The Helpful Gardener
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Growing Rice In a Dry Field

I can't find much here to hang my hat on; while I can understand the importance to Japanese culture here, I only know one person growing rice...

AS, would you care to add some perspective? Or perhaps we might find a professional rice grower with thoughts on the topic?

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Scott Reil

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applestar
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Heh. I don't know if I would call this "perspective"....

Last year, I grew the Koshihikari and Carolina Gold rice paddies flooded. For one thing, I didn't have the special variety that Fukuoka sensei started with or had eventually adapted to his way of growing. I knew these two varieties are normally grown in flooded fields. I also had to because I kept goldfish in the paddy to control the mosquitoes. If I let the paddy dry, the fish would die.... :?

This year, with severe drought going on, it was more difficult to keep the paddy flooded. The surrounding parched ground simply sucked the paddy dry. One day, I was too late and 1/2 the fish died. I replenished the count and started again. Then it happened again. I was down to 3 fish. Then between morning check and afternoon, the paddy dried up and the last 3 fish were dead. :roll:

...and I said why not? WHY NOT grow the rice without water? If there is no water, then there is no question of mosquito problems.

So I did. I haven't allowed the water to stand more than 24 hours. The rice seems to be growing OK, but I do believe they're shorter this year. (Which is supposed to be what we want, according to Fukuoka-sensei.) Is it because they've had less water? ...or is it because they were deprived of fish nutrients? Will the rice fill out with as much grain as last year? I don't honestly know.

I posted the latest photos in my [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=159741#159741]2010 Rice thread[/url] today. :D

yama
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Hi Scott
There is rice called "Okabo" or Rikuto, Instead growing wetrice field. Okabo grow on dryland. I can't remember anything about it. when I was early elementary school, adoult was talking about Okabo/Rikuto.(dryland rice) we had rice field behind our home. Rice field was our playground. Catching no posin snake, frog to eat. fire bug, catching small fish.
I will ask to my mom if she can remember it.
yama

muland
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Hi again everyone. As I understand it there are basically two types of rice. One is the wet-field or paddy rice grown all over the world in flooded fields. The other is referred to as dryland or upland rice. It is tough and can grow in dry, poor areas. They are fairly distant cousins. The wetland rice grows well in water but it can also grow in a dry field as Fukuoka demonstrated. The plants in his fields grew shorter, had a dark green color, more grains to the head and were very resistant to . Eventually he was able to get yields comparable to those of his neighbors who grew their rice in a flooded field, used chemicals and so forth.

The reason people started growing rice in a flooded field was probably because they could plant it early in the spring while valley bottoms were still flooded with spring rain, and because it helped control weeds. Over the years Asian farmers learned to create a complex polyculture with soybeans growing around the fields, fish in the fields as a sort of aquaculture and duck and geese eating weeds and insects before the fields were flooded.

You don't need a special variety of wetfield rice to grow it in a dry field. The "special" variety Fukuoka used was mainly special because over time it became well adapted to his local climate and conditions. It may or may not have worked well over here.
"There is no time in modern agriculture for a farmer to write a poem or compose a song" --Masanobu Fukuoka
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yama
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Hi all
In general, Okabo or Rikuto( riku means land "to" means rice) don't have high yeild and teste of rice is not good as regular rice. So don't sell good price.
Color of leave depend of nutrition in field.It may not depend on variety of rice. Hight of rice is shorter because moist in soil make big different hight of the plant. high nitrogin level, Iron, zinc magasim etc contribute color of leave.

By the way, Givelelin( I know it is misspeling) which is using for fungicide/ growth regulator was discovered by Japanese scientist. He saw tall rice in rice feild and studied why. Famaer called" Baka nae" means "stupid rice" which do not set seed/rice and much taller than healthy plant.
Many Japanese scientists try to find where rice came from in order to find Where Japanese came from.
To grow rice, field have to have water year round, soil have contain high voulme of clay. It is popur prctice to appy ammonia base fertilizer before fill water in rice field to kill weed seed and pest. Thorw one stone and get two birds kind approch.
I am supriced by some pepole have intrest in growing rice.
yama

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soil
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i would like to mention a method called the system of rice intensification, or SRI farming. its basically dry farming rice, almost like fukuoka but not as good. a step above flooded fields though imo. i am going to be testing it out this year with a few varieties of rice.
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Ooh! Keep us posted.
What are the varieties?

My main rice is going to be Hu Mong Sticky this year. :wink:

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I just got two packages of rice in the mail.

Carolina Gold and Blue Bonnet, it says for grains and cover crops.

Do I start rice like I do tomatoes and peppers? This year, my tomatoes and peppers are not getting started inside or barely started, since I have started nothing at all.

I have direct sown tomatoes and peppers with good results before, so we do what we have to huh? But, will it work with rice?

I normally do start a few tomatoes and peppers as back up in the house, when I direct sow, just to have filler plants for spots that don't come up.
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soil
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not sure of the varieties of rice i have. there is a short grain brown rice, a sticky rice, and a black rice. really hoping the black rice does well as it is delicious.
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soil
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so i got my rice seeds germinated and growing. soon i will plant them in a forest garden system. i have a spot that stays a little wetter than the rest so i will plant them there. i will NOT be doing any flooding.
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The Helpful Gardener
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Even F-san flooded for a few weeks to get established; how will you do weed control, Soil? Or are you just going to see what Nature provides?

HG
Scott Reil

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By far, the most difficult part I found was to differentiate bladed -- grass type -- weeds from the rice and to keep the area weeded especially in the beginning. I don't know how many times I almost grasped the rice and snatched my hand away before causing damage.

Keep us posted with your progress! :D

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soil
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well i thought F-san flooded his fields to get the rice going and to stunt the clover a bit so the rice could get a good hold and get going. im not starting my rice in field ( this year ) and there is no way i can flood anything.

as for weeds im not sure yet. most likely some kind of mulch.

this is a trial for me. eventually id like to just have the rice growing in my forest garden without me having to do the planting, caring, etc... i just need to get rice going first, i had to cheat and sprout rice that was meant for eating as i could not find good seed other than commercial American varieties.

apple i know what you mean, i have wheat growing in the forest garden right now, early season i was getting rid of some of the pest grasses and i pulled a few wheat plants on accident.

will keep the thread updated.
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Our[url=https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ZIAQ]wild rice[/url] here needs slow water. [url=https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ZIPA3]Both kinds[/url].

Looks like northern wild rice is a Cali native... maybe worth the water?

Killing the clover with a submergence is the sure way to get the root nodules to release the nitrogen; the tendency of the legumes is to store the nitrogen until such time as the plant dies back at least a little.

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soil
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just so everyone knows, im doing it. it can be done, growing rice without flooding. not even once. i only got a very small number of plants in due to lack of space for testing. but next year i will be doing some seed broadcasting in the right areas.

one plant looks amazing, its going to give me a few hundred grains of rice easily. like fukuoka said, now i have to mimic that 1% that did good and make the other 99% do the same.
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Thanks for the update. :D
Please post some pictures if you can. 8)

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soil
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if i remember ill have to ask someone with a camera on their phone. no way to take photos, im lucky i have internet lol.
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soil
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one thing i have noticed is the rice plants have a lot more side tillers compared to my friend who i gave some rice seedlings to. he has his growing in a kiddie pool and its flooded. his grow up, mine grow in all directions from the base like a star burst. and the good thing is each one has a nice rice cluster coming out of it. which seems to me = higher yeild?

either way i just mostly want to learn the process the plant goes through, and get all that seed for next year.
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soil
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i went to a friends house who is doing the same experiment as me. her plants are HUGE. over 6ft with tons of flower spikes. absolutely no flooding whatsoever. it blows my mind how much one rice plant can give.
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INTERESTING! :D
What variety is she growing? 8)
I noticed significant difference is the structure and stature of Carolina Gold vs. Koshihikari. CG is sturdy, coarse, and 1/3 bigger compared to K.

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soil
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like i said, i don't know the variety. the seedlings were grown from rice that you buy at the store. it was short grain brown rice thats all i know. i sprouted it, kept it germinating, babied it and got some to grow. next year ill have good rice seed with the hull on it from this plant to grow.
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