Cotton Burr Compost

Cotton Burr Compost (CBC) is arguably the best compost in America. What makes it work so good?
IT'S ALIVE! And loaded with nutrients and diverse populations of micro-organisms. Both are vital to a sustainable organic environment.

As the cotton plant grows it absorbs nutients that end up in the stalks, leaves and seed pods. The pods are also called "bolls" or "burrs". In some areas these are left on the plant and farmers plow them back into the soil. However, in the Mid-South Delta region these end up at the gin where they are discarded as "gin trash". As the cotton and the seed are seperated everything else gets blown outside to an enormous pile where it either rots or the gin operator somehow gets rid of it.
For generations these piles have been an eyesore and a nuisance for gin operators. They were often burned, buried or dumped somewhere else until someone relaized that it could be composted and transformed from trash into a commodity. The problem is the cost of packaging and shipping.

Unfortunately there is a lot of false information that gets recycled on the internet from writers who wouldn't know what compost was if they fell into it. One of the biggest misconceptions that gets perpetuated is that cotton burr compost is somehow laden with chemicals and toxins that will ruin an organic garden.
That is just plain untrue. Anyone in the cotton industry will tell you that it is illegal to spray anything on a cotton field unless it has been dissipated prior to harvest.
The other point worth mentioniing here is that the composting process would break down any chemicals if present into their basic elements or renders them inert. I am on record stating that there is nothing to harm you or your organic garden.

According to the Soil Food Web, 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 e-coli concerns. It is capable of holding as much moisture as peat products, but unlike peat it re-wets easily. Remember that peat has anti-bacterial properties that destroy micro-organisms. That is why it has been used a a crude dressing for wounds. True composted products are free of pathogens and weed seeds because of they are broken down during composting process.

Scientists have also discovered that CBC is a natural fungcide and helps reduce pythium, rhizoctonia and fusarium. This is great news for those who grow roses. It also has a 'nuetral' pH level that roses love. As it reacts 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 CBC is teaming with micro-organisms. These micro-organisms work at converting carbon materials into the basic elements used by plants for growth. Dollar for dollar, this is the best commercially available 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 a compost product with a bulkng agent 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. < p>

CBC has taken all the guess work out of the equation and has produced incredible results. This is a great product for professional landscapers who specialize in design and installation. CBC increases the transplant survivability 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.

For more information I've linked to an article I wrote that has been featured on thousands of websites and blogs worldwide. You are free to use it as well, as long as you give proper atribution and link to this page.



Three Reasons Why Cotton Burr makes the best compost in America

As I have come to find, I am not the only person here in the region who loves this stuff. Recently I was featured in The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, TN. Read it here. It seems that when people go looking to find information on the internet about cotton burr compost they eventually end up on this page and for that we are trully grateful. Please leave a comment, criticsm or question below and help keep this information available for others.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Where to get Cotton Burr Compost 
I am in the Memphis area, too. Where can I get CBC? Brian, The Bartlett Nursery on Summer Ave/ Yale Road carries some but Dan West Garden Centers …

Organic Gardening Organically! 
Since I am relatively new to the organic gardening genre, I am discovering all sorts of things that I think are wonderful. I read about Bokashi on this …

Cotton Burr Compost 
Was doing research for a monthly garden tips article I write and cotton burr was mentioned as a type of compost. I had never seen it in the stores to buy …

Cotton Burr made a difference in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois 
I'm a landscaper on the North Shore near Chicago, where our soil is primarily compacted clay - alkaline. Up until this season, I have been using pine bark …

Great for soil amendment in new shrub beds. 
I use the Mississippi Delta 100% Cotton Burr Compost. I get it at Bartlett Nursery, on the corner of Summer Ave.(Highway 70) and Yale Rd. The staff there …

I'm sold 
I've used cotton burr compost some years ago for my ailing blue ash tree. The tree was attacked by common ash borers that affected 50 percent of the circumference …

Who knew? 
We've got clay for soil here in Atlanta as well. Will be passing this post on to gardner friends. I limit mine to gardening in pots. Easier... …

How about on alkaline soil? 
Our soil at our new (to us)home has been gardened extensively for 40 years with no amendments ever added. It is crusty sand and alkaline. Nothing grows …

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