List of Crops Good to Plant on Swampy Land and How to Plant Them


All shallow rooted crops grow on swampy land but not all do well on swampy land. Shallow rooted crops grow on swampy land because the use soil nutrients on the first layer of the soil and are not rooted down to water. Planting on swampy land is a good alternative to irrigation, but you still need to provide drainage to take off excess water from the farm in to the canal to reduce the risk of flooding and its adverse effects.

There are two reasons why some crops do not do well on swampy land

Soil type: swampy land is  loamy or clay-loamy soiled land. Some of these shallow rooted crops require sandy or clay-loamy soil. So only the crops that do well on clay-loamy and loamy soil are planted on swampy land. Therefore tubbery crops  like cassava, cocoyam, potato etc. They require well-drained loamy, sandy-loamy soil. They do not like waterlogged or water-retaining soil which makes their tubbery roots to rot.

Water volume: When the water volume exceeds soil surface level, most crops can’t withstand it. Some crops do not require water logged area and flooding can easily wash them away.

Generally, all shallow rooted crops do well on swampy land but not all survive during the rainy season. So all the shallow rooted crops that have short maturity date are suitable on swampy land, but they are planted during the dry season. Most of them are cereal and vegetation crops.

There are also other crops that require high level of annual rain fall which can withstand high volume of water which are good for swampy land.

Planting on swampy land is very cheap and at the same time very risky, if not well managed.

List of Some Crops Good to Plant on Swampy Land 

  • Rice
  • Sugar cane
  • Plantain/ Banana
  • Maize
  • Tomatoes
  • Pepper
  • Garden egg
  • Flutes Pumpkin leaves (Ugu)
  • Okra, other shallow rooted vegetable crops

Crops and How to Plant Them


Rice adapts to wide range of environmental conditions from freely drained Upland ecology to Lowlands deep flood (swampy) ecologies. Rice is water loving and does well on soils that hold a lot of water — clay, clay-loamy or loamy. So swampy land which is either clay-loamy or loamy  soil depending on the location, and retains a lot of water is suitable for growing rice.

Alt: = "photo showing waterlogged rice farm"

Lowland Varieties

There are different varieties suitable for Swampy land and for Upland.

Lowland rice is described as either rain-fed lowland or irrigated lowland varieties

  • Farro 44 (Sipi): It has maturity date of 90 – 100 days and yield range from 4 – 8 metric tons per hectare.
  • Farro 52: It matures between 100 – 120 days and yields between 4 – 8 metric tons per hectare
  • Farro 57: It has same characteristics with Farro 44

Land preparation

Clear the land

Provide drainage system (gutter) for run off of excess water in to the canal or ditches for trapping of excess water

Bund and level the field  impound water to permit even flooding so that the rice will not be carried into the canal


Rice can be planted directly or nursery and replanting

There are two types of nursery practices — dry nursery and wet nursery. Since you are planting on the swampy land, wet nursery is recommended and it’s the common method.

Wet Nursery

  • Flood the land (in this case, the land is already flooded), puddle and fertilize (farmyard manure)
  • Make a slightly raised nursery beds
  • Broadcast pre-soaked, sometimes pre-germinated seeds  on  mud at the rate of 25 kg per 350 – 500 sqm of nursery and ensure that water is standing continuously till the seedlings grow up to 15cm high. 
  • Cover the sown seeds with grass mulch for 7 day and remove when the seedlings have emerged.

Seedlings grow quickly and are ready for transplanting in 25 – 30 days, when they are about 15 – 30 cm tall and have developed 5 – 7 leaves (depending on the variety). 

Sometimes, polythene or impermeable layer such as banana leaves, plastic sheets are used as nursery bed to germinate the seeds. Seeds germinated using this method get ready for transplanting in 10 – 14 days.

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Transplanting for Swampy  or Irrigated Rice

  • Use Rotavator  to break the filed soil into fine particles about 3 days to transplanting.
  • The soil should be drained to improve aeration. 
  • Carefully pull out the seedlings, wash the roots, tie in bundles before transplanting on the field
  • Plant 2 – 3 seedlings at each position at spacing of 20cm X 20cm.
  • Flood the field with water after transplanting.


Alt: = "pictture of plantain plantation on a swampy land"
Plantain Plantation on Swampy Land

I had written article on How to Plant Plantain on Swampy Land.  Click on the link to continue reading...

Maize, Okro, Others

Alt: = "picture of garden egg farm"
Garden Egg Farm

Planting other crops (Maize, Okro and other vegetables)

These shallow rooted crops are planed on swampy land during the dry season as alternative to irrigation. 

Planting Season

Planting these crops on swampy land takes place between November when the rain stops to April before the rain sets in. For water not to disturb you, plant November to February. During this period, the prices of these crops are very high in the market.


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