Cotton-Growing at Tumut
4 March 1863 The Sydney Morning Herald
Some time ago we asked those who were growing cotton m this neighbourhood to furnish us from time to time with an account of the progress of the plant in their respective localities.
To this solicitation one gentleman only Mr. Young, of Gocup, acceded; other growers evidently not deeming it worth their while to communicate the results of their experience.
We perceive, however, that Mr. G. Sturt has favoured the Yass Courier with his mode of treatment in this experiment, and which we publish for the benefit of those who never see that paper :-
"Elderfield, Tumut Plains, February 4th, 1863.
Dear Sir,- If my few remarks respecting the growth of the cotton plant with me will be acceptable, you may give it a place in your valuable issue.
In the month of October I planted forty rods in my best land, well protected from the west and easterly winds, but quite open to the influence of the sun during the day.
Scarcely a seed missed, and all were above the ground in twelve days, healthy and strong, and were advancing rapidly when they were assailed with a small grub, and in the course of eight days all my plants were destroyed with the exception of twelve, and these I preserved by using urine round the plant.
The most flourishing plant is the sea island cotton, which now has six pods, measuring in length three inches by one and a half in circumference, and the stem three feet in height.
The under shoots are still blooming, I do not know whether these should be taken away to throw more substance into the main stem.
It is my opinion the summer is too short to allow the plant to come to perfection, as we may next month expect frosts.
The land I chose could not be better, as I have sixteen acres of corn in the same paddock, and, notwithstanding the long drought, the corn will yield eighty bushels to the acre.
I planted the corn on the 1st September, and, consequently, it was so far ahead in October that the grubs could make no impression on it; but my neighbour, who did not plant till the 15th October, had the whole of his crop destroyed."