How to Compost With Cottonseed Meal


Cottonseed meal is organic matter that is leftover from the production of cotton and cottonseed oil. It is typically made of the pulp of cottonseed after it has been milled to produce the oil. Cottonseed meal can be used as feed for animals, mulch for plants or it can be composted to produce a nitrogen-rich soil amendment. Since cottonseed meal is considered to be nitrogen-rich, it is classified as a green organic compound. Cottonseed meal is so high in nitrogen that it should be mixed in an even ratio with carbon-rich brown material such as fallen leaves.

Step 1

Chop fallen leaves by running over them with a lawn mower. Transport all organic material to the site where you plan to build your compost pile.

Step 2

Mix straw, newspaper, shredded leaves and hay into a carbon-rich mixture of brown organic material.

Step 3

Pile cottonseed meal and brown organic material in layers into a pile that is 5 feet square.

Step 4

Check the temperature of your compost pile by insetting the probe from a compost thermometer into the center of the pile. Your compost pile should heat to an internal temperature between 130 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Stir the compost pile with a garden fork any time that the temperature of the pile drops below 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the center of the pile is shifted to the outside, and the outside is moved to the center.

Step 6

After the entire pile has been heated to 130 degrees, cover the pile and allow it to decompose for 6 weeks. Then sift out any large pieces of compost and add the fine soil particles to your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Fallen leaves
  • Hay
  • Straw
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Cottonseed meal
  • Shovel
  • Compost thermometer
  • Garden fork


  • Texas A&M Website: Compost
  • Old Garden Roses and Beyond Website: A Primer on Soil - Organic Amendments
  • National Cottonseed Products Association: Beautiful Gardens with Cottonseed Meal A Slow Release Organic Fertilizer

Who Can Help

  • Planet Natural Website: Cottonseed Meal
  • University of Illinois Extention Website: Building Your Compost Pile
Keywords: Cottonseed Meal, green organic matter, brown matterial

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.