Monday, April 7

Cotton Crop 2008

Our season starts a bit late this year. Down in the valley everything is blooming. Up on the hill, our perennial plants are just waking up.

This year we added a bit of organic matter and sand to beef up our output.

What's this? A volunteer poppy wanders into our cotton bed.

The proud gardener prepares to tamp the bed's edges for stage one of water control.

One pot gets some early seeds. We cover with the cutoff milk carton bottoms and heavy rocks to save them from the wind until they germinate.

When those seeds come up the rest of the seeds go in. We put 3 seeds in each hole and weed them out as they come up. This can be good later if we get holes in the main beds. Seeds are planted to a depth of about 2-3 times their size using a pencil eraser, covered well and hand tamped. The sacrificial seeds we put in were green cotton. It is the fastest to germinate for us.

Each year we put in a few plants of each type of seed that we have just to keep the seed stock alive. I wish I knew more about how to store it to keep it good for years, but I just keep it planted up each year. We usually have a main plant bed and an auxiliary area. The main bed gets Pima this year and the smaller bed gets green. The green was prolific last year and I still have a lot to spin. While the Pima plants were nice, they just don't make as much cotton fiber as the green or brown. I was really hopeful for the Peruvian brown seeds from last year - they came up so nice and red. But they just turned the dark chocolate brown after boiling, so I think I will stick with my much longer brown. It looks tan in the boll but dark brown in the skein.


Stashymama said...

Thanks a bunch for the pictures! I've got 2 plants up as of 9 Apr - failed to put the milkcartons now it's guesswork as to where the cotton is v. the weeds! OI!

Ruth said...

Nice garden plot! Do you have any problems with cross-pollination?

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog. I grow cotton, to, but I don't get many bolls. What do you use to fertilize your cotton plants throughout the season? I mostly used rabbit manure. I might try foliar feeding this year. I really enjoy your blog!

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