Red Foliated White Cotton

Gossypium hirsutum          120 days

cotton 2 1000 by 750

Definitely not a traditional crop for Northern Indiana, yet you can grow cotton in our region with a little extra care. Red Foliated White Cotton is a 120 day variety, whereas most commercial cotton grown in the south is 150 – 160 day. I am able to get usable cotton fibers, but not in the same volume as you would get in the south. Also, the early bolls ( harvested in Sept.) produce viable seed in the north. This opens the possibility for regionalization. Cotton is a beautiful plant and works well in a flower bed or grown in a pot. Red Foliated has dark red leaves, stems, and bolls (the swollen seed pod) and red/pink flowers. The plants grow to about three feet tall. Start indoors 6-8 weeks before planting outside, after all danger of frost has passed. The cotton can be harvested once the boll splits open and the cotton fibers begin to push their way out. Red Foliated is an heirloom cotton and has shorter fibers than modern cottons. I plan to continue experimenting with this variety as well as searching for other heirloom, short season varieties. I believe cotton can play a role in the permaculture/mini farm here in the north, though I doubt it has much commercial potential

 

Duborskian rice beds

Red Foliated Cotton flower

Rice bird netting

Cotton in september

Hanging rice in shed

Cotton boll

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *