Farming is the process of seeding, growing and harvesting crops. This provides the player better access to specific resources used in crafting.
To begin farming, players will need a gardening hoe and seeds. Seeds can be obtained by chopping down trees (birch trees do not appear to give seeds as of A14.7), by looting them, or by crafting them from vegetables, flowers, and mushrooms. To craft seeds from plants, click on it in the inventory, select recipes, and craft the seed.
Seeds currently in-game include:
- Cotton Seed - does not require fertile or grass-less ground
- Maple Seed - cannot be planted directly next to other plants, does not require fertile ground
- Corn (Seed) - does not require fertile or grass-less ground
- Pine Seed - cannot be planted directly next to other plants, does not require fertile ground
- Potato Seed - requires tilled fertile dirt
- Blueberry Bush-requires tilled fertile dirt
- Goldenrod Flower - requires tilled fertile dirt
- Coffee - requires tilled fertile dirt
Trees seeds must be planted at least two blocks apart and do not require any special preparation of the ground. Since they cannot be planted directly next to other plants, trees are better planted separately from other plants. For players who don't necessarily want a tree farm, simply replanting seeds in an area harvested will ensure the continued availability of the resource in that area. It takes 120 in-game days for a tree to grow from a seed.
A producing garden must be on ground blocks (such as grassy ground, forest ground, or even the world's natural ground) that have been upgraded to tilled soil blocks, and should be upgraded further to fertilized soil blocks. Plants grown on ground blocks that haven't been upgraded either cost as much as they produce or can't be planted at all. There are various types of ground blocks crafted using dirt fragments. Dirt fragments are non-block items that are used to craft, upgrade, and repair ground blocks as well as a few other items.
Whether the ground blocks were placed down by the player or if just using the natural ground, the blocks must be upgraded first into tilled soil and then into fertilized soil using the gardening hoe and fertilizer. The gardening hoe upgrades a ground block (providing the player has the required materials in their inventory) exactly the same way a stone axe upgrades a wood block (providing the player has the required materials in their inventory). Upgrading ground into tilled soil costs no materials, while upgrading tilled soil into fertilized soil costs 1 fertilizer for every 1 block upgraded (fertilizer is a non-block item which is unusable by itself). Once the soil is ready for planting, the player holds the seed in their hand and places it on the block. Plants can only be placed in spots if conditions allow them to grow there. Lack of sunlight, lack of space (plant blocks are 3 blocks tall), or non-upgraded soil are all reasons why a player couldn't plant crops in a certain spot.
Excluding mushrooms, sunlight is required for all growth, no other light source will work. Different blocks can have different effects how far the growth area spans. Glass lowers the distance it reaches, while solid blocks can keep plants behind it from getting sunlight. When planting indoors above ground, plants can be grown in front of windows and doors. An open block in a wall lets sunlight in sideways to cover 5 blocks any direction, including the block in front of the hole (adjacent diagonal blocks count as being 2 blocks away from each other). Glass lowers the distance to 4 blocks, while doors allow the full 5 blocks of sunlight through, whether open or closed. Windows higher than the height of the plants begin to lose distance as well. To plant underground a 1x1 shaft will provide sunlight down through the ground, regardless of depth, to cover the block at the bottom and then out 7 more blocks. Glass blocks and hatches (open or closed) cut the sunlight down to 4 blocks, while iron bars allow full sunlight through.
Mushrooms differ in that they are planted outside the reach of sunlight, don't create seeds but instead create spores, take longer to grow, can be planted on blocks other than ground or soil (though there is no harvest gain), and can be planted sideways or upside-down.
Fertile ground that has been placed by a player, while it does not require the use of the gardening hoe, will - if left too long - grow grass. This will turn the ground into grassy fertile dirt. A few seeds are not bothered by this and are safe to plant adjacent to other grassy blocks. They are cotton seed, corn seed. maple and pine can also be planted in grassy dirt but must be two blocks apart. If the player plants seeds, other than the aforementioned, next to each other in grassy dirt then any adjacent plant in a grassy block will become uprooted.
The most efficient way to farm is to create a place for the farm, add fertile dirt, then immediately seed it. Non tree plants take 120 - 180 (corn) minutes to grow. Plant new seeds immediately after harvesting. This will keep grass from growing on the farm and will eliminate the need to till the ground.