Cotton Burr Compost (CBC) is arguably the best compost in America. What makes it work so good? IT’S ALIVE! and loaded with diverse populations of vital micro-organisms. Cotton is a very heavy feeder, absorbing massive amounts of nutrients as it grows. These nutrients end up in the in the seed pods, also called ‘bolls’ or ‘burrs’. In most areas these are left on the plant and farmers plow them back into the soil.
In the Delta region these end up at the gin where they are discarded as ‘gin trash’.
For years these piles were an eyesore and a nuisance for gin operators. They were often burned, buried or dumped somewhere else until some enterprising souls discovered that it could be composted and made into some of the best commercially available compost.
Unfortunately there is a lot of false information that gets pumped out regularly that cotton burr compost is somehow laden with chemicals. That is just plain untrue. Anyone in the industry will tell you that it is illegal to spray anything unless it has dissipated prior to harvest. Another thing is that the composting process breaks down any chemicals if present into their basic elements or renders them inert. There is nothing to harm you or your organic garden.
Cotton Burr Compost is unsurpassed in it’s ability to break up clay soil. CBC contains twice the nutrient value as manure composts but without the no e-coli concerns! It is capable of holding as much moisture as peat products, but unlike peat it re-wets easily, holds moisture and can last for up to two growing seasons depending on the desired crop. It is free of pathogens and weed seeds because of they are also broken down into basic components during composting process.
CBC helps eliminate the need to apply soil fungicides to control pythium, rhizoctonia and fusarium. This is great news for those who grow roses. It also has a neutral pH level that roses love. As it breaks down with water it releases massive amounts of beneficial microbes and soluble nutrients that also serve as fungicide and disease controllers.
Laboratory testing has shown that it is teaming with micro-organisms. These micro-organisms work at converting carbon materials into the basic elements used by plants for growth.
Adding CBC is a critical amendment to any soil because it helps to balance the Soil Food Web above as well as beneath the surface. Dollar for dollar, this is the best compost that I have found to amend and raise the organic matter level in any soil.
In my opinion the best CBC comes from Mississippi Delta region. Compared to other regions, it contains a carbon to nitrogen ration that allows it to complete the compost naturally without any catalysts or starters. Water is the only thing that is added.
With an effective life up to two growing seasons, amending your soil with it literally cuts the work in half, as well as the cost! Avoid products that contain fillers. Some “water down” their product by adding recycled tree and yard waste.
Yet another additive that is used is animal waste. Now, granted, there are practical ways to recycle and use animal waste to nourish the soil, after all farmers have been doing it for years. But why pay top dollar for an additive of lesser quality?
In my region of the country (Memphis, TN) We have clay for soil. When new homes are built, the contractor grades the clay and then has a crew come and lay sod grown at a local sod farm. This is a recipe for short term green and long term failure. Experts agree that a layer of CBC between one quarter to half an inch thick be applied before the sod is installed. This is also the time to fill in low spots and contour surfaces to personal taste. Viola! Instant success!
“How to I increase the organic matter levels in my lawn?” You can use this product to top dress existing lawns. It only takes about two weeks and then lawn begins to explode into green! You can also either till it in to your garden or simply spread it around pre-existing plants to enjoy it’s remedial benefits.I have used CBC on bare clay to start new lawns directly from seed. If you have ever done that you know just how tricky starting a new lawn by seed can be. Rarely do you get consistent growth over the entire area and you end up re-seeding.
CBC has taken all the guess work out of the equation and has produced incredible results. The other part of this is that I use Mycorrhizal Fungi inoculate a new lawn to establish root systems and increase nutrient uptake as soon as possible. This is a great product for professional landscapers who specialize in design and installation. CBC increases the transplant suitability rate of flowers, trees, shrubs and grasses. As any businessman will tell you, when you have to return to a site and replace dead flowers and shrubs it eats up the profits fairly quickly.