Friday, October 22, 2010

Cotton Fields in October

Here is something that I didn't know about growing cotton, but have started to figure out by observation of the fields that are across the road: Cotton plants get defoliated before harvesting, either naturally by the weather, or with chemical defoliants.

I knew nothing about the life cycle of the cotton plant, but this page on helped me learn a bit. A cotton plant needs 160 frost-free days, lots of heat, and fertile soil to reach maturity. It first produces white flowers, which then turn pink and fall off. That's when the familiar boll (or pod) starts forming, with the cotton fibers growing from the seeds within.

Although harvest has begun on some fields where the plants have already lost their leaves, "our" fields across the road are still producing and aren't quite ready to be picked. I tried to get a field photo, a plant photo, and a close-up of the bolls.


becky said...

That's interesting, Clair... I didn't know they grew cotton in Las Cruces. The last photo makes me want to pick it! By the way, your new header is gorgeous!
One of my favorite yet!
Have a nice weekend!

the7msn said...

Holy moly! That new header photo is magnificent! And I learned something about cotton, too. Thanks.

Sandy ~~~ said...

OMG --- your header is awesome and inspiring! I love cotton, one of my most favorite natural fibers!

LV said...

You awoke memories for me today I had rather let rest. Many, many days I pulled a cotton sack along rows of cotton. The fields looked just like these.

matron said...

I have never seen a cotton bush,so found this post most interesting.We do have wild bog cotton on the moor,the cotton heads look just like the cotton in the photo,It makes me wonder if the bog cotton could be processed in the same way.
Thank you for the lovely comment you left for me when I was unwell,I appreciate very much.

Birdman said...

It's the 'fabric of our lives' in more ways than one.

Viola said...

So very interesting to see! A cotton field!! :) It should be very warm over there, to cultivate these cotton! =)