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Corn gluten meal

Corn gluten meal prevents seeds from germinating
Photo: gardentrek
Corn gluten meal

The information below is intended only as a guide. Always read product labels carefully.

Product description

Pesticides with corn gluten meal (a by-product of the corn-milling process) as the active ingredient are used to control some weeds. They are available in granular form.

Target plants 

Products with corn gluten meal as the active ingredient may be used to control the following weeds:

  • common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • smooth crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum)
  • large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis)

NB: The product label lists the plants on which the pesticide may be used, along with the target organisms. 

How it works

Corn gluten meal does not destroy existing weeds. However, it does prevent seeds from germinating by inhibiting root formation.


On established lawns, the product should be applied in early spring (May) and/or late summer (mid-August), before weed seeds have had a chance to germinate.

The product should be applied when the soil is moist (but not wet) and when rain is forecast within the next two days. If it does not rain within 48 hours of applying the pesticide, the lawn should be watered.


It is best to wear gloves, long sleeves and pants, goggles and a mask when handling the product.

The pesticide should not be used if there is any chance of individuals with sensitivity or allergies to corn coming into contact with it.

The product acts over a period of approximately 5 to 8 weeks. Since it may affect the germination of grass seed, it should not be applied to a newly seeded lawn. For the same reason, it should not be used if you plan to reseed your lawn in the near future.

When fertilizing your lawn, keep in mind that corn meal gluten is high in nitrogen (close to 10%).

Do not use near any body of water or wetland, or dump any pesticide or rinse your equipment there, as this will contaminate the water. Never dump pesticides down sewers.

Keep out of reach of children.

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