Farming is a skill in which players grow crops using seeds and harvest useful items from them, or more commonly, harvest the plant itself. The crops grown range from the standard staples of vegetables, fruit trees, herbs, hops, to more exotic and unusual crops such as wood-bearing trees, cacti, and mushrooms. The harvested items have wide range of uses, but are mostly used to train Herblore or Cooking, or simply eaten as food. Many players sell their harvest for a significant profit.
Once players have reached the intermediate level range and beyond, they can begin to plant wood-bearing trees. Player grown trees function just like their standard equivalents, which can be chopped down and regenerate after a short period of time to yield Woodcutting experience and logs. Player grown woodcutting trees have the added benefit of being only accessible to the player who grew them, which means that players will not need to compete to gather their own tree's wood.
- 1 General overview
- 2 Getting started
- 3 Tools
- 4 Tool storage
- 5 Seeds
- 6 Compost
- 7 Farming patches
- 8 Temporary boosts
- 9 Farmers
- 10 Important things to remember
- 11 Mechanics
- 12 Quests rewarding Farming experience
- 13 References
The first thing any player will do when they begin training this skill is to rake away the weeds from one of the many farming patches found scattered around RuneScape. Once cleared, players have the option of applying compost to the patch, which will decrease the chance of the crop becoming diseased, and will also possibly increase the yield of the crop once it reaches maturity. Players can also cast the Fertile Soil spell from the Lunar spellbook at any point during the plant's growth cycle to apply supercompost.
Compost can be bought in farming shops, or obtained by placing a total of 15 weeds or various other unwanted vegetables into one of the compost bins. Supercompost, which results in an even higher yield and further lowers chances of disease, is obtained by filling the compost bin with higher level farming produce such as pineapples, watermelons, calquats, coconuts, and high end herbs. Ultracompost may be made by adding 25 volcanic ash to a full bin of supercompost or adding 2 volcanic ash to a bucket of supercompost.
Seeds are usually easy to obtain. They can be bought from players and stalls, stolen via Thieving or obtained as drops from an enormous variety of monsters. Any lower or intermediate level seeds are usually very cheap, ranging from 1-20 coins each, while the higher level seeds, such as tree, fruit tree, and especially upper end herb seeds, are usually thousands of coins each, if not more.
After growing for a preset period of time crops will mature and can then be harvested, provided that the crops have not become diseased and died while growing. Once planted, crops grow even if the player is not online, so one can plant a seed and come back at any time. Once the crops are fully grown they will remain in the patch indefinitely until harvested; that is, they will not die once fully matured.
Although this would seem to imply that players can simply plant their seeds and go back to their lives, there is a problem with this tactic. At lower levels, unattended crops are extremely unlikely to live long enough to reach maturity unattended. Even at relatively high levels there will always be a significant chance that crops will sicken and die. Therefore, all levels are recommended to pay nearby gardeners to watch crops. Doing so prevents the selected crops from dying, thus guaranteeing their reaching maturity for harvest.
Gardeners all charge for their services, but not in coins. The price that they ask depends on the crop that the player asks them to watch. For example, the price for protecting a patch of potatoes is 2 buckets of compost while the price for protecting a patch of onions is 1 sack of potatoes. They will also accept your payment-items in noted form. Gardeners cannot be paid to protect herbs or flowers. When the player has 50% favour with Hosidius House, in Zeah, the allotment, flower, and herb patches there will be protected by the local farmer at all times. Players can also unlock two herb patches which are perpetually protected from disease, for free, by completing My Arm's Big Adventure and Making Friends With My Arm.
A common mistake for players who are new to farming is that they tend to wait next to their patch for their crops to fully grown to become harvestable. Reasons why players wait is because crops do have the tendency to become diseased. However, many crops take more than an hour to grow fully, and most introductory crops take over half an hour. Do not waste your time standing near the farming patches wondering when your crops will grow; instead, do something else. If you fear your crops will become diseased there are a few ways to prevent this from happening while you are away (to most crops) and that will be further explained later. In addition, your plants will grow even if you are online playing or offline.
A good way to jumpstart your farming is to do the quest Fairy Tale I - Growing Pains. The experience reward will raise level 1 Farming to level 17. By completing this quest, players will also receive a pair of magic secateurs which, when worn, will increase the yield of crops by 10% while harvesting.
An uncommon, but helpful item is the amulet of nature. It is tradeable in its unenchanted form, but once enchanted cannot be traded. It can be bound to a patch by "using" the amulet on the patch. Once bound, and if worn, the amulet will alert you if your plant becomes diseased or has fully grown. You may also "rub" the amulet to check on your bound patch at any time. It can only be bound to one patch at a time, and you may only have one amulet. If worn when harvesting, the amulet will provide a 5% yield increase. This boost does not stack with the magic secateurs and takes precedence over them, so if magic secateurs are available to you it is recommended that you unequip the amulet before harvesting.
See Farming training for more information on levelling up.
For farming there are certain tools you will need to use, whether it's using a rake to clear a plot or digging up dead plants with a spade. Below is a table of the basic tools and their uses.
|Used for getting rid of weeds in a plot.|
|The most useful Farming tool. Used for harvesting crops, clearing away dead plants and removing plant roots and bushes.|
|Used for watering plants to help them grow.|
|Used for planting Seeds in a plot.|
|Used for filling Plant Pots with Soil.|
|Used for cutting away diseased Branches and Bushes. Magic secateurs provide 10% yield increase when worn.|
|Used for storing fruit. Holds up to 5 fruits and vegetables (Tomatoes, Strawberries, Oranges, Apples, Bananas)|
|Used for storing up to 10 vegetables. (Potatoes, Cabbages, Onions)|
|Used for growing Tree Saplings in.|
- North of Catherby
- North-west of Port Phasmatys
- North of Ardougne
- South-east of Falador
- South-West of Zeah in Hosidius House
At any farming patch you will come across a tool leprechaun whose job is to look after your farming tools.
You can store the following:
- 1 Rake
- 1 Seed dibber
- 1 Spade
- 1 Trowel
- 1 secateurs or magic secateurs
- 1 watering can (8) or gricoller's can
- 1-1000 plant cures
- 1-1000 buckets
- 1-1000 Compost, Supercompost and Ultracompost
The Tool leprechaun will also swap herbs (both grimy and clean) and harvested produce into note form by using them on the NPC.
Seeds are essential in training the Farming skill, however, there are only a few ways in retrieving them. These include:
- Pickpocketing Master Farmers
- Stealing from Seed stalls
- Monster drops
- Bird's nests
- Purchasing from other players
Patches treated with compost are less likely to become diseased. Using compost also increases the minimum and maximum yields on that patch, though it should be noted that this only works for one set of seeds. Once the crops are harvested, another bucket of compost must be applied to the patch in order to receive its effects.
To create compost you will need around 15 pieces of organic material such as produce, weeds, and rotten fruit. Put this in a Compost bin near a patch and close the lid and wait for around 60 minutes. Then, with an inventory of 15 empty buckets you can fill them all up with compost.
Supercompost is created in a similar way but with higher-end materials such as pineapples and watermelons. Patches treated with supercompost yield more crops than ordinary Compost.
Ultracompost is created using volcanic ash on a compost bin or bucket that contains supercompost. Ultracompost yields even greater crops than supercompost and the crops are even less likely to become diseased. 25 volcanic ash must be used on a compost bin containing super compost to become ultracompost. Note that if 25 volcanic ash will be used no matter the remaining super compost is in the bin. For example, if 10 buckets of supercompost remain in the compost bin, the player will still add 25 ash even though only 20 would be needed if using volcanic ash on the individual buckets. It takes 2 volcanic ash to make 1 bucket of ultracompost when the volcanic ash is used on a bucket of super compost. It is more useful to add volcanic ash directly to a full compost bin, as you will save 5 volcanic ash.
- 2 allotment patches
- 1 flower patch
- 1 herb patch
- 1 compost bin
3 allotment seeds are needed to plant in each allotment patch. If paying a gardener to protect their crops, players must pay the gardener to protect each of the allotment patches within an allotment separately. Having fully-grown flowers of the corresponding type will protect adjacent allotment patches from getting diseased for as long as the flowers are in the patch, as an alternative to paying a gardener to protect the patch.
Fully grown allotment patches can be harvested by clicking on the fully grown crops; harvests vary between 3 and 56 crops. After a patch has been harvested, it is cleared for re-planting.
2 buckets of compost
1 sack of potatoes
1 sack of onions
2 sacks of cabbage
10 jute fibres
1 basket of apples
10 curry leaves
A single flower seed is needed to plant in a flower patch. Most flowers yield 1 flower when harvested; this clears the patch. Flower patches cannot be protected by a gardener. Limpwurt seeds, at minimum, will yield 3 limpwurt roots. The yield can increase depending on the player's Farming level.
3 woad leaves
3 limpwurt roots
A herb seed can be planted in a herb patch. Harvests range between 3 and 18 grimy herbs. Using supercompost, or ultracompost and magic secateurs a player will gain an average of 7.5 grimy herbs when harvesting a herb patch, with a range of between 5 and 27 grimy herbs. (Although technically an infinite amount of herbs can be harvested from each patch - it is rare to get more than 15)
After completing My Arm's Big Adventure, players can use My Arm's special herb patch, which never becomes diseased, at Trollheim. In addition, a herb patch can also be found on Harmony Island, which requires the completion of the elite Morytania Diary. While players have at least 50% favour in the Hosidius House, the herb patch will not become diseased. Players who have completed Making Friends with My Arm are able to use a disease-free herb patch in Weiss, provided they have built the Fire of Nourishment.
Gardeners cannot be paid to protect herb patches.
There are four hops patches: north of Lumbridge, north of McGrubor's Wood, Yanille and Entrana. 4 hop seeds, or 3 jute seeds, are needed to plant in each hops patch. Harvests vary between 3 and 46 hops. After a hops patch has been harvested it will be cleared for re-planting.
3 buckets of compost
1 sack of onions
6 barley malts
1 basket of tomatoes
3 sacks of cabbages
There are 4 bush patches: west of the Champions' Guild, Rimmington, south of Ardougne, and south-west of Etceteria. One bush seed is needed to plant a bush. All bushes except poison ivy are susceptible to disease.
A player can check the health of and then harvest berries from fully grown bushes. This is done by hand and yields a minimum of 4 berries. Depending on the player's Farming level, the berries yield could be more than 4. Unless a bush is dug up it will continue to regrow berries over time.
4 sacks of cabbages
3 basket of tomatoes
3 baskets of strawberries
8 bittercap mushrooms
Poison ivy seed
Poison ivy berries
There are 5 tree patches: at Lumbridge, Varrock Castle, Falador Park, Taverley, and the Gnome Stronghold. As with other tree seeds, it must be used on a plant pot filled with soil to create a seedling . The seedling then needs to be watered. After a few minutes the seedling will turn into a sapling, which can then be planted in a tree patch.
A fully grown tree acts similarly to the trees that are used in the Woodcutting skill. After checking a tree's health players can cut it down using an axe to receive logs. As with non-player grown trees, there is a chance of a farmed tree dropping bird's nests. Once a tree is cut down it will leave a tree stump, which can be left to respawn or dug up to gain tree roots and to clear the patch. Players who do not wish to cut down and dig up a tree can use the right-click “clear” option on the tree to instantly remove it. Gardeners can instantly remove a tree for a fee of 200.
Oak logs, Oak roots, Oak leaves
1 basket of tomatoes
Willow logs, Willow roots, Willow leaves
1 basket of apples
Maple logs, Maple roots, Maple leaves
1 basket of Oranges
Yew logs, Yew roots, Yew leaves
10 cactus spines
Magic logs, Magic roots, Magic leaves
There are 5 fruit tree patches: at Gnome Stronghold, east of Catherby, west of Tree Gnome Village, Brimhaven, and Lletya. As with other tree seeds, before a fruit tree seed can be planted it must be used on a plant pot filled with soil to create a seedling. The seedling then needs to be watered. After a few minutes the seedling will turn into a sapling, which can be planted in a tree patch.
Once a fruit tree is fully grown the player may check its health and harvest it to receive 6 fruit. A fruit tree will continue to grow fruit over time, unless it is cut down and its stump dug up, with a new fruit regenerating every 45 minutes. Gardeners can instantly remove a fruit tree for a fee of 200.
Apple tree seed
Banana tree seed
4 baskets of apples
Orange tree seed
3 baskets of strawberries
Curry tree seed
5 baskets of bananas
Papaya tree seed
Palm tree seed
15 papaya fruit
- The following plants may only be grown in their specific patches:
15 limpwurt roots
25 yanillian hops
6 cadava berries
Calquat tree seed
8 poison ivy berries
5 monkey nuts, 1 monkey bar, and 1 ground tooth
- A garden pie will boost a player's Farming by +3.
- Brown spicy stew may boost a player's Farming by up to +5. Requires partial completion of Recipe for Disaster.
- Note that the boost is only needed at the time of planting. You do not need to boost to check the health of a tree/bush or to harvest produce.
This section is a stub. Please help expand it. All around Gielinor, there are NPCs standing at each farming patch location, who will protect your crops, thus guaranteeing a 100% success rate. However, not all patches are capable of being protected. Those farmers who will protect your crops will ask for a payment in return while others are locked behind quests and favours.
Look under Farming skill tab to see what payment is necessary for what you are growing. All farmer payments will be the same.
Important things to remember
Players can use the allotment patches, as well as the flower and herb patches without the need of Hosidius favour. The allotment patch becomes disease-free after 50% Hosidius favour.
Those who have at least 35% Hosidius favour will have access to the spirit tree patch.
If a farmer is looking after trees or bushes, it is preferred not to use compost unless you want some exp for adding compost. Trees and bushes have a fixed yield unlike allotments and herbs.
Crops do not grow continuously: each plant has a discrete set of growth stages. Plants can only advance to their next growth stage during periodically repeating five minute periods called growth stage windows. Regardless of the seed, growth stage windows last five minutes. The frequency of growth stage windows occurring is determined by the type of seed e.g. spirit trees' growth stages take 320 minutes, which includes a 5 minute growth window followed by 315 minutes of inactivity, repeated multiple times. In comparison hops' growth stages last 10 minutes, including a 5 minute growth stage window followed by 5 minutes of inactivity, repeated multiple times.
The cycles of growth stages all start at midnight UTC, and repeat indefinitely until the next midnight, when they begin again. The 320 minute cycle for spirit trees repeats on the second midnight. The following tables list the start times for the growth stage windows. These last for five minutes, so add 5 minutes to the start time to obtain the end time for the growth stage window. Every seed has a growth stage window from 12:00 AM to 12:05 AM.
|Cycle length||Start times (GMT)|
|5 minutes||All times ending in :00, :05, :10, :15, :20, :25, :30, :35, :40, :45, :50, :55|
|10 minutes||All times ending in :00, :10, :20, :30, :40, :50|
|20 minutes||All times ending in :00, :20, :40|
|40 minutes||12:00, 12:40, 1:20, 2:00, 2:40, 3:20, 4:00, 4:40, 5:20, 6:00, 6:40, 7:20, 8:00, 8:40, 9:20, 10:00, 10:40, 11:20. All times apply to both AM/PM.|
|80 minutes||12:00, 1:20, 2:40, 4:00, 5:20, 6:40, 8:00, 9:20, 10:40. All times apply to both AM/PM.|
|160 minutes||12:00 AM, 2:40 AM, 5:20 AM, 8:00 AM, 10:40 AM, 1:20 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:40 PM, 9:20 PM|
|320 minutes||Day 1: 12:00 AM, 5:20 AM, 10:40 AM, 4:00 PM, 9:20 PM|
Day 2: 2:40 AM, 8:00 AM, 1:20 PM, 6:40 PM
The following is a schematic representation of the smallest unit of the growth stage windows. The green blocks represent growth stage windows, and the red blocks represent units of time in which plants cannot grow.
As well as only occurring in growth stage windows, plants only grow when the player reaches a growth tick. A player reaches a growth tick every 500 game ticks, approximately once every 5 minutes, though sometimes slightly longer due to lag. The fact that growth ticks occur at a frequency of slightly over five minutes means that most of the time a growth tick will fall into each growth window. Only when a growth tick falls within a growth window does a crop grow.
The first growth tick occurs 500 game ticks after the player logs in or logs out. Growth ticks are reset when either action occurs, meaning that nothing can grow five minutes after a player logs in or logs out. This may cause players who are constantly switching worlds to miss growth stage windows due to resetting the growth tick timer. Many other Farming actions occur with growth ticks. These include weeds growing and wood and fruit tree seedlings growing into saplings. These grow at any growth tick, so they may be treated as running on a growth stage window with a cycle period of 5 minutes.
Crops will advance a growth stage upon reaching the first growth tick that falls within a growth stage window. Thus, the first growth stage is typically less than the time between two growth stage windows for that crop. For example, herb seeds have 20 minute growth cycles. Suppose a player logs in at 6:32 and plants a seed at 6:35. A growth window for herbs will occur from 6:40 to 6:45, and the player will reach a growth tick every five minutes after logging in, at 6:37, 6:42, et cetera. Thus, assuming the player does not log out after planting the herb, they will advance a growth stage when the tick falls within the growth stage window. Nothing happens at 6:37, as it is not within a window, but the herbs will advance a growth stage at 6:42, as it is a tick within a window. The herbs will only have spent 7 minutes in the first growth stage instead of the stated 20.
Variable crop yield
Herbs, allotments, hops, bushes, nightshades, cacti, and limpwurt all produce varying amounts of items each time you harvest them. The mechanism to determine how many items you get works as follows:
- Your patch starts with three "lives".
- One life is added if compost is used.
- Two lives are added if supercompost is used.
- Three lives are added if ultracompost is used.
- Each time you harvest an item, there is a chance of losing a life.
- Once all lives have been lost, the patch will become empty.
- In theory, if you rolled successfully every time, you'd get an infinite number of items.
Certain things will increase your chance of not losing a life:
- Magic secateurs: 10%
- Farming cape: 5%
- Kandarin Diary: 5% Medium, 10% Hard, 15% Elite (Catherby herb patch only)
- Farming level: Unknown, but has an effect.
The effects of the magic secateurs and farming cape are added together, then multiplied by the kandarin diary effect. Higher level herbs are less likely to lose a life than lower level herbs, but this difference decreases to zero as you approach level 99.
Quests rewarding Farming experience
|Farming req.||Other requirements|
|Recipe for Disaster
(Goblin generals subquest)
|Enlightened Journey||3,000||30||20 , 20 , 36|
|Fairytale I - Growing Pains||3,500||-||-|
|Grim Tales||4,000||45||52 , 58 , 59 , 71|
|Garden of Tranquillity||5,000||25||-|
|My Arm's Big Adventure||5,000||29||10|
|Rum Deal||7,000||40||42 , 50 , 47 , 42|
Upon completing any of the following quests, players may choose to allocate experience to Farming. These rewards usually come in the form of items, such as lamps or books, and are independent of any experience rewards directly received for completing the quest.
|Skills available||Skill requirements|
|Client of Kourend||500 twice||Any||-|
|Fairytale II - Cure a Queen||2,500||Any skill above 30||49 , 57|
|A Tail of Two Cats||2,500 twice||Any skill above 30||-|
|The Great Brain Robbery||5,000||Any skill above 30||16 , 30 , 50|
|King's Ransom||5,000||Any skill above 50||65|
|Darkness of Hallowvale||2,000 three times||Any skill above 30||5 , 20 , 22 , 32 , 33 , 40|
|Curse of the Empty Lord
|10,000||Any skill above 50||Some players will need 31|
|One Small Favour||10,000 twice||Any skill above 30||36 , 25 , 18 , 30|
|Recipe for Disaster
(The final battle)
|20,000||Any skill above 50||175 , 48 , 50 , 53 , 53 , 25 , 59 , 40 , 50 , 40 , 40 , 10 , 10 , 36|
- The Old School Team. "Bush Yield Improvements, Nordic Soft Launch and Mobile Changes". 23 August 2018. RuneScape News. *
- Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 26 January 2018. Mod Ash: "For herbs, the percentages are added for the secateurs and cape, then applied, then the Kandarin effect is multplied on afterwards."
- Mod Kieren. "Mod archie really needs to stop paraphrasing questions wrong.." 17 December 2015. Reddit Forums.