Posted on 27 Mar 2019
Farming is one of the most hated skills in Oldschool RuneScape, mostly due to the confusing nature of some of the mechanisms of the skill. Additionally, there are a small amount of benefits of having a high Farming level (compared to other skills in the game), and finally, training the skill in a fast or ‘efficient’ manner is prohibitively expensive for many players. The fastest (and recommended) method of achieving Level 99 Farming is via planting Magic Trees, which at present costs almost 200M GP to go the entire way. If you don’t have this amount of gold then that’s no problem! Here at food4rs you can easily just order some for the best price!This is a huge deterrent for many players.
Reasons for training Farming in OSRS are somewhat limited. Many players will level the Farming skill solely for the additional total levels and overall XP that it provides. Many players would consider Farming to be a ‘buyable’ skill, alongside the likes of Construction, Crafting, Herblore, Fletching and others. Unfortunately, the reasons for levelling the Farming skill are not very compelling in comparison to many other skills in the game.
Unfortunately, one of the main reasons players decide to train Farming at all is due to the fact that several quests have a Farming Level requirement before they are able to start the quest. The most notable mentions of this are the Fairy Tale Part II quest, which requires a Farming Level of 49. Partial completion of this quest will unlock the Fairy Ring transportation method, which is extremely useful and considered essential by many players.
Other worthy mentions are the Enlightened Journey quest (Level 30 Farming required) which unlocks the Balloon transportation method, which is slightly less useful than Fairy Rings. Finally, Level 29 Farming allows the player to complete My Arm’s Big Adventure, which unlocks the disease-free herb patch in Trollheim, a useful perk that we’ll discuss later.
A recent addition to OSRS is the introduction of the Farming Guild. Level 45 Farming is required to enter the guild, alongside 60% Hosidius House favour. Additionally, players will have access to Farming Contracts, with the Beginner Tier being unlocked at Level 45, the Intermediate Tier being unlocked at Level 65, and the Advanced Tier being unlocked at Level 85.
Herb runs are a popular method of making some gold semi-passively whilst playing the game. I’ll cover Herb Runs in detail further on in the guide, but essentially by having a higher Farming Level, you are able to plant higher level herb seeds, which are often more profitable than lower level seeds. Seeds such as Ranarr Seeds, Snapdragon Seeds and Torstol Seeds are among the most profitable to plant historically.
Before planting anything, it is useful to understand how the Farming process works within OSRS. The mechanics behind growth cycles are complicated to explain, but the basic gist is this: each type of seed has a built-in ‘grow time’, after which the patch will be ready to harvest. Notable grow times are as follows:
Allotment Seeds - 40/50/60/70 Minutes for a full cycle, depending on the level of the seed
All Herb Seeds - 80 Minutes for a full cycle
Maple Tree Seeds - 5 Hours 20 Minutes for a full cycle
Yew Tree Seeds - 6 Hours 40 Minutes for a full cycle
Magic Tree Seeds - 8 Hours for a full cycle
You’ll need to take a Rake, Spade and Seed Dibber on every Farming run that you undertake. The Rake is used to clear empty patches of the weeds that will grow over time if the patch is left uninhabited. The spade is used to clear dead crops, and also to harvest crops that are fully grown. The Seed Dibber is required for planting seeds in a patch.
You’ll also want to take a Watering Can with you if you’re growing within allotment, flower or hop patches. A Watering Can is also required to grow a tree sapling, which is a tree seed planted in a plant pot.
Like many skills in OSRS, the early Farming Levels are incredibly slow compared to moderate and high levels. The best method to bypass these early levels is by completing the Fairytale Part I quest. This quest has no Farming Level requirement, and rewards 3,500 Farming XP. This may not sound like much, but it will actually take you straight to Level 17 Farming from Level 1. This will save you hours in grow time of low level, low XP crops, and on top of this, you’ll also receive the Magic Secateurs which are a very useful item for Herb farming later on. When worn, the Magic Secateurs increase the crop yield of herbs, allotments, grape vines and hops by 10%.
Even at this early level, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with Tree Runs. This is essentially the staple method of gaining Farming XP, and many players will exclusively gain XP via tree runs from this level onwards.
There are 5 Tree Patches in total. For each Tree Patch, you will need 1 sapling of the tree variant that you are growing, and 1 quantity of the payment method required for the farmer to protect your trees from dying. The tree variant level requirements and payment methods are as follows:
|Level Req||Seed||Payment||Growth Time||Total XP Per|
|15||Acorn (Oak)||1 Basket of Tomatoes||3 Hours 20 Mins||481.3|
|30||Willow||1 Basket of Apples||4 Hours 40 Mins||1481.5|
|45||Maple||1 Basket of Oranges||5 Hours 20 Mins||3403.4|
|60||Yew||10 Cactus Spines||6 Hours 40 Mins||7069.9|
|75||Magic||25 Coconuts||8 Hours||13,768.3|
As you can see, the XP gain per tree grown grows exponentially throughout the levels. Even from Level 30, you’ll be receiving 7,405 XP per tree run, which would take you to Level 34 after one run alone! You will begin to see that although Farming is slow in the total time taken to level up, the majority of that time can be spent idling, doing something else in the game or simply being logged out. The actual time taken per tree run is expected to be somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes, meaning that XP gains vs. time taken is actually very high.
Fruit trees operate very similarly to the way in which regular trees do. However, the main difference is that growth times are much longer, specifically 16 hours for a full cycle regardless of the type of fruit tree planted.
There are 5 Fruit Tree Patches in total. For each Fruit Tree Patch, you will need 1 sapling of the tree variant that you are growing, and 1 quantity of the payment method required for the farmer to protect your trees from dying. The Fruit Tree variant level requirements and payment methods are as follows:
|Level Req||Seed||Payment||Growth Time||Total XP Per|
|27||Apple||9 Sweetcorn||16 Hours||1,272.5|
|33||Banana||4 Baskets of Apples||16 Hours||1,841.5|
|39||Orange||3 Baskets of Strawberries||16 Hours||2,586.7|
|42||Curry||5 Baskets of Bananas||16 Hours||3,036.9|
|51||Pineapple||10 Watermelons||16 Hours||4,971.7|
|57||Papaya||10 Pineapples||16 Hours||6,380.4|
|68||Palm Tree||15 Papaya Fruit||16 Hours||10,509.6|
|81||Dragonfruit||15 Coconut||16 Hours||17,825|
Similar to regular trees, the XP gain per tree grown grows exponentially throughout the levels. Due to the long growth time, many players opt to do their Fruit Tree run once per day, at the same time per day. Alternatively, if you are growing Magic Trees (8 hour growth time), you can choose to do a Fruit Tree run every 2 Magic Tree runs, and the timing should work out perfectly.
Players who are training Farming purely for the fastest XP and/or the most efficient method should generally stick to Tree & Fruit Tree runs only, as the other patches yield far less XP and are far less worthwhile given the time taken.
The other method of training Farming that players may want to consider is planting and harvesting herb seeds. This method is almost the polar opposite of the tree method, as you’ll generally make a (modest) profit for each run that you carry out. Equally though, the XP earnt from each run is likely to be significantly less than that of a Tree or Fruit Tree run.
There are 2 additional herb patches, with the following requirements:
Troll Stronghold - Requires completion of My Arm’s Big Adventure to use
Harmony Island - Requires the Elite Morytania Diary to use
The herb seed requirements and XP yields are as follows:
|Level Req||Seed||Growth Time||XP Per Harvest||Expected Total XP Per|
|9||Guam||4x 20 Mins||12.5||98.5|
|14||Marrentill||4x 20 Mins||15||118.5|
|19||Tarromin||4x 20 Mins||18||142|
|26||Harralander||4x 20 Mins||24||189.5|
|29||Gout Tuber||4x 20 Mins||45||420|
|32||Ranarr||4x 20 Mins||30.5||240.5|
|38||Toadflax||4x 20 Mins||38.5||303.5|
|44||Irit||4x 20 Mins||48.5||382.5|
|50||Avantoe||4x 20 Mins||61.5||485|
|56||Kwuarm||4x 20 Mins||78||615|
|62||Snapdragon||4x 20 Mins||98.5||777|
|67||Cadantine||4x 20 Mins||120||946.5|
|73||Lantadyme||4x 20 Mins||151.5||1,195|
|79||Dwarf Weed||4x 20 Mins||192||1,514.5|
|85||Torstol||4x 20 Mins||224.5||1,771|
Notice the addition of the ‘XP Per Harvest’ column. This is because of the way that harvesting herbs works. The number of herbs you receive from each patch is somewhat random, however the average whilst using Ultracompost and whilst having the Magic Secateurs equipped is 9.01 herbs per patch.
There are 3 types of compost in the game, Compost, Supercompost and Ultracompost. I advise that you always use Ultracompost whilst planting herbs, whereas Trees and Fruit Trees do not require compost as you will be paying the Farmer to protect your herbs anyway.
Ultracompost reduces the chance of a players crops becoming diseased (down to 1:10 ratio) whilst growing, as well as increasing the number of herbs harvested from each patch significantly. The minimum number of herbs yielded from 1 patch increase from 5 to 6, and in general, the yield will be on average 20% higher compared to using Supercompost.
In summary, the method you choose to level Farming solely depends on your available wealth and your intended goals. If you’d like to gain a little extra XP and some passive, modest income, then herb runs are probably the way to go for you. However, if you are a higher level player, have a big bankroll or intend to gain as much XP/levels as possible, then I would strongly recommend sticking to Tree & Fruit Tree runs to get your levels. Whilst expensive, it will ultimately save you time as the time saved using this method can be used to farm or otherwise obtain gold elsewhere.