Ground farming is one of the main activities that your dwarves must perform during your adventure in Dwarf Fortress. If you participate in the Beginner Tutorial portion of your game, the game will introduce you to the farming mechanics in the “Planting” section. This involves taking seeds from your cart and planting them in underground farming plots. Of course, you can also grow in overworld soil, but primary “dwarf” plants can only grow below the earth’s surface. According to the planting tutorial description, underground soil provides decent soil for farming, but it is not “rich soil”.
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Where to find the best farmland in Dwarf Fortress
If you continue reading the tutorial, the Dwarven Fortress farming instructions tell you to “dig deeper to find better soil”. As mentioned earlier in the tutorial, farming can be done on silt, clay, or sand, all of which count as soil. However, if you dig under the first layer below ground level, you will only find non-irrigated soil types that cannot grow crops. The reason for this is that you haven’t dug deep enough to discover the best soil to grow crops in the Dwarven Fortress.
The answer to “what is the best growing soil” for your dwarf plants in Dwarf Fortress can be found in the description of the agricultural plot for the base soil of the layer below the soil surface. If you look next to the ‘Fertilize every season’ checkbox, you’ll see that the underground soil you’re growing in is ‘poor soil’. However, the phrase under that tag says, “Cave floor is best.” For those unfamiliar, caverns are massive underground biomes that spawn deep below the surface of the earth where your cart spawns. For example, we started our journey to the Dwarf Fortress at Altitude 45 and found our first cave system at Altitude -11, meaning we had to dig 56 levels to uncover the cave floor.
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Now that you know Cavern Soil is the best soil to farm in Dwarf Fortress, all you have to do is keep digging in the soil until you get a pop-up notification that your mining dwarves have discovered a underground cave. Although the soil in these deep levels is much richer than the layers you’ll find near the surface, be aware that the caverns are inhabited by dangerous creatures. Entering the underground realm unprepared could spell an untimely death for your civilization.
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