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Planting Wild Rice


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This is what I was told.....
You need to mix the seed in a mud mixture, make small mud balls out of it and then throw it into areas you wish to plant. This helps the seed reach the bottom and lodge there.

Rice can lay dormant for years waiting for the right conditions. Make sure you plant it in shallow muddy areas.

You should also check to make sure you do not need a permit. If it is on private land, you should have no problem.

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It may help but you do not need to mix it with the mud. The best is if you have an inch or more of soft dirt/silt on the bottom. You want the seed to settle into the bottom so that the ducks do not eat the seed up in shallower water. Also if the seed is not under some dirt when the plant is in the floating leaf stage the wave action will pull the root out of the bottom. If any geese are in the area they will eat up most if not all of the plants when they are in the floating leaf stage.

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One thing I've done is put the seeds in a shallow pan full of water for a couple days first, changing the water at least once a day. Depending on the quality of the seed batch you'll see maybe 20-60% start to germinate within 72 hours. I'm not sure how much this helps, but from working with wild rice in the lab the hardest part seems to be getting them germinated. You don't want to wait very long after they start splitting open to plant them, as they will definitely float if you wait until you see their roots and shoots. You would also plant the germinated seeds later in the year than you would dormant seeds, probably mid-June.

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I've seeded a few beaver sloughs, and we generally do it in late summer/early fall. When we are ricing, we will save out a bit for various seeding activities, and plant the stuff within a day or two of harvesting. We've always figured this was as close to "natural" seeding that occurs in the wild as we could get. Normally, the rice ripens and shatters in late summer/early fall (depending on the lake and sub-species of rice) and re-seeds itself that way.
We sometimes do the mudball route if access to the pond is difficult (meaning we don't have a canoe to use) so we can cover a larger area tossing the little mudballs than we could by tossing handfuls of light rice.
Rice will not necessarily grow in all ponds and lakes. The ph level is very important, as is a reasonable amount of fresh water movement - a stagnant pond typically won't take.

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SA, you could try Kelly-p, he may have some. I believe that his is the commercial wild rice variety. I found wild rice at Kesters (in Wisconsin, I think). It's pretty cheap. Otherwise you should be able to find some in a few weeks when the ricing gets going.

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