Cottonseed Meal

Three days ago I visited a local feed and grain store in the DFW area and purchased some lawn fertilizer for use when our compacted lawn is core aerated. I asked the owner if they sold cottonseed meal. He answered yes and led me to a 50 pound container that was labeled cattle feed. It was a Bryant Feed product. The bag had an attached tag indicating that the product was cottonseed meal. He gave me a price of about $20. I asked him if the feed could be used as a fertilizer. He said yes. I looked for the nkp rating and none was displayed. There were other branded bags of cattle feed in the store containing other items including oats. I did not inspect the others to see if their main ingredient was cottonseed meal. I returned home and made some calls to garden supply stores and other feed and seed outlet.

I was told that cottonseed meal sold in garden stores was priced at about $6 or 7 for a three or four pound sized container. I was told that cottonseed meal sold as cattle feed does not by regulation require to have an nkp listing. I was told that the two different priced meals are bio-identical. I am contemplating using the meal from the 50 pound bag as a fertilizer for my bonsai’s.

I am not a Texas A & M grad. I am trying to confirm that the cattle feed cottonseed meal I purchased is the same product sold in garden supply stores.

As a second issue, I read through several old posts regarding the use of empty tea bags to hold fertilizer granular’s such as cottonseed, bone and blood meal and the problems associated with ground pests.

The past president of the bonsai club I belong too showed me a different way that might be a possible solution to the pest issue.

The Dart Container Company sells plastic lidded containers in various sizes to include one and two ounce sizes. These items are often found in fast food restaurants in their condiment section to hold katchup or mustard. Whole foods has them as sample size containers for soup or other goodies. Obtain one or two with lids. Clean them out if used or purchase a sleeve from a kitchen supply outlet.

Take an ice pick and make a hole in center of the bottom of the container large enough to hold a one inch galvanized nail. Make a series of holes, 10 or 12 or more on the sides of the container and the top. Add your mix of cottonseed meal, blood and bone meal or any other granular item you use as your fertilizer mix. At the beginning of your fertilizer use period, place two filled lid closed or open containers (or more) in the soil of your pot avoiding the nail penetrating surface roots. Rain or hose water will enter the holes in the lid and the fertilizer will seep out of the side holes. As the season lengthens add more filled containers as needed.


Your feed store meal will have % protein on the label. Protein is about 6.25% nitrogen. So if it was 40% protein 0.4 x 0.025 = 0.025 or 2.5 N.


That should be 0.4 x 0.0625 = 0.025


With the cottonseed meal feed, I think you are good, if it’s cheaper sold as animal feed go with that. I bought a bag sold as fertilizer from the local farm supply place I think it was $27 for 50 lbs. But it’s got to be the same stuff, make sure it’s ground as meal, they do sell whole cotton seed as animal feed as well.

Sounds like a great price. If you’re concerned about the product being harsh - or ineffective - testing it on less expensive trees might be a place to start.

Fun idea about the condiment containers - will be curious to hear what you think of the approach towards the end of the season.