Thursday, August 22, 2019

Growing rice (Oryza sativa) in the Northeast USA

Some people are surprised to discover that you can actually grow rice to seed in the Northeast, and that it's fairly easy to do so.

I have been growing container pots of this grain every year for many years now, and the sense of accomplishment when I harvest the rice at the end of the growing season is always welcome.

The main problem is actually the short growing season here, and I sometimes bump into the colder temps of October before barely managing to produce the rice.

Germinating rice from brown rice
All you need to do is buy some brown rice of the variety that you'd like to grow, soak  them overnight (with diluted hydrogen peroxide or bleach), then drop onto culture media (usually potting soil or better).

Rice in larger permanent containers
Once the rice seedlings have grown, just transfer to a larger container and keep the soil moist.

Time for pollination!
Varieties that are ready in 90 days are great, but I've also grown those that take 120 days to harvest.

Full  grown rice plant laden with ripening grain
Obviously, there's no way for you to actually grow enough to feed yourself for the year, but growing the grain does give you a better appreciation for the work of the farmers who supply us with our food.

So, go ahead and try it. It's easy and fun!

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