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I never picked cotton...

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I never picked cotton...

Post  Josh on 1/1/2012, 4:59 pm

But I think I'm going to.

I ordered some cotton seed to plant in a 4 x 4 SFG. I've never even seen a cotton plant so it will be interesting, I ordered some white cotton and some green cotton. I've never seen anyone talk about growing cotton here, so any ideas, tips?


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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  RoOsTeR on 1/1/2012, 5:02 pm

Happy New Year Josh!


I used Cotton Burls Compost as part of my Mel's Mix. Does that count? rofl

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/1/2012, 5:21 pm

Oh, I have some tips for you, but I can't mention them all on the forum. Wink

First tip: Stick to picking the banjo. Hee hee.

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  ashort on 1/1/2012, 5:25 pm

nKedrOoStEr wrote:Happy New Year Josh!


I used Cotton Burls Compost as part of my Mel's Mix. Does that count?

I love that compost! Its one of the better ones I have found.

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  littlejo on 1/1/2012, 7:34 pm

Hi Josh,

Do you or any of your family/friends have a spinning wheel?

When ya get it grown, please post a pic. I've never seen green cotton growing.

Jo

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  Chopper on 1/1/2012, 11:08 pm

I cannot wait to see the pics of the mature cotton.

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  PNG_Grandma on 1/1/2012, 11:25 pm

Way back in about 1956 or so my younger brother and I told our uncle that we could grow cotton like he did. We lived in Madera, CA down near Fresno...cotton country! Uncle Elmer thought the two of us, ages about 7 & 4 could handle some seeds and told us he would pay us the going rate for our cotton. Dad plowed our enormous back yard, gave us the seeds and told us how to plant. Dad had grown up doing this in Madera but his family was originally from Mississippi. We took such good care of our plants. I swear we had 100% germination with those seeds! When it was time to harvest the two of us picked all that cotton, every last tiny bit of fluff, not s speck of white was left...and we stuffed it into the bags then lugged it to the car. Dad drove us out to his brother's house waiting for a good laugh.
He got one! rofl

Uncle Elmer was true to his word...he paid us the going rate and told Dad that never again would he challenge us to grow anything!! Dad taught us well...and at 83 yrs of age he continues to teach us, and our children, and our grandchildren about gardening. okay

Last year Al and I taught Dad a thing or two when we gave him Mel's new SFG book, and built a TT garden for him! cheers

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  gwennifer on 1/2/2012, 12:53 am

That is a GREAT story! Thanks for sharing!

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  Chopper on 1/2/2012, 3:16 am

+1 - very interesting

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  Goosegirl on 1/2/2012, 7:59 am

Love it! Great story!
GG

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  llama momma on 1/2/2012, 8:06 am

Two summers ago before finding SFG, on a whim my son suggested we plant some cotton. The soil I used was newly trucked in stuff for a new flower bed I had started. Had no idea what the soil contained but was told it was for flower gardening, not just plain backfill stuff. The soil/mulch company had been in business a very long time and was recommended to me by a builder. Hmmm... I had beginners luck I suppose and those cotton plants grew among the annuals and holly bushes. Used some miracle grow, this was before discovering sfgardening. The pods eventually burst open and there it was. Bright white soft as a bunny's tail cotton. I like to think those two plants produced enough to make a one fingered glove. At least I can say I grew a little cotton in central Ohio. Razz


Last edited by llama momma on 1/2/2012, 8:17 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  Josh on 1/2/2012, 11:32 am

Jo, my mom knows someone who has a spinning wheel, they have a sheep farm, and one year when I was about 8 they had a lamb that the mother abandoned, they called my mom to see if she would take it, so she brought him home and the neighbor has an old barn and they let us keep him there. We kept him for several years then we gave him to a farmer for a pet. The lady who gave him to us had a spinning wheel to spin the wool from the sheep.

PNG_Grandma and llama momma, I'm glad there is someone who knows how to grow cotton to advise me! How many plants to a square do you think I should plant? I have no idea how big the plants get.

The seeds I ordered mature in 140-150 days so I should have enough growing season to grow them. I'll be sure to take some pictures.

This is a pretty cool video of someone spinning a cotton ball, she says you get a lot from just one cotton ball!


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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  PNG_Grandma on 1/2/2012, 11:55 am

@Josh wrote:PNG_Grandma and llama momma, I'm glad there is someone who knows how to grow cotton to advise me! How many plants to a square do you think I should plant? I have no idea how big the plants get.
Oh Josh! I just laughed out loud at your comment of "someone who knows" to advise you!! Josh, I was about 6 or 7 when my brother and I planted the cotton...in our humongous back yard...which probably wasn't all that big, but I know Dad had a full size tractor back there so it was pretty big. Anyway, I was 6 or 7 and next month I'll be 64...the brain cells have faded a bit, but the fun memory of the event is still vivid!

Take a look at this link to see how it's grown...plants are bigger than you might think. Growing Cotton

Good Luck with the cotton, I'll be following this post to see how you're growing! okay

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  walshevak on 1/2/2012, 11:57 am

Hey Josh,

Judging from the size of the plants in the field around me, I would say 1 per square. The plants look to be the size of pepper plants.

Kay

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  llama momma on 1/2/2012, 12:02 pm

Found the packet of seed Josh!

Cotton Plant ( gossypium herbaceum )
Hardy Annual
Planting Depth - 1/4 "
Thin to 12" to 15" (One Square Josh Very Happy )
Plant in Full Sun
Height - up to 5 feet! (my limited experience about 24 inches tall)
7 to 14 day germination
*Direct sow after danger of frost
maturity- 90 to 100 days

Here is what the packet had to say -- Produces attractive yellow blossoms and pink blossoms at the same time. Blossoms develope into seedpods, or boils. After pods pop, the fluffy cotton shows. Fun to plant near an entrance or walk so everyone can admire the uniqueness of the cotton plant.

Tip: may need staking to support the plants flowing branches. *Can be grown in most climates after started indoors.

p.s. there are still seeds in my uncared for packet that was just left out in the garage, if you want me to send you some seeds, pm me and let me know, but I don't guarantee they will sprout! Razz

Enjoy!
LM


Last edited by llama momma on 1/2/2012, 12:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  llama momma on 1/2/2012, 12:08 pm

If anyone ever needs a contact for spinning wheels, spinning info of all sorts, keep me in mind as I know a fiber judge who spins and is one heck a lovely person to boot. I can direct you towards her.

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  Josh on 1/8/2012, 12:32 pm

llama momma the seeds arrived yesterday in the mail! Thank you!

So here's my plan, once I've grown the cotton, my mom has a friend who has a friend, who spins cotton on a spinning wheel, she's going to show me how to spin the cotton that I've grown. I'll be sure to get a video of that... Very Happy

I'll be growing it in my SFGs. I may make some new ones just for the cotton!

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  PNG_Grandma on 1/8/2012, 2:11 pm

Hey Josh, I was thinking of you yesterday as I drove along I-5, the west side of the Central Valley here in CA. The view is amazing looking east out across the Valley because of the elevated freeway. There are acres of rolling hills covered with citrus trees...and right between a couple of hills was sort of a blank space. No, that't not why I thought of you! The blank space that had once been filled with a cotton field was now nearly stripped clean. Only around the edges were there plants with bits and pieces of the white stuff...and it made me think of you growing your cotton! The entire scene was beautiful...the chunky chewed up brown dirt with poofs of white on skeleton-like scraggly plants around the perimeter, surrounded by the rising hills of deeply dark green trees dotted with bright oranges. The sun was low so the light made for a breathtaking view. Short view. 70mph doesn't allow much time for the driver to look at anything...but enough to make me think of you and your cotton adventure! Good Luck Josh happy hi

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  elliephant on 1/8/2012, 9:31 pm

Oh, goodness! I have a wee bit of experience with cotton Laughing

Spent 3 summers working for a crop consulting firm while I was in college. My main job was to set and check moth traps in the cotton fields so they would know when to spray. My secondary job was to pull up whole cotton plants from various parts of each field, take them back to the lab and examine them, taking various measurements and noting various attributes (first flowering branch, bolls, flowers, stuff like that). I would then graph that information so they would know how the field was doing compared to "normal." I remember the main concern was that it would grow too tall and lanky without enough flowering branches, so my measurements would warn them if that was happening and they had some stuff they would spray on them to stop that.

Probably nothing I know about cotton would help much in a garden, but I certainly have vivid memories of just what it looks like! I would never see it harvested, though. My job began in May when it was about 6 inches tall and ended in August when the bolls were just opening. That (plus scholarships) is how I put myself through college. I would work 8-4 (half day on Saturdays, with Sundays off) with a normal day being about 110 degrees all summer long back home on the CA/AZ border, then freeze my way through Utah winters up at school.

Any time life seems a little bit rough, I pull up my memories of those summers.

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  elliephant on 1/8/2012, 9:39 pm

Oh, and about the size of the plant...definitely 1 per square. The height depends on the variety and your growing conditions. There's short cotton that only grows a couple of feet high, but most of the fields I worked in it got over my head by the end of the summer (which was a good thing as I was drinking 1 1/2 gallons of water a day )

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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  Nikmith on 1/12/2012, 10:03 am

Yes that really works for me as well.

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Welcome Nikmith!

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 1/13/2012, 3:18 pm

glad you\'re here Nikmith!

I'm not sure if you've formally introduced yourself yet but noticed you'd posted a couple of times, and just wanted to say welcome to the forum! I am a relative newbie and I'm sure some of the forum hosts will be along shortly to welcome you as well!

If you haven't read the ANSFG book yet, you'll want to do that! There is just TONS of great info in the book and it's available through almost all public libraries, online booksellers, and I understand it's even in digital format now for the Kindle, etc. Smile

Please don't hesitate to ask questions and post! happy hi


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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  Josh on 1/15/2012, 9:12 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:

First tip: Stick to picking the banjo. Hee hee.



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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  Josh on 3/13/2012, 9:36 pm

The cotton has sprouted and it looks like I'm going to have enough to make a 4 x 8 if I plant them one to a square!



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Re: I never picked cotton...

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/14/2012, 7:47 am

Lookin good Josh! How's that new greenhouse treating you

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Re: I never picked cotton...

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