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The Farming skill is part of a system added to Project Zomboid in RC2.9. The player has the option of sowing seeds with a trowel to create a sustainable way to gather food. Farming is also influenced by the seasons system, meaning crops will yield more in summer than winter.
Farming Skill Benefits
Increasing the farming skill provides more information about the crop status when the crop info is viewed (right-click -> Info). At skill level 0, the player cannot discern much useful information about the crop he/she just planted, and rookie farmers have to rely on visual cues about the plant status. At skill level 5 all info is shown, including but not limited to: hydration level, growth phase, time left to reach the next growth phase, potential diseases types and plant infection levels for the diseases. In addition, at level 5 if a plant has a detrimental status, such as disease or drought, it is signified to the player with a hovering icon when the player character simply stands next to the affected plant for a moment. As such, players with 5 points in farming can check crops for any ill effects just by standing still.
Increasing Farming Skill
You only gain farming skill XP when the player successfully harvests a plant he/she planted. No other actions (watering, checking, digging, or planting) give any farming XP.
No matter how good you are at scavenging, eventually all of the food on the map will be exhausted. Once the power fails, a significant portion of the usable food will rot and become inedible. You cannot continue to survive without finding new, sustainable sources of food. Currently in Project Zomboid, you have four options: 1) Farming, 2) Fishing, 3) Foraging, and, 4) Trapping. Of these, farming requires the most work, but also appears to gives the most rewards. Combining your harvested crops with fish or trapped animals can make significant meals that will replenish hunger, thirst, and unhappiness simultaneously.
Step 1: Collecting Materials
To start farming at all you will need:
- A trowel
- Seeds (the more seeds and the larger the variety the better)
- Something that can hold water
Additional items that will help you to sustain your farming over long periods are:
- Rain barrels (level 4 carpentry barrels preferred)
- Spade and empty sandbags (to relocate dirt, if necessary)
- Watering can(s)
- Empty spray cans (two (2) minimum)
- Milk packages
Step 2: Preparing Your Garden
Choose a good location for your farm:
- Zombies can trample your crops. This will damage or kill them.
- You must plant in a place where zombies can't get to them while still allowing sunlight in.
- One option is to build walls around the area you will plant in.
- Another option is to plant on top of a second story where zombies cannot access easily.
- To move dirt to your chosen location you need to have a Spade and empty sandbags.
- Equip the spade in both hands
- Put the sandbags in your main inventory.
- Right click on an area with dirt (grass is a safe bet, but there is only one layer of usable dirt per tile)
- Click "Take some dirt -> Empty Sand bag." Each sandbag can hold four (4) tiles of dirt.
- Right click on the tile you want to drop the dirt on.
- Click "Spill dirt -> Dirt bag."
Repeat until you have enough tiles for the amount of crops you want to plant.
Note: You may want to put space between your farming plots to prevent the spread of disease. See more about disease below.
Preparing the dirt tiles:
- Make sure the trowel is in the main inventory.
- Right click on a nearby section of land, and then select "Dig".
- A patch of dirt with three furrows should appear.
|You can plant seed in here.|| No crafting level required.
Step 3: Planting Crops
If you found seed packets, you will need to open them. This will give you the loose seeds that you will plant.
- Put a Seed Packet in your main inventory
- Right click on the seed packet and select "open seed packet."
- Make sure your loose seeds are in your MAIN inventory
|Contains 50 individual seeds of the given crop.|| No crafting level required.
- Verify you have some sort of water in your inventory to water your seeds with. You will generally need 50+ units of water per tile.
- Right click on a tile you've tilled (a tile with three furrows).
- Click "Sow Seed -> <Crop Name>"
- Right click on the newly planted seeds and select "Info." Leave this window open to the side so you can see how well watered your crops are.
- Immediately water the crop by right clicking and choosing "Water -> <Number>". I suggest you start by watering all crops with at least 50 units.
- Continue watering in 5-10 unit increments until the crop info box says "Well Watered."
| Min Water: 65
Average days until harvest: 17 days
| No crafting level required.
Step 4: Growing Crops
Remember to keep your crops in the "Well Watered" state. You will need to check them at least once per day unless it is raining. A watering can will speed up this process significantly.
If you're low on water, you will have to hope that it rains often enough to keep your crops watered. Placing Rain Collector Barrels around your garden to collect rain will be necessary to make sure you don't lose a harvest of crops and starve. Place them near your garden so you don't have to walk far to fill up your watering can.
Although it takes half a Watering Can or Gardening spray can (20 units of water) to bring a crop to a Well Watered / 100% state, using 4 mugs of water (4 units of water) to water a crop will yield the same result.
Crops will take different lengths of time to grow depending on what seeds are planted. Crops progress through basic stages of growth:
- Fully Grown
- Ready to Harvest
- Seed-bearing (NOT "In bloom")
|Crop||Minimum Water||Maximum Water||Average Days Until Harvest||Additional Days for Seeds||Required Seeds||Days to Rot|
NOTE: Carrots and Radishes for the first phase need more water to start out. About 75 or 80 percent and then use the guide above for the rest of the phases.
|Used to cure plants of the "Mildew" plant disease.|| No crafting level required.
|Used to cure plants of the "Insects" plant disease.|| No crafting level required.
When you sow seeds to grow crops, a plant's starting health is determined by your Farming skill. The higher your skill, the higher the starting health. The health, as denoted as a percentage, increases slowly over time, unless affected by disease or inappropriate water levels. Currently, radishes and carrots have a maximum water level and thus can be overwatered, causing them to lose health. Thus, it is recommended to grow these crops in an indoors/roofed farm area, so that rain doesn't cause them to lose health from overwatering.
The health of a plant determines the size of the yield upon harvest. Seeds are given to the character when a plant is harvested during its seed-bearing phase; this is the last phase of a plant's life, and appears after the plant is able to be harvested solely for food.
|A can that can hold water. It is used to water the crops.|
|A container that can hold water. It can also be used to water the crops.|
|A small metal shovel. It is used to till the soil.|
|RC 2.9||Added to the Vanilla game.|
|v • d • eFarming|
|Tools||Trowel • Watering Can • Gardening Spray Can • Fertilizer|
|Seeds||Broccoli Seeds • Carrot Seeds • Radish Seeds • Strawberry Seeds • Tomato Seeds • Potato Seeds|
|Crops||Broccoli • Carrots • Cabbage • Radish • Strawberry • Tomato • Potato|