In one of my worlds I built a house on the top of a mountain. When starting to build a wheat farm, I found out that the water keeps freezing, and I have to break the ice blocks:

here is the current situation

Does wheat grow even if it is near ice instead of water? If not, how can I prevent the water from freezing?

  • 24
    Salt! Oh, wait, this is Arquade again.
    – Keavon
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 3:42

6 Answers 6


Any form of light except sunlight will melt nearby ice. Specifically, ice will melt in a light level of over 11, so torches will melt ice 3 blocks away.

Placing a block anywhere above the water will also stop it from freezing (although not melt it if it is already frozen), so long as the water is not exposed directly to the sky.

A torch placed next to water A solid block placed above water

Ice will not hydrate farmland. However water has a 9*9 area in which it hydrates farmland, so you don't need a water source next to each crop.

A single water block hydrating a 9*9 area of farmland

Also, crops can grow even on dry farmland, just at a slower rate.

  • 11
    +1 for the note that hydration isn't needed for crops Commented May 26, 2014 at 19:18
  • 3
    Also running water will not freeze, only source blocks.
    – Ben
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 22:13
  • Agreed. Awesome answer
    – stizzle84
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 2:12
  • 1
    Keep in mind that crops grow on dry farmland, but dry farmland also has a chance to revert to dirt, reversing the growth entirely.
    – Ryan Amos
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 20:15
  • 1
    @RyanAmos Dry farmland with crops will never revert to dirt.
    – SirBenet
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 21:02

Only full water blocks will freeze. However, flowing water will still hydrate nearby crops. So you can place a single block of water at one end of your trench, and it will hydrate all your crops, and it will never freeze because of the torch.

A pumpkin torch placed under a water block will also prevent it from freezing.

An added benefit of this system is that any items which fall in the water will be swept to one end for easy collection.

Taken to the logical conclusion you get this:

A farming layout that never freezes.

Only the four full water blocks (two in the middle of each row) can possibly freeze, and the pumpkin torches underneath them prevent that. The normal torches are only to prevent monsters spawning. The stone paths prevent animal spawns and are sunken so that you can wall-strafe to quickly harvest without accidentally walking on the crops.

This isn't a space-efficient or material-efficient farm layout, but once built it is very time-efficient and low-maintenance.


No, ice is unable to hydrate crops. I suggest placing torches directly next to the water to melt it, all artificial sources of light can melt ice.

  • 6
    Sunlight can't melt ice
    – stizzle84
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 2:13

if you have the resources, you can put glass under the water and torches underneath the glass. you can also just use glowstone under the water. It will look nicer than placing torches everywhere


A good idea is to place some torches, glowstone, Jackolanterns, or the 1.8 block, sea lanterns, directly next to the ice. Any form of light will work, except the sunlight when it is day time. By the way, if the only way to get water is far away, flowing water can also hydrate the crops, so using only 1-2 water buckets is fine. Crops CAN grow with no water, but you have to be quick placing the crops on dry farmland, since it will die out very fast. Hope this helped :)


Try to put some ice blocks above the water,because blocks of water below the surface water won't freeze.

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