Anyone Use Rice Hulls as Soil Amendment?

struwwelpeter(5)November 1, 2009

Seems like it would be good to loosen heavy soils.

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bpgreen(5UT)

I've never used them, but if I had access to some, I'd use them.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 4:09PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Rice hulls would be a good soil amendment but should not be the only part of the amendment. There is a relativly inexpensive synthetic fertilizer that uses rice as a filler and that rice will last on soil for only a short time.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 7:04AM
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struwwelpeter(5)

rice will last on soil for only a short time

And, you know this because?????

I doubt it. Rice hulls have a high silicate content that slows decomposition. Riceland Rice manufactures parboiled rice hulls as a substitute for perlite in potting mixes.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 12:11PM
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struwwelpeter(5)

I've never used them, but if I had access to some, I'd use them.

Here is a retailer: http://www.groworganic.com/item_PSO500_Rice_Hulls_50_Lb_Bag.html?welcome=T&theses=5377281

I am looking for a cheaper source. After all, it is a byproduct of rice manufacure so it should be cheaper than rice.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 12:26PM
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gardengal48

This topic has been discussed here before. Although not widely available outside of prime rice growing areas, rice hulls make an excellent soil amendment. It is my understanding that they are used a lot for stable bedding, so you might try looking for them at tack and feed stores - organic amendments are often much less expensive when sold for livestock purposes than specifically for garden purposes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rice hulls 101

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 12:45PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

It may just be how active the Soil Food Web in my soil is but the rice hulls I used to amend a planting bed one spring were not visible in the soil by late summer. Pretty much the same as the shredded leaves I use as mulch on those same planting beds. Those rice hulls were added to the soil the last year I tilled which may have something to do with how fast they were digested.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 7:40AM
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struwwelpeter(5)

the rice hulls I used to amend a planting bed one spring were not visible in the soil by late summer.

Thanks. A variable may be the amount of soluble silicates where the rice is grown.

In comparison, peat moss lasts about two years in my soil. Coir, about one year.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 11:23AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Peat moss stays visible in my soil for as long as 5 years. The soil bacteria apparently do not like it and will not even try to digest it, especially since they usually have access to much better food sources.
For most people using peat moss as a soil amendment is a large waste of money.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 8:05AM
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Lloyd

"Peat moss stays visible in my soil for as long as 5 years."

I'm not a gardener but maybe take it out of the bag first?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 8:26AM
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kbhale

I use rice hulls as mulch for potted plants.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 2:34AM
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stevesd

Lol..Yeah, taking it out of the bag would help the peat to break down. I never saw peat last as long as five years but then I doubt I would recognize it after it had been run through the worms in tiny patch. But I think rice hulls would be a terrific soil amendment. Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: rice hulls

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 9:57PM
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struwwelpeter(5)

It is my understanding that they are used a lot for stable bedding, so you might try looking for them at tack and feed stores - organic amendments are often much less expensive when sold for livestock purposes than specifically for garden purposes.

There are plenty of race tracks in the Chicago area and the owner of a feed store (apparently there are only two) in the area never heard of "rice hulls." More specifically:

The Feed Store
5400 S. Harlem Ave.
Summit, IL

But, I have bought alfalfa meal from them.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2009 at 12:30PM
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struwwelpeter(5)

Well, I just bought five bags of Riceland parboiled rice hulls for $13.40 each and I picked them up from BFG in Joliet, IL. The hulls in each bag are 4 ft2 expandable to 7 ft2, thereby making rice hulls cheaper than peat moss or perlite. Also, the plastic bags it comes in are reinforced with (nylon?) threads so they won't tear and can be reused many times. These nice bags must cost Riceland a pretty penny.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 3:12PM
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