By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When the forsythia blooms it’s a sign of spring – and your cue to apply a weed preventer like corn gluten meal to stop weeds from starting. You can get big bags of it at garden centers or feed stores to spread on your lawn, or find little bottles of it to sprinkle in garden beds.

Corn gluten meal naturally contains nitrogen to help your lawn green up, it’s non-toxic – so kids and dogs can play in the yard without worry – and it’s usually marked ‘organic’ because it is, it’s a by-product of the corn milling industry.

Read the labels as you shop and decide what you want to use – the man-made chemical version of weed preventers carries a caution particularly about waterways, because it’s ‘extremely toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates including shrimp and oysters.’ That’s why I choose the organic kind, corn gluten meal, instead.

Remember, though, this is not a weed killer, it’s a weed preventer. So you have to apply it now before weed seeds start germinating – you can’t hesitate, because no matter how lazy you may be feeling, the weeds won’t wait.

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