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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:39 am 
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I'm experimenting with cornmeal and compost tea treatments to combat leaf spot in my St. Augustine. Locating cornmeal in my area is nearly impossible and I have to order it. What I order in 50lb bags is ground extremely fine and the supplier doesn't offer a course grind. This makes spreading the cornmeal difficult using a broadcast spreader. Not to mention that shipping cost doubles the cost of the cornmeal. Enough about that, my questions are, What is the difference between Grits and Cornmeal and will grits do the same for fungus?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:13 am 
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Location: Odessa,TEXAS
Hi guy,

I hope you get an answer. I entered a similar question about cornmeal. The closest thing I have found locally is cracked corn in a 50 lbs bag at Tractor Supply, but that seems a little course. I'm waiting for an answer too.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:12 pm 
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Hmmmm... Guess the Doctor's out..... :(


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:33 am 
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Grits are made from corn meal that was treated with lye. You can try it and see if it works.

Cracked corn seems to work, too.

Spreading any organic meal with a drop spreader is hard. Organic materials absorb humidity like a sponge. Once they do that, they like to clump together. I scoop it into a 1 pound coffee can and toss it out like I was feeding chickens.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:40 am 
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Rather than using grits, which is less than the whole corn product, I would buy a big bag of ground corn meal and use that instead. It isn't the refined corn gluten, but it still is a lot better option, I think, than the dessicated grits. It should be available locally and it should be cheap, usually stores like Sam's Club, Costco, and some of the ethnic markets will have the big bags. It should go through your spreader beautifully.

Before the corn gluten product came along, corn meal is what Howard was talking about and what people were using. It is an order of magnitude perhaps in the power of the product from ground corn meal to corn gluten, but corn meal should start to work for you.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:53 pm 
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I don't get to listen to Howard but down here in San Antonio, only whole ground corn meal is used against fungus. Does someone have good experience with corn gluten meal? I guess I wouldn't use it simply because of the cost.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Thanks to all who have taken time to reply. Again this season and before resorting to chemical fungicides, I spent almost $400 to get cornmeal of sufficient quantity (300 lbs) to cover my lawn at the recommend rate. After watering it in, applying multiple treatments of Compost Tea, watering carefully, and waiting nearly 4 weeks for results, over 40% of my St. Augustine lawn is gone. This is the second season I have tried to use Cornmeal to fend off Gray Spot Fungus and this is the second season I have had a massive loss. Last season I finally resorted to chemical fungicides to save what lawn I had left ( that worked). I had really hoped that cornmeal would give me the results that I keep reading about and that I could get away from having to treat every two weeks during summer months. Unfortunately for this South Eastern South Carolina resident, Corn meal is a wash and the total cost exceeds that of chemical fungicides. Green is good but, green in my wallet and a green lawn are better. So, it's back to chemicals for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Have you tried 3% hydrogen peroxide (full strength)? That is also a proven fungicide. Try treating a few of the worst spots and leave a few alone and see if you see a difference. Can't hurt, and it's cheap.

Good luck--chemicals aren't the way--if you kill yourself with chemicals who cares if your grass is still living? :wink:

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Last edited by northwesterner on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:23 pm 
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I'm sorry it did not work for you, but I am glad that you wrote in to tell us. It is helpful to read that sort of stuff and learn from it. Before trying chemicals I would try baby shampoo, milk, and baking soda, in that order. I realize it might be years to try those at this rate.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:00 am 
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It sounds like there may be a couple of problems working against you, and the organic approach is unable to work if addressing only half of it.

How is the drainage on your lawn (if it's too wet, would a French drain remove the stress of "wet feet" from your turf, for example) and what is going on nearby? Any unusual levels of things entering your yard from adjacent property?

Sometimes it is what you take away that can be the biggest solution. Like taking the extra dirt away from the roots of trees, if they're buried too deep. Or controlling water (dry and wet) better.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:16 am 
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We got a lot of rain and cool weather in mid spring and had some brown patch. I used my own brew of Vermicompost Tea on my lawn and our neighbor's lawn, from my own composting worms. All brown patch in St. Augustine is gone. In our community garden, other gardeners have used my vermicompost tea to effectively combat powdery mildew on their squash and cucmbers.

An important note--vermicompost is different than worm castings. Vermicompost will still have the living micro-organisms that "attack" the fungus. Also, vermicompost tea you order online or in a nursery will probably have few to any living organisms, since they have been sitting with the lid on. No oxygen, no life.


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