Farms in Minecraft are incredibly important, especially during the early days of survival. They’re crucial to providing you with Crops, which can either be cooked and turned into food, or bartered with Villagers.
To get the most crops possible, you’ll want to build a farm that is efficient. There’s a few ways to determine the efficiency of a farm, with how fast the items grow, or how hydrated the Farmland Blocks are.
Even though the Farms that you occasionally come across at Villages look nice, they’re actually really inefficient. Lots of water and space is wasted, which could be used to grow more food.
The most efficient farm is one that’s placed in a 9×9 area. When placing down a Bucket of Water into a hole, it will hydrate 4 blocks in each direction, resulting in a total of 9×9 blocks of Crops.
After using a Hoe on a block of Dirt or Grass, it will be converted into Dry Farmland. Even though Crops can grow on these blocks, it’s not recommended. They’re prone to being broken, reverted to Dirt and are just slower in general.
When Farmland becomes hydrated by a nearby Water block, it will darken in color. Though they can also be hydrated by Rain, it’s not worth solely relying on it.
As some of Minecrafts creatures are able to break Crops, and eventually Farmland, it’s a good idea to surround a farm with Fences. That way, anything that can cause serious damage is prevented from gaining entrance.
It’s also a good time to add some beauty to your farm, with some Lanterns which will further prevent hostiles from spawning.
Bees came with the Minecraft 1.15 update. Alongside them came some new mechanics, which allow them to pollinate and fertilize nearby crops. It might be worth crafting some Beehives, and placing them near a farm.
Do note that a Bee wont leave a Hive unless Flowers are nearby. Overtime, Bees will pollinate the Flowers, and when they’ve done so, you’ll know as the texture of a Bee will change, and it’ll have Pollen particles dropping from its back.
When a Bee is carrying Pollen, it’s able to fertilize and pollinate Wheat, Potatoes, Carrots, Melon Stems, Beetroot, Berry Bushes, Pumpkin Stems and Cave Vines. After pollination, it will advance a growth stage of these Crops. It’s the equivalent of using Bone Meal on them, for free.
For the pollination process to take place, the particles coming from the Bee actually need to touch the Crops as it flies over. A Bee is able to pollinate a plant 10 times, before returning to its Hive to create Honey.
Later on, players can further increase their output and efficiency when it comes to Farms. Using Redstone items like Sensors, Dispensers and Pistons, a Farm can be automated so that Crops flow freely into Hoppers, and then into Chests.
Though that’s quite a complicated process, and requires a whole new guide of its own.