For pot culture, the soil should consist of three parts turfy loam to one of leaf-mould and thoroughly rotted manure, adding enough pure grit to keep the compost porous.
On this should be laid at least a foot thick of coarse, hard, rubbly material, a layer of rough turf, grass side downwards, being spread over it to prevent the compost from working down.
The urine should be allowed to putrefy, as in its decomposition a large amount of ammonia is formed, which should then be fixed by sulphuric acid or gypsum; or it may be applied to the growing crops after being freely diluted with water or absorbed in a compost heap. Liquid manures can be readily made from most of the solid manures when required, simply by admixture with water.
In the second case all roots that have struck downwards into a cold uncongenial subsoil must be pruned off if they cannot be turned in a lateral direction, and all the lateral ones that have become coarse and fibreless must also be shortened back by means of a clean cut with a sharp knife, while a compost of rich loamy soil with a little bone-meal, and leaf-mould or old manure, should be filled into the trenches from which the old sterile soil has been taken.
It is well, therefore, to burn the tops of the plants in the fall, rather than to plough them under or to throw them on the compost heap.
In contrast with the farmers of the 'sixties, the southern planter of the 10th century appreciates the value of his cotton seed, and farmers, too remote from the mills to get it pressed, now feed to their stock all the cotton seed they conveniently can, and use the residue either in compost or directly as manure.
The soil should be a light and fairly rich compost, comprising about 2 parts loam, I part decayed manure or horse droppings that have been thoroughly sweetened, I part leaf mould and half a part of sand.