Farmers finish the final preparations of their paddies before planting rice seedlings.
Depending on soil requirements, both inorganic or organic fertilizer is often spread broadly across the now boggy paddies. This is done either by hand, or by tractor, depending on the size and capitalization of the farming operations.
Additional water is then added to paddies from the vast surrounding network of spigots, pumps and water channels that service farming areas in Japan. Water floods the rice paddy plots to a depth of approximately 2-4 inches above the mud level.
Paddies were already dry tilled in late Winter to loosen soil while the paddies were dry. Following flooding, most paddies require final leveling of mud beneath the water level before rice seedlings can be finally planted. The wet tilling process is also usually carried out by tractor.
Wet tilling ensures all seedlings are covered with a similar depth of water for growth. Seedlings will otherwise dry out if planted in mud that is too shallow, or drown if planted too deep.