What is Corn Gluten Meal?


Possibly one of the most important breakthroughs in organic lawn care was actually a result of an accident by Nick Christians, an Iowa State University researcher, and, even better, you can find it at Uncle Luke’s Feed Store. Christians was conducting another experiment on the effects of Pythium (a fungal organism) on creeping bent grass, which is commonly used on golf courses to maintain their lush green appearance. During this experiment, Christians realized that the plot which was covered in corn meal had a significantly reduced incidence of the bentgrass germination. Christians soon found that the active component in the corn meal was the gluten, which was the protein fraction, and realized there were natural chemicals in the corn gluten meal which inhibited root formation at the time of germination. Before being “discovered” as a weed suppressor, corn gluten meal—a powdery byproduct of the corn milling process—was used extensively as a supplement for feeding hogs.

The Safety Factor of Corn Gluten Meal

The best thing about using corn gluten meal for weed control is that it is entirely safe and natural. You don’t have to worry about your children or pets playing on your lawn following application because corn gluten meal is 100% organic. In fact, many parks use corn gluten meal on their lawns, as a method of avoiding the chemical herbicides which can have far-reaching effects on humans, animals, water supplies, and other “good” plants. Corn gluten meal is presently the only natural product specifically marketed for weed control, and, unlike chemicals, will not end up in water runoff and surface water, or move with soil erosion.

How Does Corn Gluten Meal Work?

Rather than killing the weeds, like chemical herbicides do, corn gluten meal works differently, preventing the establishment of the weed root systems. Most people who use corn gluten meal on their lawns are attempting to inhibit crabgrass, dandelion and clover, although it works just as well on many other weeds. The best side-benefit of using corn gluten meal is that it contains  9 percent slow release nitrogen, meaning it will also contribute to greener thicker turf—while inhibiting germinating weeds, it simultaneously stimulates the growth of already-established plants. Unless it is used at a very high rate (80 pounds/1000 square feet, or more) corn gluten meal will not inhibit the roots of mature plants or transplants. Your weeds will germinate and form a shoot—but no root. Following this germination, you will need to allow a short drying period because watering the lawn too much at this point could allow the weeds to recover and build roots. Corn gluten meal needs to be applied the first time from approximately April 1-20th, and again in June for maximum weed suppression.

Different Types of Corn Gluten Meal

Corn gluten meal typically comes in an unprocessed form which has a fine, powdery texture, and, although it can be broadcast by hand, it will probably work better in a hand seeder. Once broadcast, it will appear very much like a layer of pollen on your soil. This type of corn gluten meal must be applied directly onto the bare earth or around new plantings as it’s texture is not conducive to working its way down through grass or mulch. Granulated corn gluten meal can be applied with a spreader, or mixed with water into a paste for more localized weed suppression. Pelletized corn gluten meal can be broadcast by hand, and works well on lawns. Generally a 50 pound bag of corn gluten meal will thoroughly treat at least 2500 square ft. of lawn, fertilizing your turf and suppressing weeds with every application.

Purchase Your Corn Gluten Meal at Uncle Luke’s

Not only will you find the best corn gluten meal at Uncle Luke’s, you will also find a wide variety of organic and bulk gardening seeds. Uncle Luke’s is your local, friendly, honest feed store—we work hard to support our local farmers and our local economy, and strive to keep a small-town, down-home feel to our store. Come on in and get your corn gluten meal, and you will be amazed at how well this all-natural substance works on weed suppression.


Uncle Luke’s Wild Bird Seed

If you are a bird-lover who wants to ensure your feathered friends get the best nutrition for their individual needs, Uncle Luke’s Feed is the place to go for a wide array of the highest-quality wild bird seed. Uncle Luke’s is also dedicated to keeping our local economy strong by offering seed grown right here in Troy, Michigan, bringing quality and competitive prices to our valued customers while supporting local sources.

Feeding wild birds provides opportunity for a direct, intimate view of the natural world for the more than 50 million Americans who routinely feed wild birds in their yards. Backyard feeding is most popular in winter when the birds seem to need the most help. Feeding can support birds who are stressed by very cold weather or disease, and many wild birds with access to feeders are more likely to survive harsh winters. Each type of feed provides a specific nutritional benefit to different types of wild birds, and Uncle Luke’s carries the very best varieties around.

Cardinal Chickadee Mix

For attracting brightly-plumed cardinals as well as cheery chickadees, consider our Cardinal-Chickadee Mix, which contains a premium mix of black sunflower seeds, striped sunflower seeds and safflower seeds.  About 90% of the cardinal’s food consists of weed seeds, grains, insects, fruits and sunflower seeds, and they prefer seeds which are easily shelled, although they are less selective during winter in colder climates. Chickadees love this mix as it contains one of their best-loved seeds – the black sunflower. Uncle Luke’s Cardinal-Chickadee Mix will soon have your yard filled with these two favorites of winter bird-watchers.


Nyjer, niger and thistle are all names used to identify a tiny black birdseed which is high in calories and oil content and loved by finches, mourning doves, sparrows, pine siskins, redpolls and other wild birds. Nyger can be purchased separately at Uncle Luke’s, or can be found in many of our premium wild bird seed mixes. Nyger is often referred to as “black gold,” and should be offered in feeders with small ports to prevent spillage—although whatever is spilled will be readily eaten by other wild bird species. Uncle Luke’s Nyger bird seed will draw large numbers of songbirds, however squirrels and larger birds are indifferent to it.

Sunflower Mix

Uncle Luke’s Sunflower Mix is a high-quality mixture of locally-grown Michigan sunflower seed hearts. Red-headed woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds, bobwhites, cardinals, finches, mourning doves, blue jays redpolls and sparrows, to mention just a few, love a diet which contains sunflower mix.

Critter Mix

Whole corn, black and striped sunflower seeds and whole, in-shell peanuts (one of the greatest treats you can offer birds) make up our Premium Critter Mix. Bird lovers who feed this mix report that the jays begin calling to one another as soon as the mix is in the feeder! Once the “alert” has gone out, the jays literally dive-bomb their favorite treat, often taking as many as they can carry, then devour them as soon as possible so they can come back for more. Squirrels, chipmunk and deer will also find critter mix irresistible!


Uncle Luke’s white-blanch peanut kernels will attract some of the most entertaining birds of all the wild bird species. You will be amazed and entertained by the acrobatic antics and maneuvers of woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, wrens, cardinals, finches, sparrows, doves and especially jays—who will sometimes bury the peanuts, returning later to consume their treat.

Corn Feed

Our cracked corn is highly popular for ground-feeding wild birds such as starlings, quails and grackles, offering them a good source of oil and starch. Cracked corn is less expensive and can be used to tempt the larger wild birds away from the more expensive smaller-bird seed.

Uncle Luke’s also offers mixes for general wild bird feeding, which comes in three grades: economy, mid-grade and high-grade. Depending on your specific needs and the birds you want to attract to your yard, you can choose from one of these high-quality mixes.  Come visit our store and you will see we have successfully retained the friendly, honest, helpful atmosphere from a by-gone era. While time has changed our local community, our commitment to supporting our local growers remains intact.

Michigan Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endorses black-oil sunflower seeds as the #1 choice for most wild birds, and it is a pretty sure bet that your feathered backyard visitors would agree wholeheartedly. Black-oil sunflower has a very high percentage of meat, making it a super-nutritious source of high-quality protein for all wild birds. Michigan black oil sunflower seeds have a softer outer shell making them ideal for the smaller birds like chickadees, nuthatches and finches. Black oil sunflower seeds offer an added bonus in that they have a very high concentration of oil; birds spread the oil throughout their feathers, allowing them to stay dry, warm and cozy in the harsher winter months. Don’t you want to give the very best home-grown Michigan black oil sunflower seed to all your bird friends?

Look No Further for the Finest Michigan Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

If you have looked far and wide for high-quality black oil sunflower seeds, your hunt is over. Uncle Luke’s proudly offers the cleanest black oil sunflower seeds of a truly unsurpassed quality, ensuring the birds in your yard will be back time and time again.  Best of all, Uncle Luke’s black oil sunflower seeds are grown right here in Michigan. Black oil sunflower seed is without a doubt the most crucial seed for any backyard bird feeding program; when given a selection of seeds, many more species of birds prefer black oil sunflower seeds. Locally grown Michigan black oil sunflower seeds from Uncle Luke’s will keep your backyard birds happy and healthy, most especially during the cold dark days of winter.

Love Your Chickadees—Then Feed Them the Best!

Consider this: Chickadees and nuthatches are famous for stashing away the precious Michigan black oil sunflower seeds to eat later. They typically put them under tree bark, or some other little nook, then when the harsh winter days arrive they have their carefully hidden high-quality seeds to see them through. Studies have shown that the chickadees actually grow additional brain cells for the winter—just to keep up with their hiding sites for black oil sunflower seeds! They even seem to know exactly how many seeds are in each little cranny and will become extremely agitated should they find bird or squirrel thieves have discovered their stash and stolen seeds in their absence.

Local is Better

Our local farmers here in Michigan produce a truly superior class of black oil sunflower seeds. Uncle Luke’s is dedicated to keeping our local economy strong and growing—and why not when the most popular bird food is grown right here in our Michigan community?  Uncle Luke’s focus has been and will remain bringing excellence and value to our treasured customers while supporting our local sources. Since the 1920’s when Uncle Luke’s opened as “Stiles Feed Store”, operating out of a shed which still stands next to our current location, we have been steadfast in bringing our customers only the best. Look no further than Uncle Luke’s for the very best Michigan black oil sunflower seeds—your birds will thank you!


6691 Livernois Rd.
Troy, Michigan 48098-1540
Business Hours
Mon-Fri 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Sat 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sun 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Winter Hours
January & February:
Mon-Fri 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Flushing Lawn & Garden Center

114 Terrace Street
Flushing, MI 48433-2159
Business Hours
(except holidays):
Mon-Thu 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sun Closed

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