Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sad story about the cotton crop

I attended a workshop in October 2013 about spinning cotton - on your wheels. It was great fun and I came away with a new passion and respect for cotton as a fibre. We were each given a couple of seeds of Heritage Bush Cotton in our workshop kits. I got a few more seeds from other participants for a total of 6 seeds. I planted then on May 20th and 5 came up. 

They grew nicely and in a short while I transplanted them to a sunny hot corner of the garden. 

They grew slowly and steadily -- reaching about 24 - 30 inches in height. 

And then the magic happened. This thing that looks like a folded over leaf is actually the beginning of the blossom. 

See, when I gently fold back the greenery, inside is the beginning of a blossom.

And here it is when it finally bloomed. What is sad is that it took so long to get to the blooming phase that there wasn't time and heat for the rest of the process. In the rest of the process, the flower gets pollinated, closes up and makes the cotton boll. That didn't happen. What happened was the cold rains came. The plants valiantly flowered on, but the blossoms just folded up and rotted. 

A few weeks ago we had Arctic outflow winds for several days. In fear that the cotton plants wouldn't survive the sub-zeros nights and the windchill, I dug them up and brought them in the house. Where they promptly died or went into dramatic dormancy - I am eternally optimistic.

I can't show photos of that as it is far too upsetting. We'll see what happens in the spring if they come back. In the meantime, I'm getting more seeds and I'll plant them in February so they are well on their way by the time the summer heat comes. They really needed another couple of months, I'll keep trying.

1 comment:

  1. So sad! The one cotton plant I tried to grow also died and it wasn't nearly as large and lush as yours. There's a reason why they don't grow cotton in the Lower Mainland! Blueberries and raspberries, yes. Cotton, not so much.