Cotton Burr Compost – Georgia

Q: I recently returned from Kansas and brought back some cotton burr compost. I’ve read this is excellent for gardens, although it’s very stinky. Why can’t I find it in the Atlanta area?

A: University of Georgia cotton expert Guy Collins says cotton burr is basically gin trash: broken seeds, leaves, stems, etc. that are a byproduct of pulling cotton fiber off the seeds. Composting it is a good use for material that was formerly thrown away. Your compost has an analysis of 1-0-1 and plenty of soil-softening organic matter. I’ve not seen it for sale locally because we have few gins nearby. Local gardeners use cotton seed meal (6-0-1) as fertilizer and composted wood fiber for soil amendment instead.