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In my city we only have a small place for our house but we can build under it as much as we want so I want to build a place to grow wheat and trees. What's the best layout in terms of light (torches preferred) and water for growing them quickly?

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This question reminds me of a time when me and a couple friends decided to play Minecraft together and I was put in charge. Actually, they played Minecraft, I played a new version of Dwarf Fortress where the dwarves were my friends... it was awesome. –  tzenes Apr 5 '11 at 15:19
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This one time... at Minecamp... –  Cyclops Apr 6 '11 at 1:22
    
I'm amazed you have to bother harvesting wood at all. After stripping abandoned mines of all their wood, I have 300+ planks and 300+ fences. –  gnovice Feb 20 '12 at 21:16

3 Answers 3

You need a light level of 9 or higher for wheat to grow. Saplings will need a light level of about 10 specifically above them, so one torch (which provides 14 light) nearby will suffice. There is a small disagreement on the wiki for what light level trees need, but 10 is the safe number. Beyond that light does not affect the rate at which they grow.

For wheat to grow quickly, however, you need to place it on hydrated farmland blocks, which meet the following constraints (from the Minecraft wiki):

  1. Water at the same level, or one block above the farmland block. Water one block below will not work.
  2. Water up to four blocks away, including diagonals.
  3. The blocks between the farmland block and the water make no difference.

Farmland blocks are made by tilling a dirt block with a hoe.

Other constraints are that wheat will only grow on farmland blocks and trees will only grow on dirt/grass blocks. Also, trees need at least 5 blocks of open air above them to grow at all, but leaving 14 blocks will allow almost all large trees to grow (source). Space around the sapling is not required but will result in more leaves and possibly wood, so I recommend leaving an open 5x5 area that is also 14 blocks tall and centered on the sapling in order to maximize each tree's potential wood output.

Here is a good example of an underground tree farm.

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+1 for the ree-donk-ulous "automatic wheat harvester". –  Satanicpuppy Apr 5 '11 at 13:56
    
I nearly squealed with joy when I first saw it. I need to get out more. –  Sadly Not Apr 5 '11 at 14:06
    
Saplings can be planted on dirt blocks, and don't require grass - so there is no reason to grow grass blocks downwards. (Also they require a light level of 10). –  Cyclops Apr 5 '11 at 14:07
    
@Cyclops: Fixed, thanks for pointing that out. –  Sadly Not Apr 5 '11 at 14:08
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@Cyclops: We both need to stop editing our comments :P –  Sadly Not Apr 5 '11 at 14:12

This is what my underground tree farms usually look like. I'm sure there are more efficient ways, but this is pretty good as far as the area/volume you need to excavate to the amount of trees that will grow.

It's just started to sprout, but if you leave it long enough you'll have solid walls of wood.

enter image description here

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How do you get enough saplings to replant? –  Loren Pechtel Aug 10 '11 at 18:26
    
@LorenPechtel - The leaves still seem to drop excess saplings (more saplings than I need). Just stick around and break most of them –  Robotnik Jan 8 '13 at 22:56

I've used the 80% efficiency tree farm from the wiki and it works very well. . Mine is above ground but the same results should work below ground.

I did place a canopy above the farm leaving an 8 block high space. This allows me to chop all the wood from ground level. After a couple minecraft days almost all the saplings have grown to full tress and produce a couple stacks of wood.

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