Agricultural cornmeal is a good nitrogen source because it encourages the friendly fungal species Trichoderma to proliferate. This fungus feeds on the plant pathogens Sclerotinia minor (a blight characterized by the appearance of cotton-like growths on plant stems at the ground line followed by sudden plant death); Sclerotium rolfsii (Southern blight); and Rhizoctonia spp. (this is a disease that attacksstems, stolons and tubers of many plants, especially potatoes). Research conducted at Texas A&M University on peanut diseases confirms the usefulness of agricultural cornmeal.
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Tina Marie Wilcox has been the head herb gardener at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas, since 1984. She also writes Yarb Tales, a weekly column for the Ozark Folk Center (
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Green Patch: Mulching Tips