Print This Page

Cornmeal Uses

1. BED PREPARATION - Whole ground or horticultural cornmeal should be used at 20 - 40 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. as a source of nutrients, organic matter and natural disease control. For better results, also add dry molasses at 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. Cornmeal can be used as the primary bed prep material or mixed with any of the amendments mentioned in the Basic Organic Program.

2. PLANT DISEASE CONTROL - For black spots on your roses, purple spots and yellow leaves on your photinia and Indian hawthorn, brown patch in your St. Augustine grass, damping off in newly planted seedlings or algae in your pond or water feature, you don’t have to use toxic chemicals like the synthetic fungicides such as Daconil or Bayleton or heavy metal products like copper sulfate. Whole ground cornmeal works better. Use it for root and soil borne fungal diseases at 10 - 20 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. Cornmeal works as a disease fighter in the soil by stimulating beneficial microorganisms that feed on pathogens such as brown patch (rhizoctonia) in St. Augustine, damping off disease (pythium, rhizoctonia, fusarium, and/or phytophthora) in seedlings and other fungal diseases in a wide range of plants. Use cornmeal at about 2 lbs. per 100 square feet around plants to help control any soil borne fungal diseases on both food and ornamental crops. One application may be all that is needed, but multiple applications are okay if necessary because cornmeal serves as a mild organic fertilizer and soil builder. Cornmeal needs moisture to activate. Rain won't hurt cornmeal's efficacy because, like all organic products, it is not water-soluble. Cornmeal tea can also be used for disease control. Soak 1 cup of cornmeal in 5 gallons of water for an hour, strain out the solids and spray the foliage of plants. It can also be used to drench the soil.
Cornmeal only works in an organic program. When toxic chemical products are used, the effect of the cornmeal will be lost. Additional information can be obtained from the following publications: Cornmeal – It’s Not Just Hog Feed Anymore, The Peanut Farmer, May 1996. Aquaculture Engineering 9 (1990) 175-186. 
3. ALGAE CONTROL IN WATER – Cornmeal is good to use for cleaning up algae in ponds. For floating paint-like and filamentous algae in water, use cornmeal at 5 lbs. per 1,000 square feet or 140 lbs. per surface acre. The cellulose in the cornmeal helps tie up the excess phosphorous in water, balances the water chemistry and thus kills off the algae. The carbon in the cornmeal enables the beneficial bacteria in the water to flourish at the expense of the algae, then the decomposing algae provide a source of carbon for the bacteria. One or two treatments is usually enough to control the algae for several months. Getting the cornmeal to the bottom of the water increases the effectiveness. One technique is to put in a burlap bag with a rock. Small water features can use cornmeal in mesh bags. Pelletized cornmeal, although harder to find, is good because it sinks. Caution: any fast algae kill from any product can cause oxygen deprivation and result in fish kill. Cornmeal from the grocery store (unless whole ground) is just the starchy endosperm of the corn kernel and not as effective. 
4. COMPOST STIMULATION - It should be used at 1 lb. per cubic yard of compost to stimulate beneficial decomposing microbes, to neutralize contaminates or just speed up the composting process. It can be used at much higher rates for accelerated results.
5. WEED CONTROL - Corn gluten meal (as opposed to cornmeal) is a powerful natural “Weed and Feed” fertilizer and is available in powdered and granular forms. The granular form is less effective, but much less messy to use. Broadcast either at 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. before weed seeds germinate in early spring and fall. It not only helps control weeds, but it is also an excellent organic fertilizer with an analysis of about 9-1-1. For best results, it should be watered in after application and then go through a dry period. It can also be used in containers for feeding and weed control. An even better use for CGM is for bare soil around newly planted food and ornamental transplants. In both cases 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. or 2 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. is the rate to use.
6. ANIMAL AND HUMAN FUNGUS SOLUTIONS - Organic fungus control for toenails, skin problems, etc.

What was originally reported to me by a listener and now used successfully by many to cure toenail fungus is to put 1” of cornmeal in a flat pan that’s large enough for your feet. Add enough room temperature water to cover the cornmeal. Let it sit for an hour. Then add warm water for comfort, enough to cover the feet and soak for about 2 hours. Softer skin is a side benefit. More than one treatment may be needed. Ranchers have reported using a cornmeal poultice to cure ear mites and ear fungus problems. Others have reported that simply putting some cornmeal shoes and boots in the morning eliminates toenail fungus and athlete’s foot. Others have reported that poultices of cornmeal helped with human skin diseases.

Kinds of Cornmeal  |  Cornmeal Reports from Listeners and Readers


  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns