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How to Grow Rice in Your Garden? Tips and Techniques

If you love rice then you must definitely learn how to grow it at home. I bet this will not only be interesting but also rewarding!

Sonali Behera
You can cultivate rice at home, but you need to have reasonable expectations
You can cultivate rice at home, but you need to have reasonable expectations

One of the oldest and most cherished foods on earth is rice. In Japan and Indonesia, for instance, rice has its own God. To reach the maturity stage, rice needs plenty of water in addition to warm, sunny weather. This makes cultivating rice in certain regions impractical, but you can kind of cultivate rice at home.

Can Rice be Grown at Your Home Garden?

You can cultivate rice at home, but you need to have reasonable expectations. Even if everything goes perfectly, you won't be able to harvest enough rice for more than one or two meals. It takes a lot of room, water, and a lengthy, warm growing season to produce a sizable harvest of rice. This often involves beginning the rice inside under grow lights.

Botanical Name

Oryza sativa 

Common Name


Plant Type


Mature Size

Up to 70 inches depending on the variety

Sun Exposure

Full sun

Soil Type

Sandy, loamy, and clay soils

Soil pH

5.5 to 7

Hardiness Zones

10 to 12

Starting Rice Production

You should start your rice plants indoors around six to eight weeks before your last average frost date, which is roughly the same time you would start tomato seedlings indoors unless you reside in a warm climatic zone.

Seeds Must be Soaked to Promote Germination

It takes up to 36 hours to soak rice seeds in untreated (non-chlorinated) water. The rice seeds must be thoroughly submerged in water during that time and washed at least once. When a little rootlet begins to grow from seed, germination has begun. Remove the seeds from the water and let them dry for a full day.

Process of Growing Rice

While it is simple to plant rice, it can be difficult to sustain its growth until harvest. You should have at least 40 days in a row with temperatures over 70 degrees (21OC). The best luck will likely be had by those of you who reside in the South or California, but the rest of us can also try our hand at growing rice inside, if necessary, under lights.

You must first locate one or more plastic containers without holes. Depending on how many little pseudo-rice paddies you wish to make, either one or more. Next, either buy long-grain brown rice in a bag or from a bulk goods retailer or buy rice seeds from a gardening provider. The best rice is that which has been cultivated organically; processed white rice is not acceptable. Six inches (15 cm) of potting soil should be placed inside the bucket or plastic container. Water should be added up to 2 inches (5 cm) above the soil line. A few grains of long-grain rice should be added to the bucket. The rice will bury itself in the sand. Move the bucket to a warm, sunny location and keep it there.

Maintaining Rice Plants

From this point forward, rice plants don't require much maintenance. Maintain the water at a height of about 2 inches (5 cm) above the ground. Raise the water depth to 4 inches after the rice plants are 5-6 inches (12.5-15 cm) tall (10 cm.). Allow the water level to naturally decrease after that over time. The plants should ideally not be in standing water when you pick them.

In the fourth month, the rice should be ready for harvest. When it's time to harvest, the stalks will turn from green to gold. When harvesting rice, the panicles that are attached to the stalks must be chopped and gathered. To harvest the rice, trim the stalks and let them dry for two to three weeks in a warm, dry spot while they are wrapped in newspaper.

After the rice stalks have dried, roast them for about an hour at a very low temperature (sub 200 F/93oC), then manually remove the hulls. That's all; you can now cook using long-grain brown rice that you grew yourself.

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