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Soil Amendments: Rice Hulls

Updated: May 8, 2018

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Considered to be the most widely consumed staple food on earth, you could say that rice isn’t going away any time soon. Before it is ready for consumption, the seeds of the rice plants are milled to remove the hulls, which in turn can be used as a soil amendment. Parboiled rice hulls are pathogen-free and have similar drainage levels and air-filled pore spaces as perlite. Since rice hulls are slow to decompose, in containers there is less shrinkage of the potting media over time. They can be combined with other amendments such as compost, and pine bark, but it’s ideal to keep the soil proportion level at 40% or less as the hulls do not have significant nutritional content. When starting seed, they can be used to supplement peat moss, perlite and vermiculite. In the garden, they can be used to increase porosity and lighten the soil, good for amending heavy clay soils. 

This article was first published in our April 2018 Soil Trotters newsletter.

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