Breaking bolls in my Illinois garden

It’s official. I grew Alabama cotton in my Illinois home garden. Yesterday, as I watered my containers with an enthusiasm muted by the summer garden’s slow decline, I noticed the first white puff burst forth from its boll. I’m certainly not the first person to successfully grow this southern crop in northern climes, but a sense of accomplishment spread across my face as my fingers felt the softness of the cotton. I can’t take a great deal of credit for the success. Although I was sure to give it regular water, our lengthy, warmer-than-normal summer likely had more to do with the cotton’s success than my efforts.

If current environmental trends continue, central Illinois may feel more like Texas in 20-30 years. Then, when I’m in the late stages of my gardening life, perhaps Illinois cotton will be as well know as corn and soybeans. But this year, I can take pride in breaking conventional wisdom to enjoy the beauty of this southern staple.

Published by Christopher Tidrick

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

One Comment

  1. How fun. What a great feeling for you.



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