Transitioning from a hunter gatherer to a farmer was a big step for mankind and it’s as equally a big step in Ark: Survivor Evolved. When you can farm you’ll have created a reliable source of food (some of which you can only get from farming) for both yourself and your animals, not to mention the different concoctions you can make from the plants like Narcotics (NarcoBerries) and stimulants (Stim Berries). It also reduces the amount of time you have to spend gathering food freeing you up to improve your base, tame creatures, and enjoy the more entertaining aspects of the game.
Before you can start your career as a green thumb, you’ll need access to the necessary engrams including farming plots and irrigation pipes which you should be able to unlock around lvls 10 -15. When you’ve got those ready to go the real work can begin.
Building Your Plots and Farming Requirements
Crop Plots are where the magic happens. They come in three different sizes: small, medium and large. The small plots allow you to plant any form of berry seed in them, medium plots can have things like Longrass and Rockarrots as well as berries, and large plots can have any form of seed at all.
In order to grow plants plots need a number of different resources. You can track a plots stats just like you would your own or a dinosaurs, just access their inventory and look for the info on the right. There you can see the plots water level, fertilization level, and seed progress.
Seeds can be found while foraging for berries or in one of the random supply drops around the island. Seeds have a much lower drop rate than berries, so it may take you a good deal of farming until you find the ones you want.
Additionally, once your plants are fully grown they will start giving off seeds themselves so you can start other plots.
Plots also need water provided by an irrigation system. A steady source of water is necessary for every plant, make sure your base is close enough to water to provide it.
Rain will irrigate your plots but it is a very unreliable way to keep them wet. Your best bet is to use irrigation pipes to give them a continuous supply.
You knew there must be a reason for all the defecating in Ark and this is it. Fertilizer is necessary for plant growth, so get out there and start collecting that feces. When you’ve got it, you’ll need to mix it in a compost bin with thatch for it to become fertilizer that you can place in the plot’s inventory.
If you don’t want to go the extra step by creating a compost bin you can place any type of feces directly into the plot, although it won’t be as effective as fertilizer. Feces is more effective the larger the dinosaur, with Brontosauruses packing the largest punch and humans the smallest.
Growing and Harvesting
Plants can take a long time to grow from seed to full grown, with progress completely stopping if the plot is missing water or fertilizer. The stages of your plants growth and their approximate lengths are as follows:
Seeded – Instant
Seedling – Approx 1 – 7 in game days depending on the type of seed.
Midling – Usually around a week of in game time, but varies depending on the plant and conditions.
Growthling – Approx 2 – 3 in game days at this stage
Fruitling – After the growthling cycle has completed, your plant will be fully matured and ready to give off fruit/ seeds.
Harvesting your crops is very easy once they hit the Fruitling stage. Simply open their inventory and remove the accumulated fruit/ seeds. Remember, you must keep the plant irrigated and fertilized for it to continue producing food.
A good irrigation system is necessary for the serious farmer. To irrigate you’ll need to unlock the stone pipe engrams and at least have the inlet, straight pipe, and tap engrams ready to go.
From there plan your route out of the nearest water source to your base. At the water source you will place your inlet so that it is submerged and after running pipe to your base, place a tap in the direct vicinity of your plots. Any plots within the taps area of effect will now be automatically irrigated.
If you live on elevated terrain from the water source, chances are you will need to unlock the additional pipe varieties including the incline pipe and the vertical pipe.
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