Can a Connecticut Yankee grow a Dixie crop in a Midwestern garden?

Last fall, I wrote about a friend of mine whose incredulity reached new heights when she learned that I had never seen cotton growing or felt raw cotton in my hands. Not one to let this travesty go without remedy, she and her son picked cotton from her father’s farm in Alabama and promptly shipped in here to Illinois to correct my transgressions.

When the package arrived, my son suggested we try to grow cotton from the seeds that we separated out of the cotton bolls. So a few minutes ago, I took twelve of the healthiest looking seeds and planted them, four in each pot, and put them under our grow lights with the rest of our seedling trays.

It might be a stretch to think this city boy, born and bred in the NYC metro area, can grow the staple of the south this far north in Illinois. But gardeners aren’t pessimists by nature, and so I’m going to give it my best attempt and see if this Connecticut Yankee can grow this Dixie crop in his Midwestern garden.

Published by Christopher Tidrick

Be real. Love always. Share beauty. Lead well. Learn more.


  1. Good luck from another Southerner! I'll be watching your progress with much interest. I've never grown it, either, but I would consider doing so someday, especially with the resurgence of some of those old heirloom varieties that grow naturally green, yellow, and brown fibers. No need for dye. 🙂



  2. We will be growing cotton and edible soybeans in earthboxes with kids at our Museum of Science and Industry Smart Home Garden, also at our Cook County Jail Garden.



  3. […] official. I grew Alabama cotton in my Illinois home garden. Yesterday, as I watered my containers with an enthusiasm muted by the […]



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