Apartments’ Rice Paddies

In land scarce Singapore, it is not impossible to grow rice for fun and where space allowed, for our own consumption. I thought this is a great gardening project to do with children as well. Hopefully with the experience, our urban kids will ย know how difficult it is to harvest just one cup of rice and learned to cherish every morsel of grain on their plate. ๐Ÿ™‚

Apartment rice paddy

February 24 2015 – Ms. Serena Ganesh’s home grown grains

Serena Ganesh's rice grains before they turned brown

Serena Ganesh’s rice grains before they turned brown

This is a labor of love forย Serena Ganesh’s family! She harvested her grains by hand peeling each husk after other attempts failed. Members from our gardening group (SG Farming in Apartments), such as Edmund Gan, recommended to wait till the stalks are fully golden brown before grinding the husks on a sieve to separate the grains.

Grow rice in containers

Feb 25 2016 – Serena Ganesh hand split and peeled husks from rice

Tips for Germinating Grains:

  1. Soak the seeds 24 – 36 hours, drained away water and cover seeds with towels to keep them moist or directly sowed on very moist media
  2. Brown rice is better than white as the latter had been processed (Gardening Know how blog
  3. Germination took placed between 3 – 5 days in a sunny area
Grow rice in pots

February 27 2016 – Budi Widodo had already soaked these grains for 24hours before sowing on really moist towels.

Grow rice in container

Budi Widodo used these grains for his apartment’s rice paddy project

Budi Widodo grew rice along his apartment’s corridor, where he has about 6 hours of indirect sunlight. After his seeds germinated on wet towels, he would plant them here before transplanting to a deeper trough until harvest day.

Grow rice in pots

Budi Widodo cut holes on the side of his “pot” to drain water when it rained

Grow rice in pot

Budi Widodo’s rice paddy trough

For soil sowing, William Toh recommended to thoroughly mix potting soil with water until its muddy and then add more water till it covered the soil, before planting grains in the mud pool.

February 3 2016 - William Toh's rice paddy in cookie jar

February 3 2016 – William Toh’s rice paddy in cookie jar

Grow rice in pots

William Toh’s rice paddy in cookie jar “incubator”

William Toh - This is how wet the soil needs to be

William Toh – This is how wet the soil needs to be

Grow rice in pot

Feb 15 2016 – William Toh’s rice are growing well


The key for a good rice harvest ๐Ÿ™‚ is to keep the soil constantly moist and to grow them in warm sunny places.

The International Rice Research Institute also recommended to prepare the soil well with 7:2:1 ratio of potting soil, manure/compost and rice husks, mixed thoroughly with water for the young seedlings to thrive.

I liked to share pictures from Serena Ganesh’s mature rice paddy ๐Ÿ™‚ See how big this crop grew ?! ย For interested gardeners, do consider a bigger pot than a cookie jar for a more bountiful harvest! ๐Ÿ™‚

Grow rice in pot

Serena Ganesh’s potted rice paddy

Grow rice in pot

Serena Ganesh’s potted rice from seeds

It would take 4 – 5 months from seeds to harvest day.

Last but not least, please remember to check and change the stagnant water in our rice paddy “fields” for mosquitoes breeding, while enjoying our gardening projects! ๐Ÿ™‚