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Hey, if you want to know whether corn gluten meals prevent weeds from growing or not, you have chosen the right article for it. Here I am going to share my knowledge on the matter of corn gluten meal’s working on weeds prevention or not. Hope your doubts will get cleared.

So, our main concern is “Does corn gluten meal prevent weeds from growing?”

Well, the answer is corn gluten meal will not kill mature weeds or plants. It can kill weed seeds and prevent weed growth. 

Killing weeds or preventing weeds growth also depends on how you use them and on what kind of weeds you use it. Let’s dig in a little deeper.

Corn gluten meal product can prevent weeds growth

Basically, the invention of corn gluten meal, a by-product of the corn milling process, as weed preventers was a happy accident. Researchers at Iowa State University invented that corn gluten meal can use as a weed preventer by preventing seed germination. They invented it while doing their research on some diseases. Later those researchers at Oregon State University stated that corn gluten meal can’t prevent weeds from growing.

So how does it prevent weeds from growing? Let’s check.

Mainly it is a powdery byproduct of the corn wet milling process that’s been found as prevention to control the weed seeds from germinating. It is a natural herbicide that contains 10 percent nitrogen by weight in the replacement of chemical herbicides. According to the researchers at Iowa University, corn gluten meals can prevent the growth of grass and other annual weeds seeds like crabgrass, chickweed, etc that basically germinate during spring as it is a pre-emergent herbicide. 

But what about the research of Oregon University, right? It is important for you to know that corn gluten meal is only effective against seeds and not against the plants that are mature. Probably that’s why the researchers of Oregon University failed in their research.

Gluten cornmeal having at least 60% of proteins in it is more effective for weeds. So, if you use plain cornmeal products, it will not be effective for unwanted plants. Weeds like, crabgrass, purslane, foxtail, pigweed can be killed by it.

Along with mature plants, it cannot prevent perennial weed germination also, like, dandelions, quack grass, plantain, etc. They will come back again and again as their roots survive under the soil during the cold season. But corn gluten meal can kill the seeds from these weeds that they shed during summer and also with continuous use of corn gluten meal these weeds can be killed gradually.

Application of corn gluten meal products in your garden

Now you know that corn gluten meal can be an effective weed killer. But for vanishing the weeds from your garden, you also have to know the application of corn gluten meal in your garden to get the best result. So let’s quickly know the method of applying it. Cornmeal gluten will not do any harm to your existing plants so you can use it without any worries. Corn gluten meal comes both in granular and powdered forms. The granular one is easy to use but less effective.

You have to take a certain amount of it for a specific coverage area and spread it on the area, you need to cover, like 20 pounds of cornmeal gluten for 1000 yards of lawn that is equal to 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet.

After spreading you need to water the space lightly within five days of application so that the oils can be activated. If the procedure is followed accordingly, the effects will last up to 5 to 6 weeks and after that, it has to apply again in the same procedure. To get better results for weed control, the application of it also needs to be frequent. 

Before you apply the corn gluten meal products, be sure to follow the following instructions:

  • Follow the method instructed on the package
  •  Apply before weeds start to grow
  •  The best time for applying is spring

Be cautious while using it in the flowers and vegetable garden beds where the seeds are recently sowed. If you apply cornmeal gluten in the recently sowed seeds, it can prevent the growth of your desired plant and you can never see the plants grow in your flower and vegetable garden. So, it’s better not to put it into your vegetable garden unless the plants are in good growth. 

Besides this, you have to be careful while buying corn gluten products. Many of the products shown in the market are basically corn gluten feed or distillers grain for corn gluten meal. These products will not be effective.

So, make sure you are buying the right product that contains at least 60 percent of proteins and has been wet milled.

Don’t confuse corn meal and corn gluten meal

Most people get confused between corn meals and corn gluten meals. The corn meals we eat and the corn gluten meal we use in the garden are two different things.

The cornmeal we eat is a product of corn that comes from ground-up corn kernels whereas the corn gluten meal is a by-product of the wet milling process of making cornmeal. Corn gluten meal contains high levels of protein, nitrogen, and oils.

Other benefits and problems of corn gluten meal

Now as you are applying corn gluten meal in your garden, you certainly want to know about some other effects of corn gluten products.

  •  It can also be used to killed ants. You can put some of it at the place where you see ants. The ants can’t digest this gluten so as a result they will starve to death and the number of ants will reduce in your garden.
  •  The cellulose in it removes the excess phosphorus in water, balances the water chemistry, and in this way the corn gluten meal can kill algae. Moreover, the carbon in cornmeal helps the beneficial bacteria to grow in the water.
  • It is an eco-friendly herbicide as it possesses no health risk to people or animals.

The only problem noticing of using it in the garden is that it can attract rodents. Placing some of the meal in a coffee can and add some cayenne pepper in it can prevent mice and voles from coming to your garden even after the use of a corn gluten meal solution. 


Finally, let’s draw a summary of my discussion. Corn gluten meal that is different from cornmeal is effective for preventing weeds from taking root and stop the growth of weed seeds. It is not effective for mature plants or perennial weeds.

Besides, it can kill the seeds of desired flower or vegetable plants if apply to them. So while applying it you need to be careful that you are applying it before sowing seeds.

However, it can be useful natural prevention for preventing springtime weeds without the usage of harmful chemicals.

Hope this was helpful for you. Have a good day and let me know if the cornmeal gluten has been effective enough for your garden or not!

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