To begin farming, a player needs good soil and seeds to plant crops. A specialized tool, the hoe is required to convert soil into farmland. The player will also need to provide moisture for the growing crops, either via irrigation or through the use of a watering can.
Wild crops are created during world generation and can be found all over the world in different climatic regions. Breaking these crops is essential for gathering seeds to plant crops. Wild crops that are not mature do not always drop seeds when broken. Wild crops will grow, even when the chunks are not loaded, and their growth is not influenced by temperatures. However, they will also revert to growth stage 1 after fully grown, if they are not harvested before the next growth tick. It is recommended to harvest all wild crops, regardless of growth stage, when out on a long journey, if the player foresees that they will not come the same way again.
*Bell peppers are not implemented as of 1.16.4. The wild crops will grow and will drop seeds, but never any produce.
Soil and farmland
Naturally generated soil
Four types of naturally occurring soil exist in the world at different fertility rates: barren 5%, low 25%, medium 50%, and ultra-high called terra preta 80%. Soil retains its fertility levels when blocks are gathered and placed elsewhere, so a good farming strategy is to hunt soil with high nutrient levels and bring it home.
High-fertility soil is a player-generated soil type with nutrient levels of 65%. This dirt is an alternative farming option if terra preta cannot be located. Each block of high-fertility soil is created by sealing 64 rot in a barrel for 20 days, then combining 8 of the resulting compost in the crafting grid around a block of medium-fertility soil to create one block of high-fertility soil.
1x Medium fertility soil
Using a hoe + on a soil block creates dry farmland. If the farmland is within 3 blocks of a freshwater source block, it will be converted from dry to moist farmland. Other solutions for creating moist farmland include daily watering using a watering can or relying on rain in a rainy area. Moisture levels above 50% give a bonus to growth speed. More specifically, reducing the total hours needed for a crop to grow to the next stage by up to two hours of in-game time, if at 100% moisture.
Nearby water provides moisture to horizontally adjacent farmland within 3 blocks, including along the diagonal. The moisture bonus provided by nearby water is reduced by 25% for each 1 block that the farmland is distant from the water. Thus, farmland immediately next to a water block will be granted 75% moisture, two blocks away will be granted 50% moisture, and 3 blocks away will be granted 25% moisture. Farmland does not absorb moisture from water in a vertical direction (i.e. farmland created directly above the surface of a lake will not stay moist from the water below it).
Saltwater cannot be used to provide moisture, and will instantly kill crops.
Farmland blocks cannot be picked up and replaced once converted. Breaking farmland destroys the block.
All soil, dirt, and dry or moist farmland, has 3 nutrient levels, N, P, and K. Each crop consumes one of these nutrients. Some crops require higher values of nutrients than others, as shown in the table below. Crop growth rates also differ. Each crop has a different total growth speed, which is shown by the number of growth days.
When crops advance from one growth stage to the next, they consume nutrients from the farmland on which they are planted. The required nutrient, K, P, or N, is the nutrient that will be consumed, reducing the concentration of that nutrient in the farmland. The amount of the nutrient required per growth stage is determined by dividing the Nutrient Consumption by the number of growth stages.
Nutrients in farmland slowly replenish over time and return to the maximum level per soil type, for instance, medium fertility will only regain nutrients to their original levels. The rate of nutrient replenishment is slower if a crop is growing on it and faster when left fallow - meaning no crop growing. The nutrition type used by the currently growing crop will regenerate even slower than the two not actively used, and effectively won't replenish at all, as the currently growing crop reduces it with every growth tick. If the crop on the farmland is ripe, none of the nutrients will replenish.
Nutrition replenishment ticks every 3 to 4 ingame hours.
Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of different types of crops in the same area over time and has been used since ancient times to maximize crop production. Nitrogen (N), phosphate (P) and potassium (K) dependent crops can be rotated on the same growing area. For example, after harvesting a nitrogen-dependent crop such as turnips, the soil will have a lower level of nitrogen but higher levels of the two other nutrients. Therefore a phosphate or potassium-dependent crop can be planted in the same soil.
A common crop rotation strategy is to divide the fertile area into four sections, one each for N, P, or K-dependent crops and one left fallow (without any crops growing). In the screenshot on the right, turnips (N-dependent) are planted in the top left, onions (P-dependent) in the top right, carrots (K-dependent) in the bottom right and the bottom left area are left without any crops. After harvest the planting will be rotated clockwise so that turnips will now be planted in the top right, onions in the bottom right, carrots in the bottom left and the top left will not have any crops. Rotate clockwise again after each harvest.
Note that the rotation will depend on the slowest crop to mature which in this case are the carrots (4 in-game days). Because nutrients replenish best in fallow soil, one area is kept unplanted during each rotation. This strategy is particularly useful if the player does not have access to fertilizer yet. You can make variations on this strategy to suit your crop mix.
Fertilizers such as saltpeter, potash and bonemeal can be applied to the soil to replenish nutrients depleted by the growth of crops without waiting for the slow natural replenishment in fallow soil (no crops planted) or the need for crop rotation.
For example, the important crop flax removes potassium from the soil as it grows. Adding potash or saltpeter to the depleted soil after harvest will replenish potassium levels and allow replanting of flax on the same soil without waiting for natural replenishment and without the need for crop rotation. The type and amount of nutrient required for each crop is shown in the table of available crops in the next section. Having sufficient nutrients for each crop allows for the optimal growth rate if temperature and light requirements are also met.
Using fertilizer is the only time a soil type can exceed the maximum nutrient level of the soil type.
Note that saltpeter cannot be detected by a prospecting pick and must be found while exploring caves.
|Fertilizer||Nitrogen (N) %||Phosphorus (P) %||Potassium (K) %||Obtention|
|Saltpeter||13||0||44||mined from caves|
|Compost||40||8||8||sealing 64 rot in a barrel for 20 days|
To harvest, left-click on the crop with an empty hand or harvesting tool, knife or scythe. Fully mature crops will return seeds, food, and in the case of flax, fiber. All fully mature crops have about a 5% chance of dropping an extra seed when harvested. Each crop is characterized by a set of Crop Properties. Crop properties consist of the following individual properties:
- Growth Stages - The number of growth stages for a crop.
- Total Growth Days - The number of in-game days it takes for a crop to be fully grown (harvestable).
- Nutrient - The type of nutrient (N, P, K) consumed from the farmland when a crop grows to the next stage.
- Nutrient Consumption - The total amount of the required nutrient that will be consumed over the lifetime of a crop.
- Cold/ Heat Resistance - Temperature range the crop can endure before it takes damage and then will yield less harvest on breaking. Generally, all crops can keep growing only above 0°C. They might be able to endure lower temperatures without damage, but will not be able to grow under such circumstances. The only way to artificially regulate temperature for crop growth at the moment is through the use of a greenhouse structure, which will raise the temperature by 5°C. Keep in mind that getting too cold or too hot can halve the harvest of a crop or even kill a crop entirely, but the seeds will always be dropped.
- Yield - The amount of edible produce items that are dropped when a fully-grown crop is harvested.
Table of available crops
|Carrot||7||1.20||10.80||K (Potassium)||40||-10°C||32°C||9 - 13*|
|Flax||9||2.00||18.00||K (Potassium)||50||-5°C||40°C||7 - 9*|
|Onion||7||1.85||16.65||P (Phosphorus)||35||-1°C||40°C||10 - 14*|
|Spelt||9||2.00||18.00||N (Nitrogen)||40||-5°C||40°C||10 - 14*|
|Turnip||5||1.00||9.00||N (Nitrogen)||30||-5°C||27°C||6 - 8*|
|Parsnip||8||2.00||18.00||P (Phosphorus)||20||-10°C||32°C||10 - 14*|
|Rice||10||2.25||20.25||K (Potassium)||50||8°C||46°C||11 - 15*|
|Rye||9||2.00||18.00||N (Nitrogen)||40||-12°C||27°C||9 - 13*|
|Soybean||11||1.25||11.25||K (Potassium)||35||-5°C||40°C||5 - 7*|
|Amaranth||9||2.00||18.00||N (Nitrogen)||15||6°C||42°C||5 - 7*|
|Bell Pepper||19||2.20||19.80||N (Nitrogen)||35||8°C||34°C||Not implemented|
|Cassava||9||5.00||45.00||K (Potassium)||25||4°C||44°C||14 - 18*|
|Peanut||9||2.50||22.50||P (Phosphorus)||45||10°C||42°C||8 - 12*|
|Sunflower||12||1.85||16.65||N (Nitrogen)||40||-5°C||40°C||11 - 15*|
*Growth times are calculated based on number of days in a month. Changing the length of a month will change the total growth time in days proportionally.
**Pumpkins are cultivated differently than all other crops. Please see the pumpkin page for detailed instructions about establishing a pumpkin patch.
Fruit trees were introduced in the Homesteading Update (v.1.16). There are a total of nine different types of fruit-bearing trees: red apple, pink apple, yellow apple, peach, pear, cherry, orange, olive, and mango. Some of the trees, like mango and orange, are specifically adapted to warmer climates, whereas apples, pears, and peaches thrive in temperate climates.
After a fruit tree is found in the wild, a tree cutting can be acquired by breaking its branches with an Axe. Each cutting has a 40% chance to grow into a full tree when planted in the ground - if the temperature requirements are met. Some trees must go through "vernalization," when the temperature drops down below a certain point, for them to set fruit.
Hares will go after planted crops and eat them. They will leave behind a dead plant that drops one seed, but no crops. Some crops are not eaten by hares, namely onions, pineapples, and pumpkins. These can be planted without protection if grown alone.
Since rabbits spawn on grass blocks, rabbit-proofing farms with walls, fences, or a two-block deep dry moat around farm blocks is recommended. Players must take care to leave no grass blocks within the enclosed area. The moat has the bonus of catching hungry rabbits when they try to reach the player's crops. Keep in mind that adult rabbits can jump over a single fence block if it is bordered by water. Rabbit spawns can also be blocked inside an enclosed area by placing stones on the ground or removing all grass. Grass that grows on fallow farm blocks does not grow tall enough to be a valid rabbit spawn.
Rabbits ignore wild crops.
Version 1.14 introduced significant limitations on underground farming. There is a soft limit for plant growth concerning depth below sea level. Each level below sea level requires one extra light level for the crop to grow, and below light level 19, each farther level incurs a 10% growth penalty, which means growth will stop entirely at or below light level 9.
Given that the sun's light level is 22, this means that with direct sunlight shafts alone, farms can be placed at a maximum of 3 levels below sea level without incurring growth penalties, and a maximum of 12 levels below sea level before growth stops completely.
With a fully set chandelier (providing light level 24), a slightly lower depth might be reached. However, light levels do not accumulate, meaning combining a light shaft with light level 22 and a lantern with light level 18 will still result in a maximum light level of 22.
"Underground" farms in a mountain range above sea level would however still be possible, as long as the required light level for growth is achieved with sun or artificial light.
In a default height world, the sea level is 110.
Food and cooking
The efficiency values below in the "Satiety/Growth time (days)" column are based on the total yield of a crop from one tile of farmland, multiplied by the food's satiety, divided by the number of growth days until maturity. Note that pumpkins, while they only require a single block of farmland, are spread out to cover a wider area of dirt. This space efficiency was not taken into account.
|Seed Type||Category||Satiety||Satiety/Growth time (days)|
- Soybeans cannot be eaten raw, but they can be pickled and then eaten in this state.
- Cassava cannot be eaten raw off the vine. It must first be soaked in a sealed barrel and skinned with a knife, but it can then be eaten in this state.
- Pineapples and pumpkins cannot be eaten nor cooked whole. They must first be sliced with a knife, producing 4 pieces each with exactly 25% of the entire produce's satiety.
- Pumpkins' growth varies wildly, but community experimentation appears to have resulted in approximately 1.5 pumpkins' profit per vine, on average (assuming 2.5 are grown and 1 is used to produce the next pumpkin seed). The numbers above reflect this.
|Detailed explanation including changes since version 1.13||Detailed explanation of pumpkin plants|