Rice might seem boring on the surface, but it is comfort food that is not only soothing but also nutritious and fulfilling. Rice is undoubtedly one of the most-consumed staples – it is highly prized worldwide.
Are you tired of buying inorganic foods and staples, such as rice? The great news is that it is possible to grow your rice at home. If you are a farmer or have loads of space, such as fields, you are in luck. Growing rice crops demands loads of sunshine, space, and water.
However, if you don’t have the land to grow rice, your only option is to grow rice at home in pots. Yet, you need to be realistic about growing rice at home – if everything goes well, the rice grown at home will suffice for no more than two meals.
Besides, if you live in a cool region, you will need to invest in growing lights to harvest your rice indoors. If your backyard is spacious enough, you can purchase treated rice, as treated rice keeps birds away.
Understanding the Basics – Upland vs. Lowland Rice
Growing rice at home is a fun way to tell your kids where rice comes from and which things are involved in making a rice bowl. Growing rice requires meticulousness – if anything goes wrong, it will impact the quality of rice.
As a first-time rice-grower, you should know that there are two types of rice:
- Upland rice
- Lowland rice – also known as Paddy rice
The paddy rice fields are the crops that grow well in flooded fields – the fields are referred to as paddies. On the other hand, upland rice is sown in dry soil, which explains why upland rice is better than home-grown rice.
Understandably, you will want to grow good-quality rice at home, so it is recommended to grow Duborskian eco rice seeds that can mature in three months from transplanting. This type of rice is also suitable to grow in a colder region as it can survive through a light frost.
However, if you decide to grow your seeds in standing water (paddy rice), you must cover the pots fully; otherwise, the pots will be a ground for mosquitoes to breed.
Buy Organic Rice Seeds to Grow Rice
Many first-time rice-growers believe that the rice bought from the grocery stores will serve as seeds; however, this doesn’t work. In rare cases, people make successful use of using brown rice (organically-grown) as seeds; however, we recommend getting rice seeds from the best organic seed seller.
You might want to use rice seeds with the husk on them that are raw seeds.
Suppose you don’t live in a warm region; in this case, you will need to start growing your rice indoors; ideally during the frost-free season.
The rice planting process starts with the germination process. You must soak the organic rice seeds in water for up to three days. Ensure to rinse the water at least once during these 36-hours while keeping them fully soaked in water.
The tell-tale sign that germination has started is the origination of tiny rootlets. Once you detect the tiny outlets, you will want to take the seeds with the tiny rootlets out of the water and allow them to dry for one day (24-hours).
Grow Rice in Big Pots (without Holes) at Home
Now, if you are ready to grow rice at home and you have a grand backyard, you can invest in several larger pots that are approximately seven gallons big. Subsequently, arrange for the germinated rice to be transferred to a suitable place where you can flood them.
If you don’t have pots, you can use a kiddie pool – it will work as well. If you ask any rice-growing expert, they will tell you to use a potting mix enriched with fertilizer to grow rice. If you are using pots, make sure there are no holes in them.
Growing Lowland Rice at Home
Ideally, You should plant the germinated seeds approximately half-inch deep. Afterward, saturate the potting mix very gradually with water until you reach the rim of the pots. By adding water gradually, you will prevent the seeds from getting washed out.
As mentioned before, rice requires tons of sunlight to grow, so you must place the rice pots in a sunny location. At night, when the temperature drops, you might want to move the rice pots to a warmer protected place – in the case of paddy rice, you will have to pay attention to the water level – it should remain constant.
Typically, the rice stalk will grow until July – however, it might vary from one region to another. Once the seeds of the rice stalks turn brown, the rice is ready!
Growing Upland Rice at Home
The seedling process of Upland rice is not so much different than the lowland rice. Once the seeds have developed tiny roots during the germination process, you should plant the rice in pots or land that is filled with fertilized potting soil.
You might plant them in compost directly and also cover the seeds in compost inside the pots. The primary difference between the lowland and upland rice growth process is that upland rice is not flooded but only kept moist.
In the absence of rain, you might want to ensure that you water the rice regularly. If you reside in a particularly warmer region, you can sow the rice seeds directly into the soil without germinating the seeds first. However, you must keep the potential rice fields free of weeds.
Harvesting the Rice
Irrespective of the rice type – lowland rice or upland rice, it is harvested the same way – once the rice is ready. Rice that is ready to be harvested has turned-down brown seeds.
You need to cut down the entire rice stalks, tie them together in a bunch, and allow them to dry out for a couple of weeks in a ventilated and dry space. The subsequent steps of threshing, winnowing, and hulling might require some tools as these are challenging to do with hands.
If you are serious about growing rice at home, you might want to consider investing in specialized tools as well.