Also, when you say monthly on the cornmeal, is that monthly only during the growing season?
I wouldnt use any pre emergent. The thing is with organics, from what i understand and have experienced so far, is that as your turf thickens and soil health increases, the turf will naturally choke out the weeds. I have not used any weed killers this year and have less than ANY of my neighbors. if something pops up I just pull it out when I see it.
Thanks NorthTexas for the reply. I will just use cornmeal and see how it works without the preemergence. My grass is sparce in spots so just hope that it will thicken up so that the weeks won't have a chance. Thanks
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm Posts: 2884 Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Here is how you prevent crabgrass from getting into your St Augustine lawn: Water deeply and infrequently, mulch mow weekly at your mower's highest setting, and fertilize regularly. You should be able to water deeply enough to only water once a week without the grass drying up. I water for at least an hour depending on the local heat, wind, and humidity. Watering more than once a week keeps the soil moist at the surface. Crabgrass seed needs continual moisture to sprout. By watering only once a week the soil surface dries out and the crabgrass cannot sprout. Of course Mother Nature has Her own way of watering. Keep the grass mowed at the highest setting is the second way to prevent crabgrass. Crabgrass seedlings need direct sunlight to take root. By keeping the grass tall the crabgrass has much less chance of taking root. Regular fertilizer will help make the grass more dense, too.
This approach does not do anything to kill existing crabgrass, but if you can make it through the end of this season, you can work on making the grass denser so next year you should not have weeds.
_________________ David Hall Moderator Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum
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