Guide to plants
Hydroponics and the Botanists who work there are important people on the station, especially in longer rounds. Botanists grow plants, obviously. Without plants, the Chef cannot make many types of food. Without those types of food, the denizens of the station will either have to live off of beef jerky and space twinkies, or starve to death. Now that you understand why this is important, let's get started!
Here is a chart with the types of plants you can grow, in case you forgot.
Growing The Afforementioned Plants
First, locate the hydroponics trays, sometimes referred to as "planting pots". this is where you will be planting the seeds. Take a seed in your hand, and click the pot. You will then get a message saying "you plant the seed in the pot.", or something along those lines. You can only plant one seed per pot. If you click the pot with an empty hand, you will get a basic analysis of the plant, and the nutrient and water level of the pot. Here is an example:
This pot has [plant] planted.
This is an easy way to identify the plant, if you are not familiar with what they look like. It is also a good way to check on new species that have found their way into the "farm". If this happens, you will get a red message that says soemthing like "hydroponics tray has been overtaken by [plant]!". This can be good, bad, or a combination of both. Best case: a few Liberty Cap spores lodge themselves in the tray, and you get super duper high. Worst case: generic weeds. These grow very fast and serve no purpose as of now. All they do is take up space (get it? cause you're growing stuff on a space station?). An example of a useful weed (not the smokable kind), is the humble nettle. Nettles are a very useful plant, and a powerful weapon if grown properly. If you play the Botanist and get picked to be a Traitor, then do not fret. Just wait for some nettles to show up in your garden and kill those targets with FLOWER POWER! nettles are poisonous to begin with, but with skillful harvesting and increases of the Potency level, the nettles can deal a lot of damage, and have a very high knockout chance.
Caring for your Vegetable Friends
Mushrooms: Just feed these fertilizer, don't need to water them.
Weeds: Just water them, they don't need plant food. Nettles are considered weeds.
Everything else: Feed them water AND Fertilizer.
If you plan to do something else on the station, give all of your plants some water. Plants whose trays are extremely low on water (<30 units) will have a blue exclamation point on their tray. Plants who are low on nutrients (<4 units) will have an orange exclamation point on their tray. If a pot is overrun with weeds (these weeds don't show up as a sprite), a glowing red triangle will appear on the pot. If the plant is dying or dead, a red symbol (it sorta looks like a "do not enter" sign) will appear on the pot. To fix the water problem, take your bukkit, fill it with water at one of the water tanks inside the farm, and pour the appropriate amount of water onto the plant. If a pot is full of water, you will not be able to add any more and the excess will splash onto the floor. To fix the nutrients, replace the solution using the nutrient dispenser, then taking the vial and clicking on the tray. Only do this if the tray needs nutrients. The easiest way to be a Failmer (Fail Farmer) is to replace the solution when there are 9 units left. The excess fertilizer dissapears forever, and the dispenser has a finite supply. Weeds can be removed by clicking on the tray while holding a mini-hoe in your hand. Keep clicking until you see the message "This plot is completely devoid of weeds. It doesn't need uprooting.". If a plant is dead, a single click will empty it from the tray. If your tray decides to sprout some annoying harebell or unwanted crops, a few sprays with the Plant-Be-Gone will kill it, albeit rather slowly.
Chemicals, Wonderful Chemicals
Certain chemicals do special effects on plants and mushrooms. Either it kills, heals, feeds, or mutates the plant.
Keep in mind: Mutation chance only comes into effect once the plant actually mutates; the only things capable of initiating a mutation are doses of Radium/Unstable Mutagen, or a Floral Somatoray from RnD.
Go Forth and Procreate
This section is about making new plants from existing ones. Remember, the seed dispenser is best used to start a new set of plants, or as a backup in case you do something dumb, and lose all your stock of a plant. So, to make more seeds, you will need the help of the Seed Extractor, to the northwest of your chamber, located next to the NutriMax. To extract seeds from a plant, take its produce and place it in the Seed Extractor, which will yield 1-4 bags of seeds. Then, dump out the contents of one of those shiny hydroponics crates you have, and put the extra seeds inside. This will keep them neat and organized. If a new species sprouts in your farm, keep it alive so you can make seeds from it and grow more.
Soil is an alternative to trays. Get some sand, use it to make sandstone, then take three sandstones to make soil. Sand can be dug by Shaft Miners on the Asteroids, alternatively you can grow grass in your existing hydroponics trays, then plant the grass tiles and dig them up with the spade (found in the back room), this will dig up some sand. Congratulations, you are no longer restricted to trays for growing now. Be warned though, it is not the most efficient method of planting, as there are no lights to indicate needs for water, fertilizer, etc. Removing soil is done with a shovel or spade.
Analyzing the Analysis
Upon selecting the Botanist, you will find that your apron contains a handy-dandy Plant Analyzer. You use this to get a highly detailed analysis of the targeted plant. The readout looks like this:
|Age||How old the plant is. When a plant's age equals it's lifespan, it dies.|
|Endurance||The higher this is, the lower the water and nutrient levels can get before the plant dies.|
|Lifespan||How long the plant will live.|
|Yield||How much the plant will produce per harvest.|
|Production||How long between harvests, for a multi-harvest plant|
|Potency||The FLOWER POWER the plant posesses. For most cases, this increases the amount of chemicals within, as listed above. For wielded plants, this influences special effects, such as damage for death nettles. For electrical fruits, this increases the charge from a cell made with them. Also, if you send the seed packet to cargo, and later send one with higher potency, cargo will earn the difference in potencies as supply points.|
The analyzer also shows you the status of the pot. Weeds and pests can be remedied by hoeing or a few squirts of Pest Spray. Toxicity is generally bad, meaning the plant currently has poisins in its environment, which you in most cases want to dilute out with water. The water and nutrition levels are self-explanatory.