Cotton Seed Planting Information

Outside Planting

You will need:

   Cotton planting seed*
   Prepared outside flower bed or garden area
   Compost or humus
   Garden tools (rack, shovel, weed hoe)
   Lawn sprinkler and garden or soaker hose

  1. When tillable, work the soil to 1-2 inches deep to eliminate weeds.
  2. One inch of compost or humus may be incorporated into the soil. This supplement is a source of nitrogen, potassium and trace minerals needed to produce a strong plant.
  3. Create rows and furrows by dragging a garden hoe in a straight line the length and width of the garden.
  4. From the center of each row measure 30 inches, with a furrow as deep as the row in high.
  5. Pre-irrigate or moisten the soil to establish deep soil moisture.
  6. Check the soil temperature, using a soil thermometer. Soil should be 58-60 degree at 6 inches deep for three consecutive days at 8 AM in the spring (after all threat of frost has passed).
  7. Plant seeds in moist soil, in groups of three seeds, 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart.
  8. Firm soil around the seeds and leave 1 inch of loose fine dirt above the seeds.
  9. Allow 15 days for emergence.
  10. No additional water should be necessary.
  11. The first irrigation should begin 4-5 weeks after emergence.
  12. Continue to deliver water to the small plants through the summer months. In hot, dry climates this requires irrigation every 8-16 days.
  13. Once the plants no longer receive water (16-18 weeks from planting) they will naturally begin to dry and shed their leaves, and the bolls will split open allowing the fiber to dry.
  14. The cotton is ready for harvest when all of the bolls have cracked open and the cotton is a ball of fluff.