When properly applied, it works great, but where can you buy rice hulls for gardening? Here’s the scoop!
Rice hulls make an excellent soil improver. It can increase your ground’s water-holding capacity, drainage, and aeration. More gardeners and companies are starting to show an interest in using rice hulls for their gardening needs, and with good reason! Rice hulls are a sustainable and affordable soil amendment, and you should definitely hop on this trend.
In this article, I briefly explain what rice hulls are, how you can use them in your garden, their benefits, and where to buy them!
What Are Rice Hulls?
Rice hulls (also known as rice husks) are a hard covering or coating found around a grain of rice. It’s made from silica and lignin to protect rice during its growing season. Rice hulls are removed from the grains one by one after harvesting.
How to Use Rice Hulls in Gardening
After rice hulls are removed from rice grains, they can be used for gardening. Here’s how:
You can use rice hulls as a sustainable soil amendment in gardening. It works great as a replacement for perlite, vermiculite, and peat.
If you want to use rice hulls for soil amendment, add a two-inch layer of it over your soil when you’re busy fertilizing. Then, mix the hulls into the top 6 – 12 inches of soil. For potted plants, you can use 10 – 15% of rice hulls to soil for the best result.
Rice hulls can be used as mulch instead of straw. You should mix rice hulls into ½ – 1 inch of soil to fend off weeds and retain moisture.
You can use rice hulls as compost in your garden. Mixing the hulls with manure and keeping it moist is a great start.
You should also cover the mixture with a tarp to keep heat in and turn it over once a month to add more rice hulls. Lastly, add some earthworms to speed the composting process up by a few months!
Rice hulls are lightweight, and the wind can easily blow them around. Adding it to your soil makes the ground airy, which means your plants will get more oxygen through their roots.
Where To Buy Rice Hulls For Gardening
If you want to start using rice hulls in your garden, knowing where to find it will be helpful. Unfortunately, rice hulls aren’t easy to find. If you see some at your local plant nursery, stock up! You can also search online, contact a rice farm nearby, visit the local co-op or scout local grocery stores.
The Advantages Of Rice Hulls for Gardening
Whether you garden as a hobby, a lifestyle, or a career, using rice hulls can hold many advantages for your garden.
Less Dust: Rice hulls are less dusty than other soil amendments. You can use them in your potted garden with ease and place the pots on your windowsill without worrying that they’ll dust up your whole room.
Sustainable: Rice hulls are by far the most sustainable, renewable, and the least expensive soil amendment. It doesn’t require long processes like mining or land disruption to produce, and every part of the rice hull goes back into the ground.
Strengthens Plant Cells: The silica in rice hulls is great for plants. It supports their cell walls and helps them stay immune against diseases and extreme heat caused by drought.
Non-Toxic: Rice hulls are non-toxic and biodegradable. This means they break down while simultaneously feeding your soil. They’ll last you an entire season before starting to decompose. You won’t have to re-feed your ground until you harvest your crops.
Disease Free: Rice hulls are parboiled before being packaged and sold for gardening use. This process eliminates weeds and diseases on the grain, making rice hulls a safer choice for fruit and vegetable soil.
The Disadvantages Of Rice Hulls For Gardening
Using rice hulls in your garden has very few disadvantages compared to other soil amendments.
When the hulls start to decompose, your soil might start decompressing again. The solution? Add new rice hulls to your ground at least once a year!
Another disadvantage is that rice hulls can cause nitrogen deficiency. If anything with a high carbon content is added to soil, the bacteria and microorganisms are used to break it down, leaving no nitrogen for the plants. You can use a nitrogen supplement to curb this problem.
The cons of using rice hulls can easily be solved with quick solutions. Using rice hulls in your garden is better than other products performing a similar role, so working around these disadvantages is worth it!
Using rice hulls in your garden is an excellent way to improve soil quality while contributing to a greener environment. It adds nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus to your ground and absorbs water incredibly fast!
If your soil has these deficiencies or you need to improve its drainage, you can’t go wrong using rice hulls. Rice hulls are a great substitute for many other harmful gardening soil additions.
If you enjoyed this article or have any other questions about using rice hulls in your garden, leave a comment below. I’ll get back with more informative answers soon!
How do you use rice hulls on plants?
The best way to use rice hulls on plants is by mixing them into your soil. This way, the hulls feed your plants roots and help them absorb the most nutrients.
How long does it take for a rice hull to decompose?
Rice hulls can take a year or more to break down. If you have earthworms in your soil, this process will be faster. Earthworms can speed the decomposition of rice hulls up by about four months!
Is rice hull a fertilizer?
Yes. Rice hulls are an excellent soil fertilizer and conditioner.
How many rice hulls should I use?
You can use about 1/2 pound of rice hulls per 5 gallon batch of soil.