Archive for May, 2007

Day #90, cotton and a warm trend

May 31, 2007

A recap of the recent warm weather


Day #, Temperature

86, planting day 60

87, 72

88, 85

89, 94

90, 82, cooling trend to continue for several days



Being house plants, they had not acclimated to warm weather, and by day #88 were displaying sunburned leaves.


The only cotton plant that did not survive was a Pima. There were essentially no roots to maintain necessary water uptake.


Morning and evening shots of the cotton plants. In evening photo, the above mentioned Pima has been replaced by an 8 oz. Pima.


Day #87, cotton plants first day out in the sun

May 28, 2007

The temperature topped out at 72-degrees today. Larger plants did not do well. The lack of roots prevented adequate water uptake. This larger Upland is typical of the current state of disaster.



The slug bait worked. About a dozen slugs were affected.


Day #86, planting day

May 27, 2007


The danger of frost passed about two weeks ago. However, the night temperatures have been in the mid-40s. Somewhere in my recent reading about cotton an article went into details of how lower temperatures can cause nodes can develop on the cotton plant roots roots that later interfere with plant development. An Internet search for th article did not locate the source. Recent low night temperatures have been in the mid-50s, and the ten-day forecast indicates an upward trend.


Potted up two Pimas, and four Uplands. The reason for this choice is that, based on my reading, Pima cotton takes longer to mature than Upland, and in the USA more Upland is grown than Pima. Not the most rational decision making, but the decision is made. The quantity select was to ensure there would be enough light and space to thrive with seven tomato plants, and several other smaller potted neighbors.


The plants were selected on presence of of lateral meristem development. The selection was-

two – 32oz. containers of Pimas

two – 32 oz. containers of Uplands and

two – 8 oz. containers of Upland container.


These photos show roots on a 32 oz. Pima, no evidence of a large tap root on the bottom view.



The roots were much more fragile than anticipated. Moist soil provided enough force to shear about 2/3-3/4 of the roots from the three of the four larger root systems.


The planting medium is Turfking Potting soil. I selected this because the composition seemed like a safe medium for starting, and the plants looked so Prozacally blissful on the label.


The current plant is to water the plants for the first several weeks, and let them adjust from being house plants to their more natural setting, kind of like Montessori school for cotton plants.


Looking north on our untidy patio, two Pima are on the left-most column, and the Uplands are to the right, or east. The three top rows are 32 oz container plants. The middle back cotton plant, survived planting with its root system in one piece. Pimas might be larger than Upland cotton plants, and may need to be relocated later to ensure Uplands receive maximum sunlight.


Cotton planted pots are spaced approximately 30” on-center. The distance between plants will be increased if necessary.




This photo is looking west-northwest. Looking at the sky, there may be rain tonight, which usually bring out slugs. That golden stuff on the patio that looks like breakfast cereal is slug bait.



This was a good day for planting, about 60-F, and little wind.



And still no hard drive

May 25, 2007

Expecting my “new” hard drive by now. Went back to the RMA to read the fine print. Apparently Fujitsu considers 30 days a reasonable turn-around time, with the provisio the user can expect a longer wait.  My ten days wait of an exchanged drive is out the window.

Sorry for the technological glitch.   Be assured the cotton is doing its cottonly thing.

No hard drive, no posts

May 16, 2007

My hard drive crashed over the weekend.  Will start reposting in about ten days.

Day #74, gossypol and lateral meristems

May 15, 2007

The intent was to show leaf venation, but more was captured. The black spots on this Pima cotton leaf are the gossypol glands. These glands release a substance that is toxic to humans and other non-ruminant mammals when eaten. The cotton seed is considered possibly high-protein, and the cotton’s genes have been modified to remove this toxin. Anyone for some cotton flavored ice cream? If you want to learn more about gossypol, you might want to start here –


Each tick on the measuring tape is 1/32”.

Pima venation and gossypolpima leaf and tape


The Upland cotton plants are starting to set lateral meristems. Hopefully some of these forthcoming branches will be homes of future cotton bolls. The cotyledons have not been removed with the intent of slowing the cotton plant’s growth.


Day #65, pivoting cotton plant leaves

May 6, 2007

From when the cotyledons matured, to the present, both Pima and Upland cotton plant’s leaves have pivoted down from what seems to be the blade end of the petioles at night. Both sets of photos are of an Upland, the Pima leaves would not align correctly for photographing. The left photo shows the leaf-petiole junction with the blade in an almost vertical night position. The right was taken during daylight. Please note, one plant is turned approximately 180-degrees.


The next two of photos shows a set of leaves at night, and during daylight. The bottom leaf in the left photo forming an acute angle between the petiole and the blade is the same lowest dark small leaf in the right photo forming an obtuse angle with the petiole.


Whatever this action is, it must take a lot of the plant’s energy, and be important as it starts early in the plant’s life.