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Minecraft Tekkit Tutorial: Cross-Breeding Plants, Flowers, and Crops. Farming is fun!


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Minecraft Tekkit Tutorial: Cross-Breeding Plants, Flowers, and Crops. Farming is fun!
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2012-12-22, 18:39

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:




So, what's the big deal? Why go to all this trouble? Growing plants on crop sticks is different from growing them in normal tilled farmland in a few ways:
  • 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.

Those are the basic things to know before getting started.

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 3x3 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 3x3 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.

Thoughts? Questions?

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  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2012-12-22, 19:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
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.
Here's an unfortunate example of weeds destroying plants...



(Psst... SpecMode... I punched these out and removed the crop sticks to hopefully get things under control.)

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
709
¬°Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2012-12-22, 20:04

Excellent tutorial Brad!

I'll definitely be on board once I get my power situation under control at Casa 709.
  quote
SpecMode
Wait what
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NorCal
 
2012-12-22, 20:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Here's an unfortunate example of weeds destroying plants...



(Psst... SpecMode... I punched these out and removed the crop sticks to hopefully get things under control.)
Yeah, I haven't logged in since yesterday, and the Crop-Matron must have run out of Weed-EX. Ah, well.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2012-12-22, 22:17

Great write-up Brad, thanks. Maybe I'll set up some crops in there too.
  quote
Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2012-12-23, 02:05

As the idiot who heavily invested in crop breeding in the first town (while all else were condensing like crazy) ill say this: the work/payoff ratio is low indeed. Also, hydration cells are FAR too expensive.
  quote
709
¬°Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2012-12-23, 02:16

But you were the first ANMC Brewmaster, Bryson. A title worth noting.

( and one I'm a bit jealous of )
  quote
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