|I live in St Louis. Can I grow cotton in this area, enough that I can make a wreath? If so can you please direct me?|
|You certainly can, though you may have to protect them from frost early/late in the growing season. You can start seeds indoors in pots to get a jump on the season, just as you would with most other garden plants. They require presoaking for better germination (24 hours in tepid water). Plant them about 6 weeks before setting out (a couple of weeks after danger of spring frost has passed). Keep soil moist and place the pots in a warm spot (70F). When they sprout, place them within a couple inches of a growlight tube. Transplant the seedlings into fertile soil in full sun after a period of hardening off. Hardening off is a process of gradually exposing them to the elements and takes about a week. Place them outside for a couple of hours the first day, in a place sheltered from wind and strong sunlight. Increase the time and reduce protection each day, and they should toughen right up!|
Plant seedlings 12" apart in full sun in rich, moist, well-drained soil. They need between 100-150 frost-free days to mature, depending on the variety. Native Seeds/SEARCH offers a "short-season" variety, 'Hopi Short-Stapled'. You can request a catalog by calling 520/327-9123. Orders can be faxed to 520/327-5821. Hope this helps!