This spring my cotton plants were hit by a late frost and died. So in mid June I put in a few green cotton seeds hoping to at least have seeds for next year. I knew my crop would not have a long enough growing season to produce a full set of cotton.
Well the bolls formed, but wouldn't open, except for one. I have been worrying over the coming frost, so I took matters into my own hands. The technique I settled on was to use a table knife and slice along the natural spines of the cotton bolls. I sort of pry the sides open and wait a day. Finally, I pop the inside supports so the bolls curl back and fluff the cotton. The sun will bring it to full color.
I don't know if I will get any viable seeds, but the bolls do seem to be opening and drying out. I can bring them in to a windowsill to finish off, if I must. We must wait until spring to see if my seeds work.