Weed Seed Inhibitor

TurfMaize is available in Canada only. For USA we suggest LiquiGold. Corn Gluten Meal is a by-product of the wet-milling process of corn grain. This process separates the components of the grain to obtain starch and other valuable organic Corn gluten meal is sold as an organic pre-emergent weed control alternative to synthetic chemicals. Success relies on timing. Want to kill weeds before they start? Try our Pre-emergent Weed Control lawn treatment

Turfmaize – Bioweed N Feed

TurfMaize is Canadas 1st Corn Gluten based weed control and lawn fertilizer combo. It is widely available at your local garden centre.

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Product Description

TurfMaize is available in Canada only. For USA we suggest LiquiGold.

Corn Gluten Meal is a by-product of the wet-milling process of corn grain. This process separates the components of the grain to obtain starch and other valuable organic materials. The Corn Gluten Meal is the protein fraction of the corn.

Corn Gluten Meal must be applied before weed germination. The standard recommended application rate is 21 pounds of product (2 pounds N) per 1,000 square feet in the spring in a two-to-four week period before the germination of summer annuals like crabgrass. It is recommended that you time your spring application when the Forsythia begins to bloom or up to two weeks prior to the show of colour of your crocus, early daffodils, and early tulips. These flowers bloom about the same time that some common weeds germinate. The timing of the application will vary with the weather. Your Crabgrass will germinate when your soil temperatures have reached 55 degrees F.

This organic form of nitrogen will be released slowly throughout the summer. Corn Gluten Meal can be also be applied throughout the summer on actively growing turfgrass at rates of about one pound N per 1,000 square feet per when adequate moisture is being supplied throughout the summer. The second application of 20 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet on cool-season turf is made around August 15 to September 1st. This helps control some of the perennial broadleaves and winter annual weeds that germinate in late summer and early autumn. This also provides 2 pounds of nitrogen to your lawn slowly through the fall. Apply Corn Gluten Meal only when the soil is moist and rain is forecasted within 2 days of application. If it does not rain within 2 days of application then you must water your turfgrass.

Areas with high populations of Crabgrass will be reduced by about 60 percent in the first year of application. In the second year of application it will be reduced by about 80 percent or better. Reductions of 90 percent can be achieved by year three. There is no carryover of the pre-emergent effect of the Corn Gluten Meal. Its effect generally dissipates in five to six weeks after it is applied. The cumulative effect of the repeated applications is to thicken the turfgrass. This is a natural inhibitor to the germination of weed seeds and Crabgrass. To maintain this the thick stand of turfgrass it must also receive adequate amounts of water on a timely basis throughout the growing season. Corn Gluten Meal prevents the young sprouting seeds from developing normal roots. The common weeds that are affected by Corn Gluten Meal are Crabgrass, Creeping Bentgrass, Smart Weed, Dandelions, Red Root Pigweed, Purslane, Lambsquarter, Foxtail, Barnyard Grass, and Bermuda Grass.

Potential Health And Environmental Problems

Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has identified a potential health problem associated with corn gluten meal. Corn and corn by-products are known to cause allergies for some people. A few people have serious reactions, including respiratory problems and hypersensitivity. If you know that you or your family members are allergic to corn, it is recommended that you avoid exposure to Corn Gluten Meal.

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Some Of The Rules In Applying Corn Gluten Meal

Do NOT apply on newly seeded grass. You must wait until after the first mowing.
Do NOT apply under windy conditions.
Do NOT apply in the spring if you are over seeding or sodding in the Spring.
Do NOT apply in the fall if you are over seeding or sodding in the fall.
Do NOT apply if you are allergic to corn.

Corn Gluten: An Organic Pre-Emergent Herbicide

Kelly Burke is a professional turf manager for a manicured corporate campus in New England. He is accredited in organic land care and is a licensed pesticide applicator. He formerly managed the turfgrass as a golf course superintendent and has held several senior management positions at private country clubs overseeing high maintenance lawns.

Kathleen Miller is a highly-regarded Master Gardener and Horticulturist who shares her knowledge of sustainable living, organic gardening, farming, and landscape design. She founded Gaia’s Farm and Gardens, a working sustainable permaculture farm, and writes for Gaia Grows, a local newspaper column. She has over 30 years of experience in gardening and sustainable farming.

Emily Estep is a plant biologist and fact-checker focused on environmental sciences. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Master of Science in Plant Biology from Ohio University. Emily has been a proofreader and editor at a variety of online media outlets over the past decade.

Corn gluten meal is a powdery byproduct of the corn milling process. Originally used as a supplement in hog feed, corn gluten has become a common organic alternative to synthetic chemical herbicides. It can be effective as a pre-emergent herbicide used to control crabgrass and other lawn weeds, and it also has nutritional properties. Corn gluten meal is about 10 percent nitrogen by weight, meaning 100 pounds of corn gluten contains 10 pounds of nitrogen. This organic source of nitrogen is slowly released over a three- to four-month period.

How Corn Gluten Works

Corn gluten does not prevent weed seeds from germinating, but it does inhibit those seeds from forming roots after germination. This means that applications must be very carefully timed. When the application of corn gluten is timed correctly, crabgrass seeds germinating will form shoots but not roots, and will therefore die, provided there is a short dry period after seed germination. However, if conditions are too wet immediately after seed germination, the weed can recover and establish a root.

Application Timing

Corn gluten is useful only as a pre-emergent herbicide; it provides no post-emergent weed control. If crabgrass and other weed seeds have already germinated and taken root, a late application of corn gluten will only serve as fertilizer for the weeds. Further, applications of corn gluten need to be precisely timed around rainfall or watering. After application, corn gluten needs to be watered in, either by rainfall or by artificial watering, within five days of application. Rainfall of about 1/4 inch, or a comparable artificial watering, is ideal. After this, a dry period of one or two days is required to prevent weed seedlings that have germinated from growing roots.

In other words, corn gluten needs water just after application, but a dry period is then required in order for germinated weed seeds to have their root production inhibited. It can be quite difficult to get this application timing precisely correct.

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The first application of corn gluten won’t suppress all of the weed seeds, and a single application may help suppress weeds for four to six weeks. Heavy soils, extended rainy weather, and hot spells may require a monthly application or a second application in late summer. The initial results may be disappointing but after several applications, corn gluten sometimes reaches 80 percent effectiveness at controlling crabgrass.

How Much Is Needed?

Application rates vary by form: powder, pelletized or granulated. The standard application rate is 20 pounds of corn gluten per 1,000 square feet of lawn. This rate also provides about 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.

The effects of corn gluten are cumulative, meaning that the results improve with repeated use over time.

The Downside

Some experts are critical of using corn gluten as a pre-emergent crab-grass killer, pointing to several points:

  • Corn gluten is costlier than conventional pre-emergent herbicides. Because multiple applications are often required, you could be handling hundreds or even thousands of pounds of the product, depending on the size of the yard. Sprayable, liquid forms of corn gluten can make applications easier, but they are still costly.
  • Timing is critical for both organic and synthetic chemical pre-emergents. It’s very important to remember that all pre-emergents, including corn gluten, will suppress all seeds, including grass and flower seeds. If you are using non-selective pre-emergents in the spring and summer, any lawn seeding should be done in the fall.


A synthetic chemical pre-emergent is a non-organic herbicide that is applied to the landscape prior to weeds and other unwanted plants growing. In essence, it prevents those plants from emerging from the soil where seeds might lie.

  • The nitrogen in corn gluten has drawbacks. Some turf specialists argue that extra nitrogen only gives weeds the advantage.
  • Encouraging new grass is more effective. Crabgrass is a filler weed that thrives in bare spots or areas with thin turf grass, and organic turf specialists contend that seeding with new grass is just as effective as applying pre-emergent herbicides such as corn gluten. Dense, healthy turf will naturally crowd out crabgrass, so growing more grass and filling in those thin areas and bare patches may be a better solution.

Bottom Line

Corn gluten does work as a pre-emergent herbicide, through a mechanism that inhibits germinated weed seeds from establishing roots. But timing the applications correctly is tricky, and it may require repeated applications in order to really see the desired results. Further, corn gluten can also inhibit new turf grass seeds from becoming established.

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

Inhibitor 18-0-6 Pre-emergent Weed Control

Weeds can distract from your lawn’s appeal and deprive grass of nutrients and water needed to thrive. That’s why Natural Alternative® offers pre-emergent weed control lawn treatment to help fight off pesky weed invaders before they become a nuisance. Natural Alternative® Inhibitor 18-0-6 Pre-emergent Weed Control fights all types of weeds and can be spread directly onto established turf to help prevent crabgrass and other annual weeds.

We’ve got you covered

Our Inhibitor can be used on a variety of grass types, including all Natural Alternative® seed selections. Inhibitor’s pre-emergent lawn treatment also includes a mix of nitrogen and potassium to help your lawn thrive while preventing weed emergence. Our Inhibitor offers control against annual grass weeds like crabgrass, goosegrass, foxtails and more. It’s time to enjoy your outdoor space without being burdened by invaders sprouting up in your lawn.

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Summer Lawn Weeds

Product Information

info Application Instructions arrow_drop_down_circle

When to Apply

Successful pre-emergence control of the annual grass weeds listed on this label requires proper timing of application. Apply this product 1 to 2 weeks prior to the germination of annual grass weeds. If application timing does not coincide with the normal germination period of any of the annual grass weeds listed on this label, weed control results may be erratic or poor. Weed seeds typically begin to germinate when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 5 days of 60-65 degree weather can change your soil temps). Typically applied mid-march in most areas, gauging your weather is the best practice when applying pre-emergents. Remember if you can see the weed, pre-emergent controls will not help. Apply before a light rain or lightly water the product in.

Application Rates:

Apply 3 to 4 lbs. per 1,000 sq.ft. – If you have an issue with weeds, we recommend 4 lbs. per 1,000 sq.ft. as a treatment and 3 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. as a preventative.

Things to remember when controlling weeds:

  • Anytime you treat for weeds it is important to make sure you overseed the lawn or the area the following season.
  • Weeds love weak spots in the lawn, if you are treating weeds in an area that is already weak and your remove more weeds you are creating the perfect spot for more weeds. To keep a healthy, thick and growing lawn it takes work especially in the beginning. Control your weeds, continue to fertilizer through each season and overseed when it is best for your area for best lawn results. Once your lawn is doing better after all of your hard work, weed controls aren’t always necessary so you can focus on fertilizing at least 3 times a year (we recommend 5 application) and spot seeding in any areas that may need it after possible seasonal damage (seeding in Fall is best, spring if needed).

Don’t use Inhibitor on newly seeded lawns. You can seed the following season (Control in the spring, seed in the fall).

Weeds controlled when applied prior to weed germination:

Annual Grasses controlled: when applied prior to weed germination

  • Annual Bluegrass
  • Barnyardgrass
  • Crabgrass (large, smooth)
  • Goosegrass
  • Crawfootgrass
  • Foxtails

In areas where germination of the annual weed grass species continues for an extended period of time, make a second application at the recommended rate 8 to 10 weeks after the first application on cool season turfgrass and 10 to 12 weeks after the first application on warm season turfgrass.

General Use Precautions and Restrictions:

  • Do not apply this product to golf course putting greens.
  • Do not apply this product through any type of irrigation system.
  • Any cultural practices that disturb the soil, such as aeration or verticutting, should be done prior to application of this product.
  • Do not apply to overseeded turf within 60 days after seeding or until after the second mowing.

Specific Use Restrictions:

  • Do not make more than 2 applications totalling 11 pounds of this product per year on turfgrass.
  • Maximum single application rate: 8 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
  • Minimum Re-treatment Interval: Cool season turf – 56 to 70 days; warm season turf – 70 to 84 days.

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