Rice vs Weeds
In this my first (and possibly last) foray into backyard rice growing, I have been watching with interest as the experiment progresses.
The lower “plugged” paddy is growing quite well now. Unless my liner has been punctured (unlikely), these plants slurp up an impressive amount of water. There is 3″-4″ of water that covers the soil when the paddy is full; this is completely absorbed and transpired every 2-3 days now that it is getting warm (and the plants are getting large).
I’m no doctor of riceology but these plants look pretty healthy to me:
Each plant sprouted a single stalk initially; as they have grown each plant has continued to add additional stalks. So far, 8-10 per plant seems to be the average.
Rice doesn’t have to grow in water; it apparently will get along pretty well in “just soggy” soil. But rice “doesn’t play well with others” and does better if it doesn’t have to compete with weeds for the moisture it thrives upon.
So why go to the trouble of building a paddy that will actually hold water? Besides the satisfying the high moisture requirements of rice, your typical weeds won’t grow in water.
So what gardener would mind a bed or two in their garden that by default are 100% weed free? Well, I’m fine with this idea.
Not a weed in the whole plot: