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So I have been trying to make mud, but it just isn't working. Could someone give me a quick guide to making mud?

ps: I noticed there is an existing question about farming with buckets, but it doesn't quite answer my question.

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out of curiosity what was the problem with the farming question? –  tzenes Aug 16 '10 at 7:19
    
I'm not entirely sure. It didn't quite make sense/work for me. Of course, I tried it the day I started with DF, so there may just be a learning component. –  Mechko Aug 16 '10 at 8:26
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Ok, so mud is created when water is placed on ground. Technically any water on almost any ground will create mud, but that usually isn't sufficient. Normally to use the mud, you need to either drain the water (or wait for it to evaporate) down to 1/7.

There are a couple ways you can create mud:

  • Flooding
  • Rain
  • Bucket Brigade

Flooding is largely straight forward. Create a channel near the water source. Make a Gate attached to a lever. Open gate to allow the flow of water. Close gate and allow water to flow out (or evaporate).

Rain is also fairly straight forward. In Temperate climates or better regular rainfall will turn most areas into mud. Simply dig a hole open to air, wait for the rain, and then construct a floor on top to prevent further flooding.

Bucket brigade was discussed in a previous question but I'll repost the answer here:

  • Dig a channel (for the moment let's assume 3x3).
  • Leave at least 1 ramp (your dwarfs need a place to dump the water from)
  • Create a Zone above the 3x3 area (since this is a channel this would be on the level you channeled from)
  • Size the Zone appropriately
  • Select Zone type Pit/Pond
  • Change from Pit (the default) to Pond using the capital P and then pressing f
  • Create a Zone above a source of water
  • Change the Zone Type to Water Source
  • Build buckets (you can do this at a carpenter shop).
  • Make sure you have dwarves with hauling professions

Your dwarves will dump the water into the pond at the ramp. It is key to have a ramp or this won't work. Water will slowly fill your 3x3 area until all tiles are at 1/7. When any tile is at 1/7th you'll notice mud is created.

You can see the original bucket brigade answer for more information

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I have tried the bucket farm method, and the flooding method, and I feel that flooding is much easier and faster for creating farm swaths of almost any size. Just be careful to control your flood. Also, I believe that opening a tile to the sky makes that an "outside" tile forever, which would mean you could only grow "outside" plants on that tile. This could be an advantage or disadvantage. –  sjohnston Aug 16 '10 at 13:27
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I have found that breaching the small ponds into a much larger room is the easiest method for creating a farm. If the room is large enough, you don't have to worry about dealing with excess water as it will spread out to far and evaporate. –  Poindexter Aug 16 '10 at 20:09
    
@Poindexter that's what I started doing. The problem with that is that sometimes you completely drain out a bigger pond on the surface and you lose your water supply AND everything floods –  Mechko Aug 16 '10 at 22:20
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