Cottonseed Meal Fertilizer: How To Use Cottonseed In The Garden

Cottonseed meal fertilizer, a slow-release fertilizer, widely considered high quality and a dry by-product in the production of cotton.

First the cotton is removed from the cottonseed hull, the seed oil extracted and what’s left is processed into meal.

cottonseed meal organic fertilizerPin

This organic fertilizer meal, used as a food for plants and animals is not an animal by-product as it contains no animal parts, making it totally vegan.

Uses For Cottonseed Meal

This natural fertilizer is applied prior to planting to treat high soil pH or to replace depleted trace minerals in the soil. The cotton seed meal has an n-p-k ratio of 6-0-4 (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). Due to its nutrients, it can play as a perfect nitrogen fertilizer.

Cottonseed meal improves the soil’s texture, helps build humic acid needed for proper plant growth and health. It loosens packed soil and helps give substance to light and sandy soils, aiding in water retention and also protecting the soil from rapid erosion.

When planting, use the fertilizer on flowering plants but do not apply to fast growing vegetable seedlings. It’s slow release let’s you apply to plants liberally as seedling do not burn. It helps plants and adult vegetables grow faster and to greater sizes.

Add cottonseed meal to the compost heap to add extra nitrogen to the compost as the process of decomposition requires extra nitrogen. Cottonseed meal also adds potash, phosphorous and other needed trace elements.

All these elements play a great role in the process of turning your discarded organic materials into great quality compost.

How Much Cottonseed Meal Do You Apply?

In a well-kept garden you don’t need much as healthy garden soil can nourish itself to a point. Tilling in 1-2 pounds of fertilizer per hundred sq. feet should provide sufficient nourishment for your plants.

If your garden only needs a bit of help, till in 4-6 pounds of fertilizer per hundred sq. feet. This will give the soil a boost it needs to deliver quality produce and plants.

NOTE: Always test soil before applying any soil amendments

In a neglected garden in need of much TLC add between 10 and 12 pounds of cotton seed mill fertilizer per 100 square foot of garden. A garden neglected for a long period of time will need as much help as it can get. This treatment gives is a good start to building garden soil back to health.

When you need to grow a green lawn in very unhealthy soil, use 8 to 10 pounds of fertilizer to 100 square feet. This needs mixing into the soil well, then leveled, seeded, packed and then watered thoroughly.

If your lawn is already amazing, just sprinkle the cottonseed meal or a mix of three quarter organic cottonseed meal and 1 quarter turf grass fertilizer.

The amounts run around 4-5 pounds per 100 square feet in the spring. Apply 3 pounds for mid-summer treatment or the above mentioned mix in a 2 pound and 1/2 pound ratio per 100 sq. feet. Just before winter hits, apply one more treatment of 3-4 pounds of the cottonseed meal per 100 sq. feet for proper root development.

As noted above do a soil test before adding any type of fertilizer to make sure you give the vegetable garden the right amount of nutrients needed. Use the above mentioned amounts as a rough guide.


For the sake of safety and peace of mind, purchase pesticide-free cottonseed meal as cotton sprayed with pesticides may linger in the fertilizer. Most of these are GMO’S. A lot of suppliers offer pesticide-free options.

Cottonseed mea as a soil conditioner makes soil more acidic perfect for acid-loving plants. Do not work the fertilizer into soils of plants that prefer alkaline conditions.

These include plants like bridal wreath, mock orange, box elder and Japanese barberry to name but a few.

As mentioned above – do not use on fast growing vegetables while in the seedling stage.

Recommended Reading

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3

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