Minecraft Tekkit Tutorial: Cross-Breeding Plants, Flowers, and Crops. Farming is fun!
Over the last week, I’ve been working on building a community greenhouse laboratory in Technopolis for us to experiment with cross-breeding plants, and as of yesterday, it’s “done enough” for a few people to participate. This building is meant to house cross-breeding experiments, not necessarily to house long-term crop farming operations. Here are some pictures of it:
- First and most important for beginners to know: plants on the crop sticks can be trampled very easily! Normal farmed plants die when you jump on them and are okay with walking. Crops on sticks, however, may die from any touch, even “sneaking” with the shift key.
- Plants on crop sticks may drop multiple items. For example, a melon plant may drop whole melons, melon slices, melon seeds, and a special seed bag all at the same time when harvested! Even if you’re not interested in advanced cross-breeding, simply using the crop sticks for regular food production can be much more plentiful than using regular tilled farmland.
- Plants on crop sticks have stats associated with them. Each plant has a rating for Growth, Gain, and Resistance. Higher growth means the plant matures to harvest faster. Higher gain means the plant drops more things when harvested. Higher resistance means the plant resists nearby weeds better. There are other effects of these stats, but those are the basic things to know.
- Did I say “weeds“? Yes. Weeds can be a blight on your crops if you’re not careful. Weeds grow on unused crop sticks, and over time they may spread into and destroy neighboring plants. Weeds can be controlled my manually punching them off the crop sticks or avoided by simply not having any unused crops sticks around your plants.
- Plants on crop sticks can spread to neighboring crop sticks, and when they spread, the new plant may adopt the stats of its neighbors or breed into a totally different plant. This is required for getting coffee beans and hops (among others) that don’t exist naturally in the wild.
Step 1: Prepare your materials!
Before you can plant anything, you need to create a lot of crop sticks. Get some logs, break them into planks, break those into sticks, and craft crop sticks using this pattern:
You’ll also need to gather a bunch of plants. You can plant onto the crop sticks roses, dandelions, pumpkin seeds, melon seeds, wheat seeds, and reeds. To plant roses and dandelions, you’ll need four to put on a crop, but the others only need one.
That’s enough to get started, but to get the most out of your plants, you should also craft some fertilizer, hydration cells, weed-ex. Fertilizer and hydration cells help plants to grow and weed-ex help plants to resist neighboring weeds. These items are not required, but they may help the farming process. I’ll explain how to use them a bit later.
Here are pictures of their recipes. To make fertilizer, craft bonemeal and scrap together. To make hydration cells, craft empty cells from tin, scoop up some water with them, and run them through an extractor twice to turn the water cell into a coolant cell and then into a hydration cell. To make weed-ex, craft redstone over grin powder (macerated spider eyeball) over an empty cell.
If you want to make these, you’ll probably need to start hunting skeletons and spiders at night too.
Step 2: Start planting!
Pick an area to work in the greenhouse laboratory. I’ve roughly sectioned and color-coded plots of 3×3 areas. Please place a sign so people will know not to disturb your experiments. I’ve placed glass above the soil so you can’t accidentally trample crops. So, you should be able to safely jump over the crop-matrons in the center to get to the other sides.
Once you’ve chosen an area to work, right-click to place some crop sticks in the tilled soil. If you wait around, you’ll see dark squiggly vines start to grow on the crop sticks. These are weeds! Punch them once to kill them. Weeds look similar to young wheat or flower sprouts, but weeds are a darker green color. You’ll come to recognize the difference over time.
If you want to breed new plants, you’ll need to put crop sticks and plants on every other tilled block. In my case, I start by putting plants on the corners of the 3×3 squares, but you could put them on the midsections instead. Between your plants, set a crop stick in the soil, and then put *another* crop stick on it as if you were setting a plant. That will set the stick in a crossways fashion to give the neighboring plants a way to spread. As plants grow to maturity, they can spread to an adjacent block if that block has the crossed crop sticks like this. When they spread, they also have a chance to change stats or mutate into a different plant entirely.
Step 3: Help the plants grow!
Remember those fertilizer, hydration cells, and weed-ex items I described earlier? If you make some and want to help your plants, now’s the time to use them. There are two ways to apply these items. Either you can hold an item in your hand and right-click on a crop to apply a dose, or you can put the item inside the crop-matron and let the crop-matron automatically apply the items. The hydration cells and weed-ex have a meter that will deplete over use, and when empty the items vanish. There’s no refilling them; so, you’ll need plenty of tin to keep crafting the empty cells for them.
The crop-matron isn’t perfectly efficient about applying these products to your plants. I think that it tends to waste the items, maybe over-applying them more than necessary. Applying these by hand may give you as good results with less waste.
Also, remember that fertilizer, hydration cells, and weed-ex are totally optional. Your plants should grow fine without them, but using them may help your plants to grow faster. (Although, overuse of weed-ex may hurt your plants’ stats. )
Step 4: Harvest!
Once a plant has grown to full maturity, you can either harvest the goodies from it or remove the whole plant from the crop sticks. To harvest, right-click the plant, and it will drop melons, dyes, etc. and that will leave the base plant on the crop stick to continue producing goodies over time. To remove the whole plant, left-click the plant, and it will drop both the harvestable goodies as well as possibly a special seed bag. This seed bag will probably appear in your inventory as “Unknown Seeds”. You can immediately replant these seeds onto crop sticks, or you can run them through a cropnalyzer to identify them.
Step 5: Use the Cropnalyzer on those unknown seeds!
The cropnalyzer is a weird little device that gives you more information about your seeds. If you don’t care about the stats of your seeds or aren’t looking to make new breeds, you don’t need to bother with the cropnalyzer. If you do, though, read on.
The cropnalyzer is crafted from copper wire, glass, redstone, and an electronic circuit. The recipe looks like this:
Like other electronic devices, the cropnalyzer never wears out, but it does consume electricity. Unlike the drills, chainsaw, and other electric tools, though, you cannot charge it. Instead, you need to charge an RE-battery or energy crystal and place that into the device. Like I said, it’s weird. Put the cropnalyzer, charged item, and unknown seeds in your hotbar, select the cropnalyzer, and right-click somewhere. When the device opens up, put the charged item in the right-most slot and the unknown seeds in the left-most slot. The cropnalyzer will consume some of the energy, move the seeds from the left to the middle slot, and display some information about the seeds on the screen. Here’s a picture to illustrate after I’ve used it once on an unknown seed:
If you run the same seed through the cropnalyzer again, you’ll get more information about it. If you run the seed through the cropnalyzer four times, you get all the possible information about it. Here’s what it looks like after the fourth use:
Step 6: GOTO STEP 1!
That’s it. Growing a variety of crops can take a long time. Rather than jump into a bed to fast-forward through the night, I’ve found myself in the fields hunting mobs to gather more bones and spider eyes to make fertilizer and weed-ex. I’ve installed a recycler at the north end of the greenhouse laboratory, and I throw the extra junk like string and zombie flesh in there so I can quickly get more scrap for fertilizer.
There are more in-depth tutorials online to explain the intricacies of cross-breeding, but I’m taking a spoiler-free approach to farming and am largely going blind. I think genuinely experimenting like this is a much more rewarding experience, and it makes finding a new plant or upgraded stats far more exciting.
Currently, SpecMode and I have taken up sets of plots in the lab. More are welcome! If we fill this place up and need more room, we can either build another lab on the other side of town or we can take turns rotating. I’ve been using the lab the longest. So, if it fills up, I’ll collect my crops and move elsewhere.
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IC2 crops guide (very indepth)
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Written by: Icanhazripper
Original post: http://tekkify.com/forum/topic/410-ic2-crops-everything-you-should-know/
Copied here for fear of that forum going down (it is a server forum, so the chances of that are very real)
There are several guides available on some forums. However, these guides are like snapshots of different phases of the entire process, and do not give an accurate picture. What I’m posting here is the result of over 300 hours of data collection and personal experience, plus some tips I think are useful. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to read up on what’s already available, as they still provide good basic information.
Disclaimer: some of the things I say will assume that you know certain basics about IC2 crops. If not, they can easily be googled. Also, this information is accurate as of present IC2 version.
So lets start with the basics.
2 Energy crystals, one to power cropnalyzer, one being charged. You can use a Lappack to power the cropnalyzer too, but not Lapatron crystal.
LV array and some windmills
MFE (to charge energy crystals)
Recycler (to clear all the unwanted shit into scrap, which can be used as fertilizers, which is bonemeal + scrap)
Lots and lots of wood logs for cropsticks. Not like 1 stack “lots”, but more like 50 stacks “lot”. Yes 50 stacks of logs. You don’t need to get them all to start obviously, I’m just letting you know how much wood you’ll be using, it’s crazy.
Intermittent tip #1: Macerating bones will give 5 bonemeals instead of 3
Intermittent tip #2: A fully analyzed crop will show all stats. To fully analyze a crop, use the cropnalyzer on the same seedbag over and over again. I came across a couple of players that stopped after 1 cycle and didn’t know how to obtain the stats, so I thought I should add this here.
Intermittent tip #3: You can save time by analyzing 2 seedbags at once. Place one seedbag at the top left corner. It will shift to the second slot. Place another seed bag at the top left corner. Now, click to pick up the first seed. The second seed will then shift to the second slot. Place the first seed back in the first slot to prepare it for it’s 2nd analysis, then pick up the 2nd seed from the 2nd slot. Keep repeating the cycle. I know this sounds confusing, so if you get it, congratulations you will be saving hundreds of minutes analyzing new seedbags. If you don’t, I don’t know how else I can help you.
Level 245 and above, swamp biome, NO EXCEPTIONS. Growing the same crop below level 240 shows a SIGNIFICANT difference in “growability” (not to be confused with growth rate). “Growability” is a complicated theory that I will discuss later.
You start with low stats seeds, so you build a nursery to “build them up” until they are the levels you desire, then you mass plant them in fields. 3 plants I find useful: Ferru (for unlimited iron), Redwheat (for unlimited redstone), and Stickreeds (for unlimited rubber which is a good source of money income as well)
Crop Types and Special Conditions
I just need to add 1 more special condition. All crops that drop dyes (flowers and cocoa) need at least light level 14 to be planted, meaning daylight or a torch right next to it.
Also, Redwheat grows with light levels 5-10, not “redstone level”
Highest tier crops you can get from natural means (ie non-crossbreeding) Terrawart, Netherwart, Cocoa. Don’t bother with flowers or wheat. You may also wish to use melons and pumpkins since they grow faster than terra/netherwarts, though I wouldn’t recommend that, it’s just wasting time.
The best way to place your crops in your nursery is as follow:
OX – XO
XO – OX
– – W – –
XO – OX
OX – XO
O is the original seed you’re using to crossbreed with
X is the double cropsticks you’re going to
W is the water, above which you can place a crop-matron or a half block to stand on
So basically, it’s 4 sub-plots of 2×2, making a single what I like to call “nursery plot”.
I know people are going to argue with this, claiming a 3×3 or 9×9 is a better use of land etc. I will unequivocally tell you now that is all wrong and this is why.
1) Most effective use of seeds for crossbreeding. In this method, 2 seeds can crossbreed 2 crops (the 2 O’s in a subsquare will crossbreed the 2 X’s), giving it a 1-to-1 ratio
2) The 8 original seeds form an “X” with you standing in the center “W”. Always keep to this pattern so you don’t get confused with multiple nursery plots (and believe me, you WILL have multiple nursery plots)
3) Each plot is for one type of crop, so keeping them small reduces confusion and saves space
4) Standing on W lets you view and more importantly reach all 16 crops without moving, because even BREATHING on your crops is going to f**kin DESTROY THEM.
5) You can place a crop-matron on top of W and it will affect all 16 crops, the maximum range of a crop matron
Intermittent tip #3: it is important to be able to reach all 16 crops without moving because moving WILL destroy your crops. They used to not destroy them like conventional crops, but after upgrading to 3.1.1 it changed. Your crops will be destroyed EVEN IF you crouch while moving on them, or just f**king TOUCH them, so be warned! (This gives more importance to Resistance somewhat, which will be elaborated more later)
Intermittent tip #4: Place a glass panel (RP2 microblock. NOT COVER because cover will still allow you to walk under) 2 blocks above the crop. This will stop you from accidentally trampling on them, which give you maximum space below to interact with the crop. MUST be glass. I should take some screenshots but I’m too lazy, so ask a mod to do that or something.
Facts About Tiers
Many people say many things about tiers and how you can crossbreed. Here are the facts:
Assuming you crossbreed crop A and crop B, there is a 45% chance you’ll get A, 45% chance you’ll get B, and 10% chance it’ll be something else. So if you crossbreed 2 same plants, the chance to get the same plant again is 90%.
What type of crop C will you get? There is a probability condition for both upside and bottomside. The range of tiers of crops you will most likely get is 1 tier above the higher tier crop and 1 tier below the lower tier crop. Meaning if you crossbreed a Tier V crop with a Tier III crop, you are most probably going to get a crop between Tier II and Tier VI (assuming this is the 10% chance of obtaining a new crop). However, this does not mean it is impossible to “jump tiers” This is very important because people keep arguing about this. I got my Aurelia (Tier VIII) by crossbreeding a netherwart and a reed (YES REED, not stickreed), a Tier V and a Tier II, which is why I was planting Aurelia waaayyy before I got my Ferru. This is just a fact tidbit though, and should not be relied for common practice, since the probability of the range I explained earlier is MUCH higher.
[edit 21 Dec 2012] Click here for a rough guide on the fastest way to crossbreed a specific plant. Spoiler alert: it’s cheating (results are gained from checking the source code)! So don’t click if you want to do it yourself.
Facts About Crossbreeding
Crops become “ready” to crossbreed 2 stages before maturity (both original crops need to be at that stage). This means crops can crossbreed in the last 3 stages, including maturity, so you don’t have to wait till when it’s mature to place the double cropsticks.
Ferru and Aurelia can still be successfully planted or crossbred even if the block under the dirt is not iron or gold ore. Having iron/gold ore does NOT increase the chance of crossbreeding ferru or aurelia, it merely allows the crop to mature. So if you see a crop that looks like the second last stage of ferru or aurelia (take a look at your texturepack or google to see what they look like), and that the crop doesn’t mature in forever (coffee looks the same but has no such special conditions), then it’s either ferru or aurelia. Simply place an iron ore below, then add fertilizers and hydration, and wait for 5 minutes. If it doesn’t mature, replace iron ore with gold ore and repeat.
One thing I have noticed but cannot replicate enough to confirm, is that Ferru/Aurelia in the 2nd last stage will drop seedbags only if they’re on an iron/gold ore. The same crops “stuck” at their 2nd last stage without the ores will not drop seedbags when destroyed.