Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Growing Rice in Buckets

How to Grow Rice in Your Garden
Growing Rice in a Container Garden

By Maxx, published Apr 28, 2008
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Rice is an unusual and fun plant to grow in your garden or on your porch. The secret to growing rice is that you have to recreate the flooded rice paddy for the rice to thrive in.

Grow Rice Step One: Collect all of your clean plastic buckets and empty plastic laundry soap buckets to work in. You do not want to use any container that has holes in the bottom that would let the water out.

Grow Rice Step Two: Buy some long-grain brown rice from the bulk bins at the grocery store or in a bag. Organically grown rice will reproduce better than some long-grain brown rice, but most kinds seem to have some grains that sprout. Your goal is to find brown long-grain rice that is as close to untouched by machines and chemicals as possible. White rice will not work because it has been processed. Or, you can buy a package of your favorite rice seed from a gardening supply outfit.

Grow Rice Step Three: Fill your buckets with about 6" of dirt or potting soil. Add water until it is about 2" above the soil level and toss a small handful of your store bought long-grain rice into the bucket; they will sink so that they are lying on top of the dirt under the water.

Grow Rice Step Four: Rice likes a warm climate, keep your bucket in a sunny area and move it if necessary to a warm place at night. Keep your water level at about 2 inches above the dirt until the rice is growing strong.

Grow Rice Step Five: When your plants are up to about 5-6 inches, increase your water level to about 4 inches deep. After that, let the water level lower in the bucket slowly over a period of time. You will want the plants just about dry of standing water by the time you are ready to harvest.

Grow Rice Step Six: Rice is mature somewhere in its fourth month if conditions are right. The stalks will change from green to gold in color when they are ready. To harvest, cut your stalks and let them dry in a warm place, wrapped in a newspaper for 2-3 weeks.

Grow Rice Step Seven: Roast your rice in a very low heat (under 200) for about an hour, and then remove the hulls by hand. You are now ready to cook with your own long-grain brown rice.

Options: You can grow rice indoors in discarded fish tanks under grow lights, or near a warm sunny window. Rice seeds can be started in cups of dirt with water and later transplanted into buckets; this method is preferred by some so that they can see what is sprouting and then space accordingly inside of the buckets.

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