Tuesday, October 23

More cotton eye candy

Harvesting the big fat bolls before the rains come.

Green is drying and fluffing

My Pima bolls are small and not too impressive so far this year. I try to catch them before they get rained on in the field and let them dry and pop open inside. The browns and greens are popping like popcorn outside. I harvest twice a day and can't pick 'em all. But the frost is coming and there is still so much cotton out there.

Sunday, September 30

End of Sept - lots of cotton

It is coming in all colors now. The Pima is still a little behind but starting to produce.

The green primarily has 5 lobes, but sometimes I get a 4 lobed or 3 lobed green. One branch had brown, but we just didn't get the photos, sorry. And we got 3 white bolls off the green plants and two white from the brown plants. The white wasn't the immature white tip stuff either. It was a big fluffy white boll right on a colored plant. I set those aside, but I am not quite sure what to do with them. The white is long and nice.

Sunday, September 16

Sept 16 - First boll

A big fat Green Cotton boll just popped open. The branches are all hanging low with our biggest crop ever.

Thursday, August 30

End of August

Ooh, it is getting soon now. I still have a lot of flowers opening but color is starting to come into the green cotton plants. Almost like they are sunburned or like an autumn display, they show red in the stems and leaves. This is the signal, to me, that the bolls are about to open. If we had a lot of bugs like whitefly or aphids, we would defoliate by hand starting about now. This would keep the sticky substance off the clean cotton. But this was an extremely bug free year and we will just let nature go and see what happens with the crop.

Wednesday, August 15

Mid August

Pima flowers still just getting going (yellow), while the green flowers are almost done (red above).

Fat Green.

Occasionally I get a yellow Pima blossom with a red center, like a tulip with a dark center. Very pretty and it happens on the same plants as the creamier yellow flowers. This one was a late flower on the bottom of the plant.

It is a waiting game right now. The plants are fully grown - about shoulder high on the green and a bit shorter on the Pima. The bolls are filling up very well, but I am still getting a lot of flowers. At this point, it is clear that the Pima is behind by about a week or two. I interpret that as Pima has a longer growing season.

Pima has triangular darker ones.
Green has round bolls.

Lots of flowers still coming on the same branches as bolls.

String of bolls.

Monday, August 6

Beginning of August

I am a little behind in the photos, so you may be astonished at the growth. Flowers everywhere and plenty of bolls forming now. It has been unusually rainy. Bugs are apparent on the browns only, and just a few whiteflys. Serious hail damage occurred and leaves have big holes poked into them. We also lost the top 6 inches on several plants due to hail.

Up to the truck's side mirror and growing fast.

Little string of flowers on the green.

Pima trilobal leaf and flower bud.

Bolls and Flowers on the green.

Tuesday, July 24

Mid July

We have green lushness.

The green cotton is a dense mass of leaves.

The flowers change from yellow to pink as they fade.

Many flowers opening now.

Like grapes on the vine, little strings of green pearls.

Thursday, July 12

First Flowers

Thick lush leaves and pretty first flowers on the green cotton.

Saturday, July 7

July 6th

Pima is looking great. It is a little shorter than the green, but it has lots and lots of flowers.

Potted Pima really going strong.

The tan and Peruvian brown is really looking bad - very buggy and growing slowly.

Green is just shooting up. Each day it fills in fast. And so many flowers.

See the pretty little string of 'squares'? One branch has flowers and the other is greenery.

More than knee high by 4th of July.

Sunday, July 1

End of June

The heat is really starting to have a great effect on the cotton. It is now growing like mad and the bug damage is significantly less. This is one of the reasons to ignore early bug damage and wait it out. Or just use your fingers to gently brush away the aphids if your crop is small.

The leaves are glossy and healthy. We have had some serious storms and lost 4 plants to wind damage. Tomato cages, stakes and ties have been introduced this year, much more significant support than had been used in prior years. Hail has ripped a lot of leaves.

But the clustering of fresh leaves shown here signify that the production of flowers is not far off. I suspect I have some flowers coming out of this bunch.

See the triangular shaped, trilobal leaf in the center? That is a Pima and is easy to spot.

The plants don’t look that tall here, but they are shooting up inches per day now. Mid calf will soon be knee high. And even small patches can produce more cotton than you can spin in a year.

This is a green cotton plant. Note the wider leaf of slightly lighter color. It has red veins and a less glossy leaf. The hail damage is evident here too as well as old bug damage. New leaves are quite healthy.

Cotton is a crop with bugs, there is no doubt. But the thing is, for us, that those bugs don’t really damage the production of our little crop. We don’t have vast fields and that would change our views. Since the greatest damage we get is a sticky substance at the end of the season, we pick carefully to avoid this and ignore any bug damage on these plants. Less chemicals, happy cotton.

I don’t know if you can see the little bar between these two beds. It is an easy watering system that fiberguy built. It is like a little pool that holds in the water with an opening to fill the lower pool when the top one is full. This means that we can put down the hose and water will trail down to the lower beds. We don’t get run-off and don’t have to water as often. These are like little steps, kind of like a little lock system in a canal.

These two pots are more problematic. First is the Peruvian brown. Not at all disease or bug resistant and it gives a very short stapled dark brown cotton. I am growing this mostly to see if I can cross it and get a longer darker brown. I will remove more than half of these plants, getting rid of the sickest and most frail. Again, note the red pigment in the veins. The other pot is my lovely long tan. These are the most slow growing, but are the best producers. We got the most heavy hail damage in this location so the jury is out on how many I will weed out. Also not a hardy plant, this tan shows no bugs on the plants, but a lot of bug damage. I see no wasps or ants on them trying to eat the honeydew left by aphids. No aphids, no whitefly. What is eating them? Will they survive? Last year, they looked terrible and produced so much tan cotton that I don’t think I will finish spinning it for three years. Almost hoping they don’t do well...