Before Getting Started
The first thing you will want to do is choose your farm's location. There are two things you want to keep in mind when doing this, as it will have a significant effect on your plants. The first, and perhaps most important is the height at which your farm is located. It is best to grow as close to the top of the world as you can, as the higher up you go, the better the Air Quality will be. The worst thing you can do is attempt to grow plants at bedrock. The next thing to keep in mind is the biome in which you grow your plants. This will affect your farmland's base Hydration. The best biome for base Hydration is the Swamp biome, followed by Jungle, Forest, and Plains. It is strongly discouraged to grow in any other biome as it will make you go through many more resources in the long run. Air Quality and Hydration play an important role in the growth cycle and will be covered in more detail below.
The most essential things you will need are the basics:
- A hoe or a Red Katar for tilling farmland.
- Nearby water source.
- A large amount of Crops.
- Plants to start with.
Aside from these things, having the below will not only make things MUCH more convenient, they will also save you time.
- Hydration Cells - These are used to Hydrate farmland and speed up growth, however they will not replace a nearby water source. Technically, with these you will not need to grow crops in a recommended biome, however you will go through these faster, as the crops will require more Hydration to keep the plants from dying due to a Nutrition Value that is too low to support the Stats of the plants you are growing. To Hydrate farmland simply select a Hydration Cell in your hotbar and right-click on the Crop, whether it is empty or has a plant in it.
- Fertilizer - This will increase the Nutrition Value of the farmland you are growing on. Bonemeal has a similar effect, but to a lesser degree. Rather than instantly growing crops, it will have the effect of speeding up growth. To Fertilize farmland simply select Fertilizer in your hotbar and right-click on the Crop, whether it is empty or has a plant in it.
- Weed-EX - This may prove to be a valuable asset while Cross-breeding, as it prevents weeds from growing or advancing to other crops. It is, however, a double-edged sword as it will slowly kill the Stats of your plants over time. To apply Weed-Ex simply right-click with it on a Crop, whether it is empty or has a plant in it.
- Crop-Matron - This machine will automatically dispense Hydration Cells, Fertilizer, and Weed-Ex as needed, if provided. It has the same area of effect as a block of water (4 blocks on each side). It does not need to be placed on the same level as the crops, but at the farthest it must be one block higher or one block lower. This machine runs on Low Voltage.
- Cropnalyzer - This hand-held device scans the Seed Bags you sometimes get from destroying plants. It takes up to 4 scans to gain all of the information you can about the seeds. It uses an incredible amount of power (one full RE Battery per seed bag), so it is recommended to use something with more EU storage such as LapPacks or Energy Crystals, keeping at least one in a Charging Bench or MFE/MFSU. Another function of the Cropnalyzer is scanning a plant that is in a Crop. If the plant was grown using a scanned Seed Bag, the plant's name, and possibly its Stats (if scanned 4 times) will be displayed.
What and How to Plant
Since we don't yet have any of the IC2 exclusive plants yet, we must first choose from the following Vanilla Minecraft plants:
Now that the materials are prepared, it is finally time to plant. The first thing we need to do is place Crops on tilled farmland, as this is what supports plants in IC2. At this point you can decide on whether or not to add Hydration, Fertilizer, and Weed-Ex. To plant, simply select the desired plant and right-click on an empty Crop. Under some circumstances it may not plant, which will be covered later. There are two common methods and patterns that are used, each having advantages and disadvantages.
Keeping your crops level with the ground makes it easier to gather harvests, however it also makes them much more susceptible to trampling. On the left is a 2x2 plot which allows for the easiest collection of harvests, however it takes up more space, as it requires the water source to be off to the side. On the right is a 3x3 plot which keeps the water source in the center out of the way, however harvests have a tendency to fall into the water. This can be remedied by using either Obsidian Pipes or a Black Hole Band or placing a slab over the water.
Keeping your crops raised a block makes it more difficult to collect harvests, however it is also less prone to being trampled.
Plants can be harvested two ways. Left-clicking will destroy the plant, but may also provide Seed Bags, while right-clicking will harvest the plant and reset its growth without providing Seed Bags. Stats have an affect on harvests, which will be covered in detail later.
Plant Growth Stages
Every plant has at least 3 growth stages. Some, such as Wheat or Redwheat have as many as 7.
First three are initial growth stages. After that, in order they are Dandelion, Rose, Blackthorn, Tulip, Cyazint, and Venomilia.
Once your plants are fully grown, or are on their second to last growth stage, you can begin Cross-Breeding. To achieve this, place a Crop between two plants twice. This will form a cross-breeder, or "double crop". If any weeds sprout up, smack them, and replace the second Crop. What you get from cross-breeding is highly dependent on a few things. There is about a 90% chance that the resulting plant will be one of the parent plants, with the other 10% being a completely different plant. There are ways to influence the likelihood of getting certain plants such as Tier, Keywords, and Light Level.
Tiers range from 1-8. To find out a plant's Tier, you must scan a Seed Bag with a Cropnalyzer twice. When cross-breeding, the cross-breeder will look at the plant's Tier, and penalyze a possible plant's outcome if the Tier is higher or lower by more than one, increasing by each Tier difference.
Keywords are a plant's characteristics and can be found by scanning a Seed Bag a third time. The cross-breeder will give a bonus to a possible plant's outcome for each shared Keyword.
There are some plants which require a certain light level in order to grow. This includes when cross-breeding for them. Flowers, Hops, and Wheat require a light level of at least 9 or 10, while some require no light at all. There is one plant, however, that cannot grow in any light levels other than between 5-10, and that is Redwheat.
Special Conditions For Growth
Some plants have special conditions for reaching full maturity, or growing at all.
Flowers require light levels of at least 9 or 10, as well as high Air Quality. Flowers include Dandelions, Roses, Blackthorn, Cyazint, Tulip, and Venomilia. Dandelions and Roses can be planted directly, but require 4 of the one you wish to plant. Blackthron, Cyazint, Tulip, and Venomilia originally can only be obtained through Cross Breeding.
Cocoa has the unique requirement that it must have a higher than average Nutrition Value in order to grow to begin with, regardless of Stats. This can either be achieved by having 4 blocks of dirt underneath the farmland, which gives a 30% Fertilization bonus, or by using Bonemeal, Fertilizer and/or Hydration Cells.
Hops and Wheat
Ferru requires an Iron Ore block placed underneath the farmland (one of the first two blocks) to fully mature. An Iron Block will not work as a substitute. Ferru is identical to Aurelia and Coffee in its first 3 stages of growth, so special care is needed when cross-breeding for this plant. It is advised to have both an Iron Ore and Gold Ore directly underneath the farmland to ensure that full maturity is achieved as soon as possible.
Aurelia requires a Gold Ore block placed underneath the farmland (one of the first two blocks) to fully mature. A Gold Block will not work as a substitute. Aurelia is identical to Coffee and Ferru in its first 3 stages of growth, so special care is needed when cross-breeding for this plant. It is advised to have both a Gold Ore and Iron Ore directly underneath the farmland to ensure that full maturity is achieved as soon as possible.
Redwheat requires light levels between 5-10. As mobs spawn at light level 7 and darker, it is recommended to make the floor out of "non-solid" blocks or transparent blocks, as mobs will not spawn on them. This can easily be achieved by using Micro Blocks.
It is unclear as to what the formula for Nutrition Value is, however it is a combination of Air Quality, Hydration and Fertilization. If at any point your plants either refuse to plant, or mysteriously disappear, even when the light levels are appropriate, then it is because the Nutrition Value of the Crop is too low to support the plant. With plants that have higher Stats, a higher Nutrition Value is needed to support it. This is only a concern while growing.
If any blocks are above the plant, Air Quality will suffer greatly, however the plants will still grow as long as the Nutrition Value is high enough. To lessen the hit Air Quality takes in the case you need to grow in darkness, make the room's ceiling 8 or 9 blocks above the plant. Another thing that affects Air Quality is blocks touching Crops. This includes other Crops as well, though the penalty is negligible. Air Quality mostly affects Flowers, which require high Air Quality. For other Crops, high Air Quality will mostly just speed up Crop growth.
When at all possible you should have 4 blocks of dirt directly underneath the farmland as this provides a bonus to Fertilization. The only exceptions should be plants that require specific blocks to mature (check Special Conditions for Growth).
Always try to grow in either Swamp or Jungle biomes, as these have the best base Hydration.
Stats, otherwise known as GGR Values, can be found by scanning a Seed Bag 4 times with a Cropnalyzer. The three Stats are Growth, Gain, and Resist, and the current max for each Stat is 31. Each Stat has an effect on either plant growth or harvest yield.
The Growth Stat determines not only how fast your plants grow, but also how often weeds grow to nearby Crops. At growth level 24-31, the plant will begin behaving like weeds, spreading to nearby Crops, even if the Crop is not empty. A recommended cap for this Stat is 21, to prevent plants with 24 or higher Growth from growing.
The Gain Stat determines the potential amount of harvest. With a high Gain Stat, however, the chance for harvesting Seed Bags becomes lower.
With a high Resist Stat comes greater resilience when faced with weeds, as well as being trampled. A high resist stat will also increase your chances at getting multiple Seed Bags from a single harvest, however at the same time it also slows down the rate at which the plant successfully cross-breeds with others.
To increase the Stats of your plants, scan your Seed Bags with a Cropnalyzer 4 times each to learn their Stats and plant the best ones, while throwing away the ones with lesser Stats. Cross-breed them once they are fully grown and scan those seeds, replacing the parent plants every time you get a better seed. Over time this will give you the Stats you desire. A faster means to achieve this is to cross-breed Stickreed, which has the fastest growth rate. Once you have the Stats you desire, simply cross-breed those Stickreed with the plant of your choice.
What to Cross-Breed
It is important to note that there is an element of randomness to cross-breeding, therefore some people may find that certain combinations are better for them. Getting any kind of cross-breed that is different from the parent plants is time consuming in itself, therefore it is recommended to have a large farm for this purpose. It is advisable to cross-breed a plant you get for the first time before destroying it, as you are NOT guaranteed to get a Seed Bag, however likely it is.
If you want to get flowers (Blackthorn, Cyazint, Dandelion, Rose or Tulip), it is recommended to cross-breed any two flowers together. For Venomilia, however, a better combination would be two Tulips, as Venomilia has Tulip as one of its Keywords.
Wheat is really easy to get normally by planting seeds from tall grass, but in the event that you have plants with high stats and want to cross-breed them for Wheat and don't already have Wheat, then you can cross-breed two Melons or two Reeds.
Taken into consideration that you may be playing on a survival map without any Sugar Cane, I will recommend that you cross-breed two Wheat together to get this plant.
To get Pumpkins you can cross-breed two Melons. If you have no Melons, two Wheat is an alternative.
To get Melons you can cross-breed two Wheat together.
To get Cocoa you can cross-breed two Melons together.
Stickreed is the first plant that gives most people trouble. To get this plant you can cross-breed two Reeds together. Due their identical appearance for their first 3 stages of growth, Stickreed is often mistaken for fully grown Reed.
To get Hops it is recommended to cross-breed two Nether Warts. If you do not have Nether Warts, then Stickreed would be one of the few alternatives. If you have Terra Wart, it is recommended to cross-breed one of those with a Stickreed to increase the odds of getting Hops.
To get Nether Wart it is recommended to cross-breed two Hops. It should be noted that Nether Wart taken from Nether Fortresses can be planted directly into empty Crops, however in doing this the plant will have 1 for each of its Stats. An alternative is to cross-breed two Stickreed in the dark.
To get Terra Wart it is recommended to cross-breed two Ferru, preferably in the dark. If you do not have Ferru, then alternatives that are less bad would be any combination between Hops and Nether Wart. There is really no GOOD combination for Terra Wart, but you can increase your chances by cross-breeding in darkness which will prevent Flowers, Wheat, and Hops from growing. If you choose this method, make sure that you do not cross-breed with Hops, as it requires light to cross-breed. If you have none of the above, then cross-breeding in the dark with Stickreed is one of the only other alternatives that are worth trying.
To get Ferru it is recommended to cross-breed two Terra Warts. If you haven't yet gotten Terra Wart, then Stickreeds in the dark would be a viable alternative.
Since this plant requires a light level between 5-10 to grow, it is highly disadvised to cross-breed with any plant that requires light to grow, as you would need a light level of 9 or 10 in order to achieve success. For this reason, Hops is NOT a good choice, as Hops and Wheat will still grow, actually making things take longer than using other plants. Instead it is recommended to cross-breed two Nether Warts or two Aurelia together.
To get Coffee it is recommended to cross-breed two Ferru or two Aurelia together. Nether Warts are an alternative as long as it is grown in the dark. Coffee has also been obtained via two Stickreed.
In the newest version of Tekkit, Coffee can NOT be grown, or planted with a seed bag in the dark!
To get Aurelia it is recommended to cross-breed two Ferru or two Coffee together. There really isn't anything good in the way of alternatives here, being the highest Tier of plant.