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Thread: Cotton Seed Hull Mulch

  1. #1
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    Cotton Seed Hull Mulch

    I've mentioned this stuff is passing in other threads and I know Ann didn't seem to be familiar with it. I'm starting to think that's because the cotton-growing states might just be chuckling at passing this stuff off as mulch to the non-cotton-growing states. It is sold here as mulch. I merrily used it in my daylily bed in the fall--OK, no problems. Then, this spring I started putting it in pots with the unsprouted daylily/trumpet bulbils and then lamb's ear seedlings and trumpet vine seedlings. Tonight, I decided enough is enough when I saw what I would swear is a few of these 'hulls' sprouting ! Not to mention how the stuff weaves together and becomes a solid mat. It seems OK for tucking plants in their flower beds for the winter but not suited for pots. Anyone else experience this stuff ?

  2. #2
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    Yes, I was somewhat surprised at the idea of using it for mulch. It is still a big crop here. I see truck loads of the white fluffy stuff, and watch the fields grow.

    Hunter collected some seed from one that was flying around, and we planted it. It grew, but I decided I may not want them in my flower beds, so we decided to watch them from afar...

    Pine bark is usually the least expensive mulch around here, but with all the rain and heat, it doesn't last long.

    SO.... I have switched to cedar chips, the heavier kind that doesn't get washed away so quicky!

    Lots of people use the good ole Southern pine straw as well. It is plentiful, but usually full of seeds.

    Also, oak leaves are great for shady areas, but it tends to mat down a bit....

    I wanted to ask you a question. Is this the by product of removing the seeds and husks from the cotton?
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  3. #3
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    I just checked the bag. It reads 'Delta Oil Mill' Jonestown Mississippi. Cottonseed Hulls. I'd say that you're correct. And from what you wrote it does sound like some of that can germinate.
    Oh, also I haven't tried it but I have also seen cocoa hull mulch from where else but... Hershey PA. ! Isn't that funny.
    Seems like when someone has too much of something they come up with a 'mulch'. Now that I'm on a roll, I also remember years back something called Milorganite- a fertilizer/soil conditioner which I believe is sewage waste from Milwaukee.

  4. #4
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    I would think the cotton seed hulls would break down way too fast to make a good mulch, plus they are so small, they wouldn't provide much air circulation. But they might make a good soil conditioner.

    We have a farmers coop not far from here. When they gin the cotton, the seeds are extracted from the cotton and they go in different directions. Some of the seeds end up as cattle feed, others are processed for their oil, and others make their way into cotton seed meal fertilizer.

    I have used tons of a third byproduct we get free here at the cotton gin, It's generally referred to as 'cotton trash', a mixture of the bowls, stems, and some seed, leaves and cotton. During ginning season they generate mountains of the stuff, but by the end of spring most of it has been hauled off by gardeners. It is a lot more course than the seed hulls would be. It makes a pretty good mulch. It will compost rapidly and mixed in with the soil makes a good conditioner. But it takes a lot of it to do much good.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  5. #5

    "Mulch" is a personal preference

    Everyone has their own idea of what is the best mulch it seems.
    Around here in Ohio, it seems everyone is on a "black" organic mulch thang. But I love it too! You can get it at Lowe's and it is around $2.50 or so a bag. It looks dark and rich, has NO seeds in it, and decomposes in a year or so, to help condition and enrich the soil. I just spread 120 bags of it on my last landscaping job. If you left it laying on top of your soil, it could last 2-3 years before having to be replentished, but I tend to work it into my soil for myself, because my soil sucks and it needs all the help it can get..tee hee. Of course, it DOES stain your hands! But then, I hate gardening gloves and have to get my hands right in it..lol. But that is what BLEACH is for, right?
    Becki
    Becki B.
    Central Ohio
    Zone 5b-6

  6. #6
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    The cotton seed hull mulch has white stuff(cotton fiber) in it too. That's what makes it mat down. Makes a nice winter blanket for a flower bed.

  7. #7
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    cotton seed hulls

    Cotton seed hulls break down fast and build the soil fast. Earth worms seem to be drawn to the hulls. Added to you mulch beds and you'll get some great soil for potting soon. I have used a product called earthfood made from peanut hulls, cotton seed hulls and a few other products. Used as a top dressing and when it rains its acts like liquid plant food.
    Ken in GA

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