Good Stuff

Boy oh boy, what a fun day!  People yelling at me from the left and from the right.  But hey, I didn’t start doing what I do to make everyone happy.  With that said….Nah, I don’t feel like attacking anyone today.  Instead, let’s look at a good renewable fertilizer: Cotton seed meal.  It’s got a reasonably good ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus and potassium — slow release of course.  Basically a waste product given a meaningful purpose.  And look at the label — no mycorrhizae or other gimmicks.  Just pure, unadulterated, cotton seed meal.  This is what I want on my garden.

7 thoughts on “Good Stuff”

  1. I haven’t researched it in depth yet. But seeds concentrate stuff like herbicides, pesticides and systemic poisons (don’t know if they’re used on cotton). We need to analyze the meal.

  2. Agree with Dr Kourik. I use cottonseed meal only on ornamental beds well away from my food gardens beds. Cotton generally gets large amounts of insecticides, etc.; even certified organic cotton seed may contain concentrations of now-forbidden persistent ones. Better to do the analysis before recommending.

  3. Hi Robert and Mike, actually there is very little pesticide in cotton seed. Most pesticides used are contact pesticides which are applied before the boll opens — so they never get on the seed. Systemics actually rarely get into seed to any great extent. if they did we’d all be in trouble! Once upon a time aldicarb — a particularly dangerous systemic — was used in pecans to control a certain type of aphid. But it simply wasn’t moved into the seed. If you’re really concerned about the pesticides (because even with what I’ve said above I’m sure you could find trace amounts), you can find organic cotton seed meal. Mike, you point out that even this can have some pesticide in it, but I would counter by saying that our detection equipment today is so sensitive we can find trace amounts of pesticide in almost anything.

  4. What’s that little box? I only ever seed cottonseed meal by the 50 pound sack. 🙂 $20 at the feed store and lasts me about 3 years.

    After some research, I am not worried at all about cottonseed meal. Cotton gin compost, on the other hand, I wouldn’t let anywhere near me, let alone my plants. They don’t spray cotton as brutally as they used to, but when you live in cotton country you realize they still spray it pretty heavily.

  5. Thanks for the clarification about the pesticides, Jeff! I’ve always wondered about that, never considering WHEN crops would be sprayed… duh!

  6. In my experience, cottonseed meal is one of the best organic fertilizers for ornamentals in California. Acid-loving plants seem to like being fertilized with cottonseed meal, too because it slightly lowers the pH as it decomposes. Although there is a lot of concern about GMOs and insecticide accumulation, I still think that the high nitrogen that it provides is worth it.

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