cotton bolls

July 24, 2008

The pickings spent winter an spring drying our in a kitchen. Two or three weeks after being brought inside, the Pima cotton capsules started opening. It was probably another month before the Uplands opened. The Pimas’ rind was thinner than the Uplands’,which might explain the time difference. In the real world, Upland cotton typically matures faster than Pima cotton.

Both Pima cotton plants produced bolls probably suitable for spinning . Some bolls have a four-foil cotton lock configuration, others have five locks. Which bolls were harvested from which plant was not recorded.

All the Upland cotton bolls had four locks

For many bolls, the cotton fiber is not fluffed out as one might one expect. This may be because the cotton capsuled were soaked by several fall storms. Looking closely at the various photographs, one can see convoluted surface , similar to the surface of a human brain’s. Several of these unopened bolls were handled by guests interested in the cotton. Repeated handling caused the cotton to fluff.

Based on my readings and Internet searches, it appears a cotton plant typically needs to produce about 3–4 dozen bolls to pay for itself. With some coaxing, our six plants yielded three dozen opened bolls.

The cotton is light pink taupe, it has not been cleaned or bleached. These staples are probably long and strong enough for spinning

Day #226, harvesting

October 14, 2007

In the Willamette Valley, we usually get one good weekend in October,. Today the crop enjoyed 65F. weather. The crop now receives no direct sun light, and is struggling in the shade. So, this seemed like a good weekend to call it quits on growing cotton.

The larger Pima cotton capsules were removed from branches and brought into the house. These squares are on longer stems, and have been included with the harvesting wherever possible. About six of these capsules might open.

10-14_mvc-008f.jpg

Upland cotton capsules grow on shorter stems. These stems were left on the plant. Hopefully 10-12 squares will open.

10-14_mvc-012f.jpg

A cotton farmer could realistically expect 36-40 squares per plant.

This is the largest Upland square.

10-14_mvc-010f.jpg

Below is a photo of the cotton crop, about a dozen strands of cotton poking out one Upland cotton square. Commercial cotton growers use a desiccant t o dry out the capsule tissue and promote the square to burst. Our weather has been wet, and chemicals beyond Miracle-gro have not been used. The plan now is to place the capsules in an east-facing window, and allow them to dry.

10-14_mvc-009f.jpg

One of the smaller Upland cotton capsules was opened.

10-14_mvc-013f.jpg

This cross section shows a capsule with a thick rind that is far from mature and some cotton.

10-14_mvc-017f.jpg10-14_mvc-018f.jpg

Seeds were also maturing in the capsule.

10-14_mvc-019f.jpg

An interesting detail is these plants have a kind of sun-sensitivity. On the surfaces exposed to the sun, the tissue is a deep pinkish red, and on the “away” side the color tends to be more green. The Upland is a bit more reactive.

10-14_mvc-016f.jpg

Foliage at the base of the square can also produce the same results.

10-14_mvc-014f.jpg

Same stem, opposite sides

10-14_mvc-022f.jpg10-14_mvc-024f.jpg

Would I grow cotton again? YES!

Would I make some changes? YUP!

Unbeknown to me, the project was probably off the rails while the plants were still house plants. They should have been spaced farther apart in the window. There was competition for sunlight, and they grew vertically, when lateral growth should have been the priority.

The seedlings in the 8-oz. yogurt containers did better those in the 32-oz. containers. When transplanted to larger outdoor pots, cotton plants in smaller containers were able to be planted without roots shearing from their weight. Fragility of the cotton roots cannot be over emphasized.

The plants should have been planted about two weeks earlier, immediately after a realistic chance of frost had passed.

The cotton plants were treated as water wise plants. Next time they will be watered and fertilized about the same as tomatoes.

The experience was worth while for me, and hope each of the more than 1500 visits to my site you made was also as enjoyable.

connie

Day #203, Oregon Cotton update and photos

September 22, 2007

The Pima cotton plants seem to have quit blooming, and the Upland are down to perhaps their last two blossoms.

 

 

Several Pima cotton squares.

 

 

An Upland cotton square.

 

These two Upland cotton squares have bloom tags.

Day #191, several cotton square photos

September 9, 2007

These Pima cotton squares appear to be still filling out their capsules.

09-09_mvc-009f.jpg 09-09_mvc-013f.jpg

 

 

 

The Upland cotton squares seem be be more mature.

09-09_mvc-020f.jpg09-09_mvc-017f.jpg09-09_mvc-019f.jpg

Day #185, Several more photos of the Oregon Cotton project

September 3, 2007

Several Upland cotton blossoms

09-03_mvc-008s.jpg 09-03_mvc-023f.jpg

 

 

A Pima and an Upland square.

09_03mvc-010s-2.jpg09-03_mvc-009s.jpg

 

 

Cotton plant tops .  The plants continue putting out squares, even though they will never fruit.

09-03_mvc-011s.jpg09-03_mvc-012s.jpg

 

 

 

Day #177, several photos of the Oregon Cotton project

August 26, 2007

An eye catching Pima cotton plant blossom.

08-25_mvc-010s.jpg

 

 

The next morning, the same Pima cotton blossom was sporting part of a spider web that that spanned several plants.

08-26_mvc-012s.jpg08-26_mvc-011s.jpg08-26_mvc-008s.jpg

 

 

The next two photos show a Pima and an Upland cotton plant’s first fruiting branch, first position square.

 

A Pima square

08-26_mvc-005s.jpg

 

 

An Upland square.

08-26_mvc-002s.jpg

 

 

Late August arrived. The leaves on both Pima cotton plants are starting to show fall colors.

08-26_mvc-007s.jpg08-26_mvc-014s.jpg

Day #170, Oregon Cotton weekly review

August 19, 2007

The sixth and last cotton plant to bloom, a Pima, finally succeeded.

08-19_npimablossom-mvc-008s.jpg

 

The spiders continue doing their outstanding housekeeping duties.

08-19_goldenspider_mvc-022s.jpg

 

One side of this Upland Cotton leaf is turned under to protect a cocoon of spider eggs.

08-19_uplandwspidermvc-023s.jpg

 

The most developed pollinated Pima cotton square.

08-19_pimasquare-mvc-029s.jpg

Day #162, various photos

August 12, 2007

An exotic Pima blossoms.

08-11_pimablossom_mvc-014s.jpg

 

 

A frilly Upland blossom

08-11pima_blossommvc-012s.jpg

 

 

Some Upland cotton buds about to open

08-11_mvc-020s.jpg

 

 

This Pima cotton started growing off at an angle, but is now correcting itself.

08-11_spimamvc-016s.jpg

 

 

Both Pima cotton plants. The foreground plant is the tallest of all six cotton plants. It has many buds, but has not yet blossomed.

08-11_2-065-pimasmvc-006s.jpg

 

The four Upland cotton plants

08-11_mvc-007s.jpg08-11_mvc-015s.jpg

 

 

This weekend the cotton plants will be entertained by the Blue Angels.

08-11_airshow_mvc-005s.jpg

 

Day #161, Upland cotton square appears

August 10, 2007

The Upland cotton blossoming featured in the Day #136 post now has a square starting to protrude trough the husk.

08-10_mvc-016s.jpg08-10_mvc-017s.jpg08-10_mvc-018s.jpg

The grove along the square’s top might be one of the four future fissure along which the square opens.

The Pima cotton square is about the same size as the Upland square, but still too far down in the husk to photograph.

Day #146, Pima cotton blossoming begins

July 26, 2007

Day #146, July 26

Time for the Pima cotton plants to strut their colors.

July 26, 10:15

07-26-1015_mvc-004f.jpg0-726-1015_mvc-001f.jpg07-26-1015mvc-002f.jpg

13:45

0726-1345_mvc-009f.jpg0726-1345_mvc-013f.jpg

July 27, 09:30

0727-0930_mvc-007s.jpg0727-0930_mvc-002s.jpg

13:15

07-27-1215_mvc-015s.jpg

16:00

0727-1600_mvc-017s.jpg

July 28, 14:15

0728-1425_mvc-001s.jpg

The blossom stopped developing between 13: 15 and16:00 on July 27, looking closely at the photos, one can see degredation begin.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.