What Is Cotton Burr Compost: How To Use Cotton Burr Compost In Gardens

Cotton Bolls on the Plant
Image by sihasakprachum

By Liz Baessler

Any gardener will tell you that you can’t go wrong with composting. Whether you want to add nutrients, break up dense soil, introduce beneficial microbes, or all three, compost is the perfect choice. But not all compost is the same. Many gardeners will tell you that the best stuff you can get is cotton burr compost. Keep reading to learn more about how to use cotton burr compost in your garden.

What is Cotton Burr Compost?

What is cotton burr compost? Usually, when cotton is harvested, the plant is run through a gin. This separates the good stuff (the cotton fiber) from the leftovers (the seeds, stems, and leaves). This leftover stuff is called cotton burr.

Advertisement

For a long time, cotton farmers didn’t know what to do with the leftover burr, and they often just burned it. Eventually, though, it became clear that it could be made into incredible compost. The benefits of cotton burr compost are great for a few reasons.

Mainly, cotton plants famously use up a lot of nutrients. This means those beneficial minerals and nutrients are sucked out of the soil and up into the plant. Compost the plant and you’ll get all those nutrients back.

It’s very good for breaking up heavy clay soil because it’s coarser than some other composts, like manure, and easier to wet than peat moss. It’s also full of beneficial microbes and bacteria, unlike some other varieties.

How to Use Cotton Burr Compost in Gardens

Using cotton burr compost in gardens is both easy to do and excellent for plants. If you want to add it to your soil before planting, simply mix in 2 to 3 inches of compost with your topsoil. Cotton burr compost has so many nutrients that you may not have to add more for two growing seasons.

Many gardeners also use cotton burr compost as mulch. To do this, simply lay down an inch of compost around your plants. Water thoroughly and lay down a layer of woodchips or other heavy mulch on top to keep it from blowing away.

Print This Article
This article was last updated on
Did you find this helpful?
Share it with your friends!

Additional Help & Information

Didn't find the answer to your question? Ask one of our friendly gardening experts.

Do you know anything about gardening? Help answer someone's gardening question.

Read more articles about Cotton.

Search for more information

Use the search box below to find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: