There are many varieties of rice in the world and countless recipes that use it. Are you planning to grow your own rice? Are you wondering if you can grow it from the rice you buy at the store? We researched this question and have the following answers.
You cannot grow rice using the rice you buy from a store because the husk has been removed or already processed through polishing or parboiling. This process removes the main part of rice that germinates into a rice plant.
To grow rice, you need to buy the appropriate rice seeds from a gardening or farmer's supply store. Continue reading to learn more about why you can't grow rice that you buy from a store. We'll cover the characteristics of rice that you can use as a seed and how to grow rice successfully.
Can You Grow Rice You Bought From The Store?
You could be planning to grow your own rice to save on expenses or planning to grow it on a large scale to bring in extra income. Or maybe you have a curious mind and want to know if rice bought from the store can grow. Let’s explore this question together.
First of all, there are over 120,000 varieties of rice worldwide. They are categorized according to flavor, the content of starch, size of the kernel, and degree of milling.
Rice in the store can be whole grain or processed. If it is processed, it is polished or parboiled. Can polished, parboiled, or whole grain rice be used to grow rice?
Below is a description of each type of these rice and why they cannot be used to grow rice.
Rice is naturally brown after harvesting and afterward taken to a mill for processing. One of the processing methods is polishing, where the husk, germ, and bran, including varying amounts of nutrients, are removed.
What remains is a grain of rice, rich in starch. The color also changes to white. From the illustration below, you can see what a harvested grain of rice looks like before polishing.
The embryo of a rice grain seed is what germinates into a plant. In the case of rice, the germ, as shown in the photo above, is the embryo. During polishing, the germ is removed. Therefore, this is an indication that if you plant polished rice, it will not grow.
Generally, polished rice is popular in many parts of the world because of its improved texture. It is easier to cook, digest, and chew, and has a more delicate taste.
Parboiling is a processing method that has been used since ancient times. This process has improved over the years. If you were to parboil rice, you would do it in the following three steps:
- Soak rice with the husk intact to increase the content of moisture.
- Steam rice to convert it to gel. Steaming kills bacteria and various other microbes.
- Dry the rice to reduce the moisture content to prepare it for milling.
Even though parboiled rice is considered healthier than white rice, the process removes the bran and germ. This means you cannot also use parboiled rice like the one above to grow rice.
Whole Grain Rice
Along with the white rice you find in stores, whole grain or brown rice is also available. Since the germ in this type of rice is intact, can you use it to grow rice? Remember, as we mentioned earlier, the germ is what germinates into a plant.
Rice that has the husk removed is known as brown whole grain rice, and it is edible. However, rice that has the bran, germ, plus the husk still intact is known as rough rice, which is not edible.
The reason this rice is inedible is because the husk is difficult to digest. It can also be difficult to swallow with the husk on. The husk is a crucial part of the rice seed. It protects the rice from pests as it grows.
Whole grain rice may not grow well without the husk, but it is useful for the rice to grow well. Thus, whole grain rice from the store may not be good for growing rice.
How To Grow Rice
As explained earlier, rice bought from the store cannot be used to grow rice. So which is the best rice to grow, and where do you get it?
Whichever rice you decide to grow, you can buy the seeds from local farmers, gardening stores, or nurseries.
Next, you need to prepare the soil or place you will plant the rice. The steps of growing your rice, from planting, taking care of the rice plant, and harvesting, are as follows:
Identify The Location Where You Will Plant Your Rice
Slightly acidic clay soils are the best for growing rice. If you plant the seeds in a bucket, put this type of soil inside. You also need a reliable source of water.
The location you plant the rice should receive full sunlight to provide bright light and warmth. The temperature ought to be 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because the rice needs a long period of warmth, between three and six months.
Prepare the soil where you will plant the seeds. Trenches built in rows are the most preferred. You should block the ends to contain the water.
Soak The Rice Seeds
One to two ounces of rice is enough to grow your own rice. Soak the seeds in water for 12 to 36 hours, then remove them.
Plant The Rice Seeds
Remove any weeds and smooth out the soil. Plant the seeds during the fall or spring by placing the seeds throughout the soil. If you are planting the rice in a bucket, fill it with six inches of moist soil and then add the seeds.
Fill the trenches or your buckets with two inches of water. It is not necessary to flood the soil, but you should make sure the soil is constantly wet. Add mulch or compost to the soil, covering the rice grains lightly. This pushes the seed firmly into the soil.
Constantly Wet The Soil
Ensure the soil has two inches of water throughout the growth of the rice. The rice shoots should appear after one week. When the stalks are six inches high, ensure the water is four inches above the soil.
Also, the rice in the buckets needs to receive enough warmth by placing them in a spot that has sunlight.
Space Out The Rice Seeds As They Grow
When the rice plants are seven inches tall, space them out four inches apart to prevent them from crowding.
Watch Your Rice Mature
For the next four to six months after planting, your rice will be maybe three or four feet tall, sometimes higher. You’ll know the rice has fully matured when the grains at the top of the stalk have turned from green to golden brown.
Harvest Your Rice
Cut the top of the stalks, just below where the panicles (clusters of rice grains) are located. Place them in the sun and let them dry for one to two weeks, or until they are completely dry.
You can grow rice in soil or in a bucket at home. For your rice to grow well, it needs enough light and a lot of water.
You can purchase rice seeds for planting from your local farm supply store, gardening store, or nursery. However, you cannot grow rice using rice that's bought from the store. It will not germinate due to various reasons explained in this post.
For whatever reason you need to grow rice, there are crucial steps to follow to ensure it grows well.
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