I love this!
USDA scientist Frank Forcella has invented an alternative to chemical herbicides.
He ran some trials on small foxtail (Setaria pumila in case you’re interested) and weed seedlings were killed or drastically set back in their growth when blasted for just a second or two with corn gluten meal grit applied from a sand-blaster. (yes, a sand-blaster). For those without such arcane knowledge, a sand-blaster is a like a powered weed sprayer that sprays fine sand onto surfaces to clean them – to strip paint off right to bare metal, to etch glass etc. It’s a high-pressure sanding machine.
Corn gluten is of course a fertilizer (10% nitrogen) and a weed suppressant so when you blast it out of a sand-blaster at 120 pounds per inch pressure, it also acts as an abrasive to whack weeds. What fun!
Forcella has also used walnut shells and corn cobs ground up to a fine enough particle to go through the blaster.
If you’re going to play around with this stuff, you really do want to watch the filters and/or particulate size. You also want to watch your timing and crop because corn gluten is a seed-suppressor for *all* small seeds including vegetables not just weeds.
I may have to buy a compressor and blaster just for the heck of it! I’m sure I’ll find other things to blast too. LOL!
I love this!