A Pair of Products for your Spring Lawn and Rose Care
Corn Gluten and Rose Food are two helpful products you should consider at this time of year.
Corn Gluten Meal
We normally recommend that applying corn gluten for weed control a bit earlier in the year, like February and March, but this year spring is a bit behind schedule, and NOW is a still an effective time to apply it on lawns and other spaces. Here are the details.
Corn Gluten acts as a non-toxic “Weed & Feed”. It prevents new weeds from emerging from seed. It does this by preventing roots from forming on germinating seeds, but is harmless to existing plants with root systems, people, worms and microorganisms. It does not remove existing weeds. Used correctly, about 20lbs per 1,000 square feet, it will not harm transplants or mature plants. Don’t use it in an area where you are planting seeds.
Corn gluten meal requires both water and a drying period to be effective as a weed killer. If it doesn’t rain within 5 days of application, water the area with roughly ¼” of water. Follow this up with a short drying period of a few days to kill the seedlings that have germinated but have not yet formed roots. Timing is critical: if it’s too wet during germination, the seedlings will recover and form roots.
An application of corn gluten remains effective for about 6 months. We recommend applying it twice a year, in September-October, and again in late February – March. Colorado horticulture guru Kelly Grummons says this will prevent the majority of weed seeds from developing, and by doing this every year you can virtually eliminate your weed problem.
Corn gluten also feeds plants with 9% nitrogen, so whatever is already growing will be fertilized, weeds and all.
Down to Earth Rose & Flower Mix (OMRI certified organic)
This is our replacement for the Mile Hi Rose Feed we carried and used for decades, but is no longer being manufactured. Mile Hi was a 7-8-4 formula, while Down to Earth Rose & Flower is 4-8-4, so the new formula contains less nitrogen for growth, but the same phosphorus and potassium for flowering and strength.
Compare the ingredients:
Mile Hi: Meat & Bone meal, Blood meal, Cottonseed meal, Alfalfa meal, Kelp. Was sold in plastic tubs.
Down to Earth: Fish Bone meal, Sulfur, Potassium, Magnesium, Blood meal, Alfalfa meal, Seabird Guano, Rock Phosphate, Humate, Kelp. Sold in a recyclable paper bag.
To us, this new formula looks very good. We would appreciate your feedback about its performance on your roses, Clematis or other plants.