Cottonseed meal fertilizer, a slow-release fertilizer, widely considered high quality and a dry by-product in the production of cotton.
First the cotton is removed from the cottonseed hull, the seed oil extracted and what’s left is processed into meal.
This organic fertilizer meal, used as a food for plants and animals is not an animal by-product as it contains no animal parts, making it totally vegan.
- Uses For Cottonseed Meal
- How Much Cottonseed Meal Fertilizer Do You Apply?
- Using Cottonseed Fertilizer in Your Garden
- Gardening Answers Knowledgebase
- Can You Feed Livestock Whole Cottonseed?
Uses For Cottonseed Meal
This natural fertilizer is applied prior to planting to treat high soil pH or to replace depleted trace minerals in the soil. The cotton seed meal has an n-p-k ratio of 6-0-4 (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). Due to its nutrients, it can play as a perfect nitrogen fertilizer.
Cottonseed meal improves the soil’s texture, helps build humic acid needed for proper plant growth and health. It loosens packed soil and helps give substance to light and sandy soils, aiding in water retention and also protecting the soil from rapid erosion.
When planting, use the fertilizer on flowering plants but do not apply to fast growing vegetable seedlings. It’s slow release let’s you apply to plants liberally as seedling do not burn. It helps plants and adult vegetables grow faster and to greater sizes.
Add cottonseed meal to the compost heap to add extra nitrogen to the compost as the process of decomposition requires extra nitrogen. Cottonseed meal also adds potash, phosphorous and other needed trace elements.
All these elements play a great role in the process of turning your discarded organic materials into great quality compost.
How Much Cottonseed Meal Fertilizer Do You Apply?
In a well-kept garden you don’t need much as healthy garden soil can nourish itself to a point. Tilling in 1-2 pounds of fertilizer per hundred square feet should provide sufficient nourishment for your plants.
If your garden only needs a bit of help, till in 4-6 pounds of fertilizer per hundred square feet. This will give the soil a boost it needs to deliver quality produce and plants.
NOTE: Always test soil before applying any soil amendments
In a neglected garden in need of much TLC add between 10 and 12 pounds of cotton seed mill fertilizer per 100 square foot of garden. A garden neglected for a long period of time will need as much help as it can get. This treatment gives is a good start to building garden soil back to health.
When you need to grow a green lawn in very unhealthy soil, use 8 to 10 pounds of fertilizer to 100 square feet. This needs mixing into the soil well, then leveled, seeded, packed and then watered thoroughly.
If your lawn is already amazing, just sprinkle the cottonseed meal or a mix of three quarter organic cottonseed meal and 1 quarter turf grass fertilizer.
The amounts run around 4 – 5 pounds per 100 square feet in the spring. Apply 3 pounds for mid-summer treatment or the above mentioned mix in a 2 pound and 1/2 pound ratio per 100 square feet. Just before winter hits, apply one more treatment of 3 – 4 pounds of the cottonseed meal fertilizer per 100 square feet for proper root development.
As noted above do a soil test before adding any type of fertilizer to make sure you give the vegetable garden the right amount of nutrients needed. Use the above mentioned amounts as a rough guide.
For the sake of safety and peace of mind, purchase pesticide-free cottonseed meal as cotton sprayed with pesticides may linger in the fertilizer. Most of these are GMO’S. A lot of suppliers offer pesticide-free options.
Cottonseed meal fertilizer as a soil conditioner makes soil more acidic. Do not work the fertilizer into soils of plants that prefer alkaline conditions.
These include plants like bridal wreath, mock orange, box elder and Japanese barberry to name but a few.
As mentioned above – do not use on fast growing vegetables while in the seedling stage.
Sources: 1 | 2 | 3
Using Cottonseed Fertilizer in Your Garden
Cottonseed fertilizer is a popular meal for plants. It comes as a by-product in the manufacturing of cotton. It is used as a slow release fertilizer for garden plants.
Cottonseed meal fertilizer is slow release and acidic. There are several commercial formulas available on the market and they vary slightly. Generally speaking, cottonseed fertilizer is made up of 7% nitrogen, 3% P2O5, and 2% K2O. It is made to provide your plants with several important elements and nutrients, above all nitrogen, potash and phosphorus. There are also other minor nutrients present in this meal. One great advantage is promotion of rapid growth of various landscape plants, vegetables and turfs. In addition to this, cottonseed fertilizer can also be used to eliminate runoff.
Safety and Advantages
One of the first things plant growers want to know is whether cottonseed fertilizer is healthy or not. The good news is that cottonseed is beneficial for many types of plants. It has a high organic content and it aerates tight, dense soil. Similarly, it can aid in retaining moisture in light, sandy soils.
Also, due to the slow release time, cottonseed meal is safe for generous use and for multiple use on the same plant. Cottonseed fertilizer is ideal for multi-use. This fertilizer can be used safely without danger of foliage burns. This way, cottonseed ensures healthy foliage on your plants. In addition to this, cottonseed fertilizer will increase crop production. Another advantage are rich flowers and fantastic blooms cottonseed fertilizer will bring.
Best for What Plants?
Cottonseed fertilizer can be used for a wide range of plants. Almost all plants can benefit from this meal fertilizer, but certain acid-loving plants are ideal for it. Cottonseed is best used for plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons or camellias as well as turf, shrubs, vegetables and roses.
Cottonseed Fertilizer for Acid Loving Plants
One of the most popular use of cottonseed fertilizer is for acid loving plants. The goal of using fertilizer for these plants is to lower the pH of the soil and also to increase availability of certain elements, such as magnesium and iron. One good sign that you should reduce pH values of the soil are yellowing leaves. If you notice yellowing leaves, consider applying cottonseed fertilizer to your plants.
It’s important to remember that most acid-loving plants have shallow root systems. It’s therefore good to mulch around them with 2 to 3 inches of cottonseed hulls. Another good thing you can do is to use a mixture of cottonseed, oak leaves or pine needles and peat moss. This will help retaining soil moisture and protect your plants from freezing in winter. In the summer, this mulch will keep the soil cool enough and protect the roots from heat. Also, adding a bit of cottonseed fertilizer or ammonium sulfate meal into this mulch will successfully prevent nitrogen deficiency for the plants during the breaking down of the mulch.
Cottonseed Fertilizer for Roses
You can use cottonseed fertilizer for your rose garden, but you must pay attention to several factors. Using cottonseed meal as fertilizer for your roses will slightly increase the acidity of the soil if you apply the amount of 1 cupful of cottonseed meal feed. Alternatively, you may use a combination of cottonseed meal fertilizer and bone meal. It’s probably best to apply this meal again late in the summer.
Cottonseed Fertilizer for Turf
You may use cottonseed fertilizer meal to make your lawns rich and more lush. This type of fertilizer can be very helpful for water retention and improving soil density. The slow release time of this fertilizer is ideal to ensure the best turf building.
If you want to use cottonseed fertilizer for turf, make sure to apply a 1-2 inch layer over the area to be seeded. In case the soil is very bad, you should use cottonseed fertilizer in the amount of about 8-10 pounds per 100 square feet.
For the established lawns, it’s best to use cottonseed as a fertilizer in the spring. You should apply cottonseed meal or alternatively, a mix of ¾ cottonseed meal and ¼ turf grass fertilizer. Apply it in the amount of 4-5 pounds per 100 square feet. Don’t forget to reapply in mid summer. It’s best to use 3 lbs. cottonseed meal or a mix of 2 lbs. cottonseed meal and ½ lb. turf fertilizer per 100 square feet. Finally, before the winter, reapply again, this time using 3-4 lbs. cottonseed meal per 100 square feet. You should do this in order to encourage healthy root development.
Cottonseed Fertilizer for Shrubs
If you want to use cottonseed meal fertilizer for shrubs, apply one cup of fertilizer into the soil around small shrubs and as much as 2-4 cups around the larger ones. If transplanting, you should dig a hole twice as wide as you need and backfill it with a mixture of cottonseed and soil. It’s important to remember to water regularly and generously. Continue to use cottonseed fertilizer even after the shrubs are established.
In addition to this, cottonseed meal fertilizer can be mulched around the shrub. Use about 1 pound per 100 square feet. This will help keeping the moisture and control weeds. In addition to this, it will prevent nitrogen deficiency and hasten decomposition.
Cottonseed Fertilizer for Vegetables
If you want to use cottonseed fertilizer for your new vegetable garden, it’s best to apply it to the soil in the amount of 4-6 lbs. cottonseed meal and 1-1 1/2 lbs. garden fertilizer to each 100 square feet. Alternatively, you may dig in about 1-2 inches of cottonseed fertilizer and mix it with grass clippings, decomposed leaves, rotted hay or another type of organic material.
For an established vegetable garden, you should apply the same amount of cottonseed meal but reduce the garden fertilizer amount by half. Don’t forget to include plenty of organic material. You should mulch around the plants with 1-2 inches of cottonseed meal. Make sure to work it into the soil and don’t forget to water generously.
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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase
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Plant Answer Line Question
Keywords: Mulching, Asparagus
Can cotton hulls be used as mulch on asparagus?
Here is what Stu Campbell’s book, Mulch It! (Storey Books, 2001) says about cottonseed hulls as mulch:
These hulls can be used most effectively around plants such as beans, which are suited to wide-row planting. Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer. Or you can wait until the plants have grown 3 or 4 inches high, then sift the mulch down through the leaves… Cottonseed hulls have a fertilizer value similar to, though not as rich as, cottonseed meal. Because they are so light, the hulls blow around in the wind.
Campbell discusses mulching asparagus with a choice of hay, leaves, straw, old manure, and compost for winter protection. You can leave these mulches in the spring, and the tips will emerge through the mulch. If you wish to extend your growing season, he recommends dividing your bed in 2 parts in spring. Mulch one half heavily with fine material like cocoa hulls, leaf mold, or ground corncobs. Leave the other half unmulched until shoots break through the mulched side. Then mulch the unmulched side. The half which was mulched earlier will bear a few weeks later than the other half.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has a web page on organic growing of asparagus crops which mentions other types of mulch (such as winter rye as a dying mulch and perennial ryegrass and Dutch white clover as living mulches) for this crop, applied at different times.
It sounds to me as if the main drawback with cottonseed hulls is their light weight. Otherwise, they should be acceptable as a spring mulch.
Keywords: Asparagus, Propagation
I planted young asparagus plants a couple of springs ago. This past fall, one of the plants produced fruits (small red balls like I’ve seen on Asparagus sprengeri.) I looked in my Hartman and Kester, but it did not mention means of using asparagus seeds to make more plants. Can this be done? If I left them on the plant outside all winter, are they still viable?
According to Franklin Herm Fitz in A Gardener’s Guide to Propagating Food Plants, it is possible to grow asparagus from seed, but possibly not if the seeds have been out in freezing weather:
“Collect the red berries from two-year-old or older female plants, harvesting before the first frost. Crush the berries and separate the seeds by hand (the seeds are large, shiny, and black) or by immersing them in water. The pulp will float as the seeds sink. Dry the seeds for 2 to 3 weeks. In the spring grow the new plants in deep, loose soil. After one season transplant them to a permanent bed (…) in early spring before growth resumes or in the fall after growth has ceased.”
Alternatively, as you probably know, asparagus roots may be divided and replanted, with the knowledge that each smaller root will take a year to become established so that it can produce a good crop.
As garden vegetables grow, they strip nutrients from the soil. Adding fertilizer gives your vegetables what they need to thrive.
Choosing the right type of fertilizer depends on the soil and the plants you’re growing. Some plants, such as watermelons and squash, are heavy feeders and require more fertilizer. Even if you have enriched garden soil with extra amounts of compost and composted manure, you may still need to fertilize. A soil test will give you all the information you need to figure out what kind of fertilizer to use. (See more on soil testing.) Your Garden Center associate is able to guide you based on your specific needs.
Always read product labels for usage directions, wear gloves and water plants before feeding to avoid burning the plant.
Choose a Vegetable Fertilizer:
Fertilizers are generally represented with numbers, such as 10-10-10 or 5-10-5. These numbers denote the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash.
- General or “complete” fertilizers are meant to meet most plants’ requirements throughout the season because they contain each type of nutrient. An example of a complete or general fertilizer would be a 5-10-5 fertilizer which contains 5 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphate, and 5 percent potash.
- Special-purpose fertilizers are formulated for certain plants or garden situations. Fertilizers designed for use on specific plants, such as tomatoes, feature ratios to stimulate the best performance for the particular plant.
Now that you understand the numbers, choose between organic and chemical fertilizers.
- Most organic fertilizers are made up of living organisms, like blood meal, bone meal, cottonseed meal and fish emulsion. Organic fertilizers are slower at releasing nutrients, can improve soil structure, and enrich the soil with nutrients.
- Chemical or synthetic fertilizers are fast acting, which makes them a good choice for plants in severe distress. They are often less expensive, and are derived from chemical sources.
How to Apply Slow-Release Fertilizer:
Slow-release or timed release fertilizers have a semi-permeable resin coating that releases small amounts of nutrients each time you water. These vegetable fertilizers feed plants for about 60 days and are often mixed with potting mixes.
- You can buy a slow-release fertilizer and till into the soil before you plant.
- Or, sprinkle in the garden bed at planting time or after planting, according to label directions.
How to Apply Liquid Fertilizer:
Feeding plants weekly or every 2 weeks with liquid fertilizer is an easy way to deliver nutrients. Adjust the frequency of application based on overall appearance and growth, and label directions. Check appearance and growth to decide whether you need to feed weekly at full or half strength.
- Choose fish meal emulsion or synthetic fertilizers and dilute with water, according to package instructions.
- After watering the garden, spray plant leaves and surrounding soil, or pour the solution at the base of plants every 2 weeks.
- If you choose to feed garden beds or containers weekly, you may need to dilute the liquid fertilizer to half strength.
- Slow-release vegetable fertilizer
- Vegetable fertilizer
- Liquid fertilizer
- Garden sprayer
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At least I think they are insect casings. There are the 3 products I generally use when planting in my organic garden.
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- This time is to be spent in reading the Question Paper
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- Tomato and pepper transplants were grown in Winstrip flats and drenched with 1/2 oz/gallon of seaweed/fish either bi-weekly weekly or two times weekly
- In order to protect yourself from price increases we suggest stocking up on liquid nitrogen now
- Fertilization using a slow-release high N content is important to both warm & cool season grasses
- Ringer Corporation vice president Fred Hunt markets natural fertilizers and microbes that kill Lawn Institute Director Eliot C
How Should You Feed Your Lawn And Garden? Let’s compare Organic vs Non Organic Fertilizer. Are you a solid supporter of organic fertilizing? Are you a Chocolate and raspberries. We love them because they make us feel good. PlanTea organic fertilizer makes plants feel good, too. Packed in small tea bags and brewed If you feed your pet human grade meat and bones fit for human consumption, safety is more likely. If you wouldnt eat it, why should your pet? If you wouldnt eat it, why should your pet? Possibly the most risky substances to feed raw from a food safety perspective are sausages, mince, hamburgers, fish, eggs and chicken. While feeding your Love growing Roses? Learn about the 10 DIY Rose Fertilizer and Remedies available in your kitchen that you can use to have healthy Rose plants! Posts about growing tomatoes in containers written by plantsondeck Tomatoes grow best in a full sun position but sheltered from the wind. They grow best at 21-24C and do not thrive at temperatures below 10C or above 27C and do not tolerate frost. Tomatoes tolerate a wide range of fertile and well-drained soils tending acid within a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. Some lime may need to be applied to very acid soils when growing tomatoes. The plants perform best
Can You Feed Livestock Whole Cottonseed?
Every year at least one person asks me whether or not whole cottonseed can be fed to their livestock. And after all of these years, the question still surprises me.
Cottonseed As a Supplement
Upland cottonseed is one of the best supplements, from a nutritional standpoint, that I have ever seen. It has a moderate protein level. It also has a high energy level derived from fat instead of starch and a moderate fiber level. Store it on the ground. The hairs on the seed, called linters, help to shed moisture from the outer shell.
However, it is difficult to feed, in that it doesn’t auger well, or flow like a grain will. So the only way to handle it is with a scoop, front end loader, or in buckets. And it’s hard to know how much you are feeding at a time, since it’s hard to guess how much seed is in each bucket, or scoop.
Cottonseed is not perfect, but I think a deeper evaluation will help to show its benefits and problems. First, let’s look at its protein level. Cottonseed can run from 17% to 26% total protein in the whole seed. Cottonseed meal has a protein level of 41% total protein. When the hulls and oil are extracted the meal is left.
The protein content seems to be higher in plants that had plenty of moisture during the growing season. The seed I have had analyzed from drought years from predominantly non-irrigated farms will be lower in protein than those that came from mostly irrigated farms. Look for an irrigated farm to get a higher protein content.
One of the main disadvantages of whole cottonseed is that most of the protein is in an undegradable form. As you should remember, protein has two factions depending on where it is metabolized by a ruminant. Degradable protein is the faction used by the microorganism in the rumen to create microbial protein. The undegradable faction passes through the rumen without being broken down and is metabolized in its original form in the abomasum.
For livestock grazing dormant winter forages, which have low levels of degradable protein, a supplement that is high in undegradable protein can hinder forage intake, due to lower numbers of microorganism in the rumen.
These microorganisms depend on degradable protein as their source of amino acids for existence, so a shortage in degradable protein, will limit their population numbers. When population numbers decline it takes longer to break down fiber in the diet. Having a sufficient amount of protein available in the rumen is critical.
This condition also exists for goats and deer that must rely on browse that has secondary compounds in them that tie up proteins. In a sense, these proteins that are tied up by these chemicals become undegradable protein, since they are unavailable to the microorganisms. However, most of these secondary compounds will be broken down by the acid and enzyme environment of the abomasum, and the proteins will be released to be metabolized in the abomasum.
So using cottonseed as the sole protein source can, with diets with low degradable protein values, result in protein deficiencies in the rumen of your livestock. To correct protein deficiencies feed a combination of a highly degradable protein sources. Some examples of a highly degradable protein source are urea. You can also feed a natural protein source like soybean or cottonseed meal. By feeding a combination of ingredients with different levels of degradability, you can better balance the protein factions of the diet.\
Energy Level of Cottonseed
Next let’s look at the energy level of cottonseed. No other feed that we normally use in livestock production can come close to the energy value of cottonseed. Soybeans are close, however, they require roasting to get the full benefit of the amino acids.
The oil, or fat, that is naturally in cottonseed is the source of this high energy level. The oil analyses that I have seen over the years have run from 15 to 22% crude fat, the measurement for oils in seeds and plants.
These high oil level result in energy levels of 0.96 to 1.12 Mcals of Net Energy maintenance per pound. As a comparison, corn runs around 0.88 Mcals per pound for whole seed.
The variation of fat content in the seeds seems to be similar to the protein levels in that seed from irrigated farms seem to have higher fat levels than those from dryland farms. So the better growth period the seed has, the more nutritive value it has.
The major plus of cottonseed is that this very high level of energy is derived from a fat source rather than a starch source. The significance of that is the effect it has on the rumen environment. When starch is added to a ruminant’s diet that is eating forages, the starch digesting microorganisms (amylotic) begin to increase in numbers at the expense of fiber digesting microorganisms (cellulotic) and make the rumen environment more acidic. At some point, the greater acidity will reduce fiber digestion because of the decrease in cellulotic organisms.
However, with a fat-derived energy source, you do not have a negative impact on fiber digestion unless the fat level of the entire diet gets around 8%. Supplementing with a 20% fat feed like cottonseed, you would have to feed around 10 pounds per day to reach this 8% fat level of the total diet.
The one energy problem with cottonseed is that energy from fats are not available to the microorganisms in the rumen. If the forages your livestock are eating have sufficient energy in them, fat from cottonseed being unavailable is not a problem. However, if the microbes are limited by a ruminal energy deficiency, try providing a source of energy available to the rumen.
If energy is needed try adding readily available sources like starches and sugars. So grains, molasses, natural protein sources, and good quality hay, all can complement cottonseed as an energy source if needed.
The final component of whole cottonseed that makes it a good supplement is the fiber component. The hulls surrounding the seed is the source of cottonseed hulls. In feedlots cottonseed hulls are popular because they satisfy the “roughage factor” in the rumen. For the rumen to work correctly, it has to have a slowly degrading fiber that will scratch the walls of the rumen to stimulate muscle contractions in the wall of the rumen. This keeps the contents of the rumen agitating, much like the contents of a washing machine, to allow the microorganisms to attach to the material and begin fermentation.
In pasture situations, the forages the livestock eat supply the fiber needed for the “roughage factor”. However, in a drought, added fiber from the whole cottonseed helps keeping the rumen functional. Cottonseed is the only supplement that can provide this fiber and high energy in the same package.
How Do I know If Feeding Whole Cottonseed is Right For My Operation?
So, now that I’ve sung the praises of whole cottonseed as a supplement, what are the best conditions to use, or not use, it?
Using whole cotton seed requires invested effort. As I said before, cottonseed does not flow like cubes or grains. Nor does it come in sacks. So you have to buy pretty large quantities, in bulk, if you want to use it. If you don’t have a gin or a farmer friend, close to you, buy a small trailer load. Be aware, you may have to buy a 50,000 pound truck load.
Some producers feed by estimating how many pounds are in a scoop and feeding with that. Other producers use buckets or trash cans. They estimate the weight in each container to figure out how much to feed at a time.
Most everyone feeds cottonseed to sheep, goats, and deer on the ground. Many prefer to feed cattle in troughs, to keep the waste down. If you are going to use cottonseed you may have to build or buy a feed trough to put it in.
In years when you are short of forage, or need a substantial energy supplementation, cottonseed is a great choice. However, in years, when you have abundant forage, of very good digestibility, cottonseed may not be the most economical choice. In those cases, if protein is the primary nutrient necessary, consider cottonseed or soybean meal. Cottonseed or soybean meal are typically the most cost effective per pound of protein.
You should always compare the costs of supplements based on the cost of the most needed nutrient in the supplement. Determine your greatest need. Find the supplement that corrects it then make sure and correct the other nutrients.
Cottonseed in no magic supplement, but it comes close. It has many properties that make it a great supplement for ruminants. However, like most everything else, it does come with some drawbacks. As long as it will work with your livestock operation, it is a great feed. It is generally less expensive than commercial feeds, and provides more energy than any other supplement available.
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