Farming pumpkins and melons isn’t very difficult, but there are a few tips and tricks which make pumpkin and melon farming easier and a lot more efficient.
There are 2 ways in which you can increase your yield and efficiency, one is by using a set up that allows for the most pumpkins and melons to spawn in the shortest time, while the other will allow the most pumpkins and melons to spawn on as little land as possible.
Of course, before we can do any farming we first need to know how to farm. Farming is very easy in minecraft, you simply till land and plant a seed, much like real life but without the physical effort.
To till land you need a hoe, any hoe will do as they’re all equal in speed. Right click either a dirt or grass block while holding a hoe, the land will instantly turn into farmland, which is what we need to plant seeds. Once you have a row of farmland, plant a seed in each farmland block by right clicking it while holding a melon or pumpkin seed. A small sapling will be placed, which will grow into either a pumpkin or melon stalk over time, depending on which seed you planted.
You could stop right here, but there’s one final step we need to take, which will increase the speed at which our saplings grow. By placing water up to 3 blocks away from your farmland, all the farmland around it (up to 3 blocks) will be hydrated, which turns it into a darker brown colour. Any crops on hydrated farmland will grow faster.
Unlike wheat, melons and pumpkins don’t grow on the block you planted it. Instead, a pumpkin or melon will spawn on any available grass or dirt block next to the fully grown pumpkin or melon stalk. This means you need to leave some space between each row of seeds you plant or else nothing will grow. Note that only 1 pumpkin or melon block can spawn per melon or pumpkin stalk, but more than 1 stalk can attach itself to a single pumpkin.
If a pumpkin or melon stalk spawns a pumpkin or melon, all other stalks of the same type next to that pumpkin or melon will attach themselves to it, which means they won’t grow another melon or pumpkin until you destroy the one they’re attached to.
Time efficient farming is all about getting as many pumpkins or melons in a short time, which is very easy to set up, but it does require a lot of player input on a regular basis.
As we know a pumpkin or melon can spawn on each block next to one of their stalks, as long as it’s empty. This means they can spawn in up to 4 blocks per stalk. We use this to our advantage, as pumpkins and melons will spawn a lot faster when more spaces are available to them to spawn in.
Our field will be a simple rectangle in which we plant rows of seeds, however, we leave a space between each seed to make sure we maximize the spaces in which pumpkins can spawn. Note that we only leave 1 space between each seed instead of 2, this will decrease the size of our farm, but it does mean 1 pumpkin will attach itself to 2 stalks.
It’s possible to leave 2 spaces between each seed you plant, but we’re going to harvest the melons and pumpkins as fast as possible, which means we don’t really need that extra space and it makes our field a little too big, especially if you have to run from one side to the other to get a melon.
We also know a single block of water will hydrate all farmland up to 3 blocks away from it, including diagonally. Which means we can simply plant our seeds around that water block. We’ll have to sacrifice 1 potential spawn spot for that water block, but this is definitely worth it.
As I mentioned, this setup requires a lot more player input on a regular basis, as you’ll have to harvest each melon or pumpkin pretty much as soon as it spawns in order to free all the stalks. However, this is a great setup for those who are building in the area or doing other jobs around it, as you can simply walk over to your field every few minutes.
I’ve personally tested this setup compared to a regular, land efficient setup over the course of an hour and I harvested each melon as soon as it spawned. I got more than 30 melon spawns in this setup than on our land efficient setup. Of course, nobody will stand next to their field for an hour in normal conditions, but the increase in yield can still be well over 15 pumpkins per hour more than our land efficient setup.
Land efficient farming is all about using as little space as possible, while getting as much yield out of it as possible.
The maximum percentage of land on which pumpkins or melons can spawn, while only using 1 block of water to hydrate your land, is 44,44%.
As you can see in the image below we have a 9×9 plot (ignore the bottom melons, you’d normally fence in the area) on which we have 40 melon stalk growing, which can each spawn on their own spot.
This setup is incredibly easy and only 1 step up from our basic farm seen above. It’s very easy to connect to other farms and there’s no waste of potential land, which would otherwise be lost or filled up with wheat.
If you don’t like the jumping you have to do to get from one plot to the other, the follow setup will help you.
The land use efficiency is the same, but you won’t have to jump (as much) as you would with the other setup. You could make the flowing water look better by adding some decoration pieces to it, perhaps our ufo?