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applestar
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Rice Paddy Rain Garden Guild 2010

The rice growing project for 2010 is underway. :D

Due to various circumstances, I didn't follow M. Fukuoka One Straw Revolution method as strictly as I wanted. No sowing barley in the fall, couldn't keep the paddy dry enough and clover died off, and didn't get around to scattering rice straw or making seedballs, etc.

What I did with Koshihikari Paddy was to strip the leaves and leaf stems from the Edamame (grown along one side of the paddy) and toss them in the paddy when they were cut at ground level. Soy hay? :lol: They decomposed over the winter.

I did toss clover seeds in the paddy in early spring, but they failed to grow due to repeated flooding. I direct seeded on April 14th and lightly mulched with Wheat Bran. I covered the 4'x4' paddy with two 24"x12" pop-up umbrella-type vinyl tents.

Carolina Gold Paddy was also neglected, even more so, though I did scatter rice straw in that paddy. It was also direct seeded on April 14th and mulched. I did not cover this paddy.

***

I noticed some rice seedlings were growing in K-Paddy on 4/29.
As of yesterday, which was 100% last frost, the Koshihikari seedlings are about 4~6" tall. The paddy has been kept flooded since last week and a school of minnows and goldfish for mosquito control added. Carolina Gold, as far as I can tell, have not sprouted yet.

[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6817.jpg[/img]

This year, I sowed Sugar Daddy snap peas along the back of the K-Paddy along with Arugula.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6813.jpg[/img]

And a selection of lettuce and brassica transplants along one side, and, though you can't see them, a double row of onions on the other side of the mound.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6814-1.jpg[/img]

The front of the paddy is planted with a mixture of Kohlrabi, carrots, spinach, and onions, and I just sowed some Patti Pan squash seeds (no photo).
Last edited by applestar on Fri May 21, 2010 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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applestar
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Ugh. I should listen to myself more. :roll:

I was examining the Carolina Gold RP. It's rather filled with that pesky water Forget-me-not, and I see no sign of sprouting rice seedlings, unlike the Koshihikari RP, which is filled with seedlings and needs thinning, AND weeding as a good number of the seedlings have the imposter-red stembase :x . I'm hoping I do have enough Koshihikari seedlings in that paddy.

If DS'd seedlings fail in either of the paddies, I do have extra backup Koshihikari seedlings but I didn't start backup Carolina Gold. -wall-

ANYHOW! So I was examining the CGRP and, UGH and DOUBLE UGH, I saw mosquito larvae. :eek: I was worried because I hadn't been seeing the 1/2 doz minnows I'd put in there lately, and you may have read about my trouble with the neighbor bordering this side of my property :?

Feeling like I had to do something quick, I got 4 goldfish out of my "stock" tub (open storage tub rain "barrel" used to catch the rainwater streaming off the edge of the gardenshed. I keep a dozen goldfish in there for mosquito control) and released them in the CGRP. Well the 4 chased out 2 minnows from under the bottom debris so there are 6 fish. Good number for this paddy.

BUT! As I watched to make sure the fish were acclimating, I saw a MONSTER mosquito larva that DIDN'T have the bloated head of the final phase ready to pupate. As I watched, it grabbed a mosquito larva and started munching on it. In disbelief I watched as a 2nd monster dashed in pursuit of another mosquito larva.

&*(#! There are DRAGONFLY LARVAE in the CGRP! Why - OH WHY - did I not wait and make closer observations before putting in the extra goldfish! Now my brave little Aquatic Garden Patrol may be EATEN by the thoughtless addition of extra fish. :oops:

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Ozark Lady
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Research dragon fly larvae, Apple.
They will actually eat baby fish!
When you use guppies and small mosquito fish, you worry about dragon fly larvae, because they will eat them.
So, sure some may get ate by the fish, but the baby fish will also get eaten by them, should they breed. It is just the cycle of nature!
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:D Wow! You actually grow rice. I am so curious to see how it goes.

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Sage Hermit
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Rice!

O:) This is cool. My friend cultivated a rain garden also.

Is there such thing as a basswood guild?
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applestar
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Sage, I look for info like that by Google searching for plant community and looking for authoritative websites. Using "american basswood tilia americana plant community" here's what I got:
[PDF]
NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITIES AND RARE SPECIES OF STEARNS COUNTY, MINNESOTA
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
located areas of native plant communities in Stearns County from 1997 to 1998 ... clude basswood (Tilia americana) , northern pin oak (Quercus ... layer often dense and dominated by American hazelnut, prickly gooseberry, chokecherry ...
files.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/mcbs/maps/stearns.pdf

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applestar
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Here's an update photo of my Carolina Gold Rice Paddy.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image6997.jpg[/img]

What's missing is the Carolina Gold Rice. They never germinated, and now I've serious doubts about growing edibles in this paddy due to neighbor problems. So I'm going to revert to the original concept for this area, which is Native Bog Rain Garden.

It's a work in progress, but from the foreground, we have:
• Itea virginica (Virginia Sweetspire)
• Osmunda regalis (Regal Fern)
• Iris versicolor (Blueflag Iris)
• Cherone glabra (White Turtlehead)
• Cherone obliqua (Pink Turtlehead)
• Seracena purpurea (Pitcher plant)
• Drocera spp. (Sundew)
• A cutting of Cornus sericea (Red osier dogwood) I stuck in the water and tied to the fence seems to have rooted
x The tree doesn't belong: it's Armeniaca mume (Chinese apricot)
• Eupatorium purpureum (Joe Pye Weed)
• Ilex verticillata (Winterberry) male/female
x Hemerocallis fulva (Common Daylily) which I thought was native... :oops:
I have to clean up along the fence but there are
• Clematis virginiana (Virgin's bower)
• Panicum capillare (Witch Grass)
• Sisyrinchium spp. (Blue-Eyed Grass)

I'll have to decide if I want to grow Carolina Gold Rice as strictly ornamental or put something else in the paddy/bog.

It's a popular watering hole for the birds -- they're constantly taking turns bathing in there, and they seem to think that the fence I used last year to keep out the rabbits makes an ideal "waiting area".

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I have to agree with OL. You should worry about your fish, not the dragonfly larvae. They are the lions.
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applestar
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Well, as long as they're eating the mosquito larvae, I welcome all visitors and squatters. :wink: I'm REALLY hoping for a toad or two.... 8) Cruel as this may sound, those 13¢ goldfish and minnows were meant to be eaten.

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Ozark Lady
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I wonder if all frogs are equal?

I don't know what kind of frogs they are, we have leopard and tree frogs, and I did find an adult toad the other day. But, my pond is full of tadpoles, and the new iris bed... I had to shoo frogs, literally the size of dried peas, out of the way to dig to plant!

They are tiny black things, but definitely frogs, I caught a couple, they are smaller than my pinkie finger nail! Black with what might be some black dots? Not sure they are so small. I took photos, they came out fuzzy. I will try again today, maybe on portrait setting?
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gixxerific
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Ozark Lady wrote:I wonder if all frogs are equal?

I don't know what kind of frogs they are, we have leopard and tree frogs, and I did find an adult toad the other day. But, my pond is full of tadpoles, and the new iris bed... I had to shoo frogs, literally the size of dried peas, out of the way to dig to plant!

They are tiny black things, but definitely frogs, I caught a couple, they are smaller than my pinkie finger nail! Black with what might be some black dots? Not sure they are so small. I took photos, they came out fuzzy. I will try again today, maybe on portrait setting?
Probably tree frogs, ihave tons of them around, I have seen the teeny tiny ones you are talking about. They are funny, you are out in the garden and see a soeck of dirt moving only to fing out it is a frog.

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applestar
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Here are some update photos of the Koshihikari Paddy (K Paddy) Guild:

After weeding out the "red-bottomed imposters":
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7055.jpg[/img]

Whole area from SE:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7054.jpg[/img]

Whole area from SW:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7056.jpg[/img]

Bounded on the NE side by the house on a gentle slope facing SW, this area is protected and warms up fast. I was able to extra-early plant the peas and arugula to the NE and cole crops/lettuce to the NW side of the paddy with onions on the other side of the mound -- worked well in terms of early germination and frost resistance. But now, they're getting scorched, and the peas are not happy. I may grow edamame there next, though legume following legume doesn't make much sense. I was wondering if late planted potatoes is a possibility.

The greens are being shaded by the rush, but the location has become nearly impossible to access, so that was a bad idea. I need something that in harvested late. I may follow with leeks. Hmm, maybe leeks on NE side after peas/arugula and edamame or potatoes on the NW side after coles/lettuce.

I grew edamame On the SW side mound last year and they flourished. The melons grew well but tended to wateriness in flavor. This year, I have a mixed planting there with Brussels Sprouts and I believe Cauliflower on the mound, mixture of carrots, onions, Kohlrabi, and for warm weather, peanuts and pattypan squash.

So far, the patty pans are not very happy -- probably too wet. The short round Tonda carrots are doing very well and peanuts seem to be doing OK. If peanut and rice harvest times coincide, then the paddy will be drained and the peanuts will have the chance to dry out. I was thinking radishes might do well here though it may get too hot. What likes scorching hot but moist all the time? With the paddy upslope, this would be equivalent of immediately downslope from a swale that is constantly filled.

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I'm not as bubbling over with enthusiasm about growing the rice this year -- [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12804]been there, done that[/url], you know? -- but the Koshihikari rice is growing well. I think I finally got rid of all the pesky "Red Bottomed Imposters". 6 Goldfish and 1 minnow are content in the paddy, I've redesigned the area around the paddy for easier access, and the micro-plant community/guild/ecosystem appears to be stable so far. Setting up the rain barrel at the downspout has helped immensely, though, as I told my husband, "Rain barrel DOES NOT work if it doesn't rain!" :x I'm resigned to filling the barrel from the tap, but it does still allows me to regulate the supplemental inflow with chlorine out-gassed water.

Here's a photo from 6/19. I have to take a new photo soon. :wink:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7243.jpg[/img]

Patti Pan is feeling better:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7355.jpg[/img]
Last edited by applestar on Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cerbiesmom
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That is just absolutely gorgeous. I hope I can plant something that beautiful in time. Keep up the good work. You're inspiring this gardening newbie.

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applestar
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Thank you! That's what I want to hear! :D

Here's a photo from 7/3. I've been comparing with last years pictures, and I think they look about the same:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7435.jpg[/img]

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applestar
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Latest photos of my little rice paddy :wink:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7893.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7889.jpg[/img]

Yesterday, I broadcast some clover seeds -- trying crimson clover this year. I have white clover everywhere but I don't have seeds on hand. This is a protected SW side of the house so crimson clover has a better chance to overwinter. It's a wee bit early -- late August is how I have the schedule written down and the paddy may still get too flooded.... If nothing else, the clover may grow on the mulched path immediately surrounding the paddy. I'll still have time to re-seed if this batch doesn't grow.

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Looking good Apple. I love the idea of growing things like rice that most people wouldn't even think about.

You are doing a fine job there, keep it up. :D

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applestar
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Thanks! :()

I'm eventually going to try growing most of the small grains. Only in small plots like this for now.

I'll sow winter rye here in the rice paddy this fall. I'll find out if the variety and growing season allows for it to grow to maturity since rice will be up and growing by end of April.

I have a bed earmarked for oats early next spring, and I'll sow triticale this fall in one bed that, depending on when it's ready for harvest, will be grown to maturity... or not. It'll be followed by hot peppers beans and corn. Around here, beans and hot peppers can be planted by late May and last corn is supposed to be planted before mid June. 8)

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applestar
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Here are some recent photos:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8094.jpg[/img]

Some clumps started to lodge (fall over) after a particularly windy day so I used some bamboo poles to keep them from falling over completely.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8098.jpg[/img]

It seems like they're ripening faster this year. Was it hotter? Drier? Or contrary to conventional wisdom, direct seeded rice grows faster than earlier-started and transplanted rice?

Unfortunately, this year -- most likely again, due to drought and lack of other wild food sources -- chipmunk has discovered my rice bed. It thinks I put the bamboo there for it to sit on :x
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8116.jpg[/img]

I put my two indoor kitties in the fenced area enclosing the rice bed and the tomato bed (the chipmunk got into some lovely ripe tomatoes as well :evil: They had grand old time chasing the chipmunk a couple of times out of the enclosure and once up the tomato/luffa/gourd/bean trellis, in addition to thoroughly exploring the area and leaving their scents (I really had no concern that they would catch the little beast :roll:). I had hoped that the kitties had impressed upon the chipmunk that the area was off-limits, but later, when DD brought one of the kitties out again, she immediately jumped into the fenced area and chase the chipmunk out of the rice bed. :roll:

So even though some of the rice is still in milk stage towards the bottom of the sheafs (is that what they're called? seed heads...) and the foliage and stems are still green, I decided to harvest 2/3 of the bed. I discovered that there were some stalks already severed from the plant. I'm not sure if that happened while the kitties were thrashing through the rice or if the pesky chipmunk is actually clever enough to cut the stalks and pull the seedheads down.

I'm behind in camera uploads so I'll post those photos later.

Although 1/2 way convinced that I'm merely feeding the chipmunk, I scattered some rye seeds, spread some compost, and scattered rice straw left over and saved from last year in the harvested area, and scattered some additional rye seeds and compost under the remaining rice. :wink:

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applestar
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Photos of rice harvested 9/15:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8124.jpg[/img] [img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8126.jpg[/img]

Remaining rice:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8127.jpg[/img]

9/23, seeing that the chipmunks were continuing to harvest the rice ahead of me, I decided to harvest the rest.

[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8152.jpg[/img] [img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8154.jpg[/img]

It turned out to be the right decision because last year, the fall rains arrived while I dithered and the paddy got flooded while I was trying to decide when to harvest. This year, after couple of warnings last two weeks, the sky opened up last night, rained all night and all day.

Here are close ups of the seed heads -- 1/2 or more of the rice grains are missing from each :x :roll:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8126.jpg[/img] [img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8155.jpg[/img]

I scattered rye and rice straw in the rest of the paddy. I'm applying the concept of "overseeding with a winter (cover)crop" to the rest of my garden. I'm excited by the prospect.
...

There's a photo I want to take and share with you -- I hope I'll get to it before it's too late. For the last couple of weeks, when I look down on my "Sunny Meadow" each morning from the upstairs window, I see GIANT pumpkin flowers. These are the biggest pumpkin flowers I've ever seen. I honestly can't remember what kind of seeds they were, but, in spring, I tossed a "veggie seed mix" such as described by MF -- a combination of mixed beans, squash, wildflowers, mustards and radishes. I didn't do anything more except to cut/pull some of the longer grass, scatter on top, and trample on them (This is in keeping with my "taking the place of grass foraging animals in the meadows" that I talked about elsewhere.). Two obvious survivors were California #5 Black-eyed Peas and this pumpkin: particularly welcome since my other pumpkin vines planted in garden beds succumbed to SVB's in early summer. It has at least one oblong fruit that's about 8" long. 8) If there are any others among the wildflowers, I've no idea. :wink:

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GardenRN
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That looks reall neat! :) how much rice did you actually get for your efforts? If non had been eaten, how many servings would you have gotten? Rice is one of those things I have thought of growing but figured you'd have to have a small field of it to even make it worthwhile.

I wanted to dig out a paddy, line with plastic, and the back fill with dirt to prevent the water from just soaking into the surrounding ground. Fish would be a must in my area! Mosquitoes would be horrible. They're already bad here and I don't know where they're coming from.
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soil
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i grew rice this year with a different method. dry farming rice. without the paddy, i only had a small 10x10 spot and got a hell of a lot more rice than i could have ever expected.

i got some real rare rice seeds for next year, they are supposed to do far better with dry fields and yield more.

as far as meals go thats hard to say because one serving to one person could be 3-4x what another would have. lets just say ive been eating rice for a while now and i still have a good amount to go.

well worth the fun and effort if you like growing odd things. everyone sure got a kick when i told them what was in front of them was rice plants.

the one thing that stands out most is quality, this rice tastes AMAZING.
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!potatoes!
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did a 'highlands' dry-field rice this year on the mountain i was living on...north-face at ~3500 ft. didn't quite fill out before frost, nothing worth harvesting

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Wow Apple !! Sugoi naa.

I'm late to the party on your rice growing endevour, but I must say I am impressed. I did not go through the whole thread, but it appears to be a success.

Somewhere in there you wondered about transplanting or direct sowing as a means of faster growth. I must say - growing up in Northern Honshu, and in suburb Tokyo they (Japanese) put out seedling starts. Of course, as you know , every micro climate and situation may differ.

Just wanted to extend my congrats and admire your efforts.

T
San Diego / Z10
-------------------

Artemesia
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Re: Rice Paddy Rain Garden Guild 2010

Applestar

I have been researching and hope to try my hand at dry land rice.
The research I have found says you can use a double transplant method to grow rice in cold climates.
And you can mulch instead of using water.
Supposedly, rice actually does better when not flooded.
Flooding is used only to control weeds.
If the yield is so high when hand grown, it may be worth it.
I need grain crops as a disease break in my garden anyway.
Especially when rice is one of the few grains that does well when nature decides to give us constant rain.
With global warming, I think we are going to see more of those kinds of extremes.



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