When you think of snow, frozen crystals falling from the sky to settling and creating a white layer on the ground may come to mind. However, in the South, where snow is not common because of the climate, cotton is referred to as the snow in South Georgia.

Cotton is one of Georgia’s top ten commodities, so it will not take you long to locate some while traveling through the state.

Cotton is planted in the spring when the soil is warm enough for the seeds to germinate. The soil temperature should be at 65 degrees Fahrenheit cotton also grows best in sandy loam soils, making them the southern part of the United States the ideal spot to grow southern “snow.”

While the cotton is growing, farmers need to keep their field as weed-free as possible. There are also other threats that can diminish cotton growth and impact cotton yields. The biggest threat is the weather, specifically rain and hurricanes in the Southeast. This is a critical reason why harvesting cotton on time is important.

Cotton harvest is usually completed during late fall. Machines like cotton pickers and combines harvest the cotton. These machines are in charge of removing the bolls from the stalk and removing the seed cotton from the spindles.

After the harvest, cotton stalks can become a decoration in your house, or the cotton itself may be used in items that are found around your house like q-tips, bedding, and your favorite t-shirt. If you don’t use the cotton stalks as decoration, most chop the stalks to prevent nematodes in the soil.

Cotton is used in our daily lives and continues to grow into new things each year. Most notably, it is also biodegradable. While the harvest season is coming to a close in south Georgia, be sure to look out your window to take in the beauty of the south Georgia snow.