Guide to Botany
Your dream garden awaits!
Keeping it Green
When you click on a plant pot with an empty hand, you can check the plant to see how it is doing. Various indicators will appear when you do so, which describe the condition of the plant and soil - red indicators are bad, blue indicators are good:
|The soil is completely dry.||The soil has run out of water. This will quickly kill the plant.|
|The plant is dying.||Maltreatment or harmful chemicals are killing the plant.|
|The soil looks rich and fertile.||Indicates the presence of compost in the soil. Remember, this dries out the soil quicker.|
|The plant glistens with good health!||Judicious compost and water use has resulted in a healthy plant!|
|The plant is flourishing!||The plant has extremely high health. Expect good harvests!|
|The plant looks strange...||You have managed to grow a rare mutant strain of plant. This could be good or bad!|
|Weeds have infested the soil.||This pot has been infested with a weed-type plant. You will have to take special measures to get rid of it.|
In addition, you will receive a report of any chemical in the plant pot. Hopefully, there's at least water in it, but chemicals may also include stuff you've added like plant formula or compost. Some plants may produce nectar, a delightful treat for space bees. Harmful chemicals like toxic slurry may also appear, which usually require you to clean out the pot.
If you click and drag a plant pot onto yourself, you will completely clear out the pot. This not only empties any plant out of it, but completely cleans out all soil water, nutrients, everything. However, this will not work on pots infested with weeds! You must find a way to kill the weeds before emptying the pot if you want to get rid of them. Weeds will occasionally appear in unoccupied plant pots and may have various effects or even produce items, but remember - these are weeds and thus are useless and annoying at best, and downright dangerous at worst! Get rid of them when you can.
1986 Blue Ribbon Winner: Biggest Weed Harvest
Plants carry genes which affect various things relating to their growth and crops. While plant seeds are easy enough to come by from the dispenser or ordering crates of them from the Cargo Bay, these seeds start out completely plain and devoid of any particular genetic fluctuations. Every time a seed is planted, it mutates a bit - any seeds harvested from this plant will carry those genes, which will mutate again when planted - this way, you can breed plants for particular qualities. Genes can degrade as well as improve, however - so be careful not to end up with completely useless seeds which produce no crops, or result in plants that die instantly.
To get even more in-depth with planting you have the plant analyzer, which can scan a plant, fruit or seed for genetic variables:
|Species||Tells you what kind of plant it is.|
|Generation||How many times this breed of plant has gone through a full lifecycle. Incremented by 1 whenever a seed is planted.|
|Maturation Rate||How long the plant takes to grow from a sprout to a crop-producing plant. Lower is better! This is only marginally useful to single-harvest plants.|
|Production Rate||How long you have to wait between each harvest. Lower is better!|
|Lifespan||How many harvests the plant will produce before dying. Higher is better! This variable is irrelevant to plants with only one harvest.|
|Yield||How many crops the plant will produce besides its normal amount. Higher is better!|
|Potency||How powerful items produced by this plant are. This could be good or bad depending on what the crop is. Will change the quantity of chemical that can be extracted from each harvested item.|
|Endurance||How much the plant can resist dehydration, poison, and fire.|
With these, you can tell how much of a certain plant you can harvest, or how long it will live, or what you need to do to keep it alive. Some plants aren't just one-off harvests, you can tend tomatoes for multiple harvests if you want! In fact, should you keep the plant happy (with blue indicators above - rich and fertile, and very healthy), you will likely have a chance at harvesting MORE than you would if you had just plain watered it. Some plants may even inherit a special genetic mutation giving them indefinite life, as long as you tend to it. It pays to keep an eye on your plants! It's just a matter of knowing when to add water, or fertilizer, etc. Plants work the same way in real life - to an extent. Don't water your plants? They'll die. Overwater? Same deal. Be careful with your plants, they are fragile, little angels~
Apart from plain compost, botany starts with several plant formulas tailored to altering a plant's specific traits (all explained in the next section). If you want to experiment, call in the scientist or grab some Discount Dan's and test the effects of various chemicals in the soil.
Tools & Machinery
||Plant Analyzer||Provides you with a report of a plant's genes, its current condition, the presence of any mutations and other information. The functionality is also built into your PDA.|
||Watering Can||Actually just a glorified beaker with a maximum capacity of 120 units. Often requested by chemists.|
||Produce Satchel||This spacious satchel makes the life of every chef or botanist much easier. Almost any type of food-related item (dishes, bottles, seeds etc.) can be stored in them, and they also interact nicely with tables (drag & drop), crates, the food processor, mail chutes and other objects.|
||Chainsaw||An electric chainsaw to keep weeds in check. Passable emergency weapon, but not very durable.|
||Hydroponics Tray||The seeds go in here, obviously. You can plant them manually or by using drag & drop. The indicators are from left to right: "low plant health" alert, "ready to harvest" alert and current water level.|
||Seed Fabricator||To unlock the more interesting seeds (notably cannabis), you'll have to mess with the wires (and for the record, this is a fabricator, not a vending machine, so you'll have to toggle a white light.) The required tools can be found in nearby tool storage. A hand-held version may be acquired by hacking the GardenGear vendor.|
||GardenGear||Most basic tools and plant formulas are available from this vending machine.|
||PlantMaster Mk3|| Have a special or even new species in mind? This clever machine allows you to infuse seeds with certain reagents (drawn from an inserted beaker) and splice them together, or in other words tweak the desired genetic traits. It can also extract seeds from fruits or vegetables, which is great if you have a certain strain you want to grow more of.|
The PlantMaster supports drag & drop for the following objects: seeds, produce, beakers/bottles, produce satchels.
||Reagent Extractor|| Processes certain produce into reagents. Comes with two built-in storage tanks capable of holding up to 500 units each. You may then transfer said reagents to an inserted receptacle.|
The extractor supports drag & drop for the following objects: produce, beakers/bottles, produce satchels.
||CheMaster 3000||See Chemistry.|
||Compost Tank||Converts unwanted or excess produce as well as seeds into compost. Use drag & drop to stuff them into the tank.|
||HC Water Tank||This high-capacity tank holds 100000 units of water. If you don't have a watering can, you can use drag & drop to transfer water directly to a hydroponics tray.|
||UV Grow Lamp||Makes adjacent plants grow faster. Click it to turn it on and off.|
In addition, there are a number of plant formulas at your disposal.
||Weedkiller||Also known as atrazine. As the name implies, it will quickly spell the end for any uninvited guest like lashers or space grass.|
||Compost||This basic additive improves the plant's health over time. Can be refilled at, you guessed it, the compost tank.|
||Ammonia||Some plants grow slowly, so a bit of ammonia can speed up the process. Just be prepared to water them more often.|
||Potash||This is the chemical to go for if you want large harvests, but it will likely shorten the plant's lifespan.|
||Saltpetre||Saltpetre tends to have a good effect on the crop potency and is particularly useful for medical herbs, cannabis and chili.|
||Mutagenic||Dumping unstable mutagen into the tray is an easy option to grow all kinds of crazy stuff, however you have little actual control. If a species has multiple possible mutations, it will probably be difficult to get the one you desire.|
||Mutadone||As seen in medbay, but mutadone also works on plants. Mutating them wildly often damages their DNA and therefore this formula may be required to address some of the genetic problems. Unfortunately, mutadone slows down plant growth significantly as long as it is present in the tray.|
Numerous other reagents also affect plant health or growth in some way - check Chemistry for the complete list.
||Food||Variable||Slow||Make your own lantern!|
||Ingredient||Once||Average||Processes into popcorn.|
||Ingredient||Variable||Average||Processes into milk.|
||Ingredient||Variable||Average||Processes into hot sauce.|
||Ingredient||Variable||Average||Processes into ketchup.|
||Ingredient||Once||Average||Processes into peanut butter.|
||Ingredient||Once||Fast||Processes into flour.|
||Ingredient||Once||Fast||Processes into oatmeal.|
||Ingredient||Once||Fast||Processes into sugar.|
||Other||Variable||Average||Processes into fabric when used in a material processor.|
||Other||Variable||Slow||Chainsaw the resulting log to get your very own barricade.|
||Other||Variable||Slow||Produces bamboo stalks, which can be cut down to produce edible shoots.|
||Herb||Once||Average||Contains salicylic acid.|
||Herb||Once||Average||Contains potassium iodide.|
||Herb||Once||Average||Contains silver sulfadiazine.|
||Herb||Once||Fast||Contains, as you'd expect, mint.|
||Herb||Once||Average||Extract catonium to synthesize cat drugs.|
||Herb||Once||Fast||Extracts into morphine.|
||Herb||Once||Fast||Make your own joints by combining a leaf with a sheet of paper.|
||Weed||Once||Average||Harvested seeds can be planted on most floor tiles.|
||Weed||N/A||Fast||Attacks other plants and spreads into adjacent empty pots.|
||Weed||N/A||Fast||Will lash out at nearby people with its thorns.|
||Weed||N/A||Slow||Emits radiation, affecting nearby plants and people.|
||Weed||Once||Average||Will explode if not quickly harvested, spreading toxic goop.|
||Critter||Once||Variable||Will climb out of the pot once grown enough.|
Whenever a plant's genes would normally mutate (when planted, exposure to mutagen, in the gene manipulator), there is a rare chance that the plant will become a mutant variant of its normal self. These have different effects depending on the species! Some mutations don't appear unless specific conditions are met, for example plant stats (endurance, potency) or an infusion of certain chemicals. Feel free to experiment or pester more experienced botanists.
The following is an extensive but quite possibly incomplete table of possible mutations:
||Tomato||Infusion||Tomatoes with an explosive flavour.|
||Tomato||Infusion||Crikey, aggressive vegetables.|
||Tomato||Infusion||Edible cigarettes! Contains super-addictive amounts of nicotine.|
||Grape||Heals twice the amount of regular grapes.|
||Orange||Contains changeling blood in addition to orange juice. Peculiar.|
||Orange||Endurance||An orange that is also a chronometer, how practical.|
||Cannabis||Gets you extremely high.|
||Cannabis||Endurance, potency||Gets you extremely dead.|
||Cannabis||Endurance, potency||Contains omnizine.|
||Cannabis||Potency||Gets you extremely high and extremely dead.|
||Space Fungus||Contains psilocybin, a potent hallucinogen.|
||Space Fungus||Endurance, potency||Very toxic.|
||Slurrypod||You really shouldn't eat this...|
||Synthmeat||Harvests can either be synthbrains, synthhearts, syntheyes or a combination of all three.|
||Synthmeat||Grows synthetic arms and legs.|
||Synthmeat||Grow your own hat!|
||Synthmeat||Infusion (synthbutt seed)||Grow your own buttbot!|
||Wheat, Oats||Infusion (optional)||Use the food processor to convert the ears into iron fillings.|
||Wheat||A hardy wheat for a hardy palatte, fit for making into spaghetti|
||Melon||The ideal party snack!|
||Melon||Can be harvested an infinite amount of times.|
||Soybean||Contains high-energy plankton, promised!|
||Tree|| In space, money does grow on trees.
||Tree||Where all the synthrubber for the wires comes from.|
||Contusine||Contains salbutamol in addition to salicyclic acid.|
||Contusine||Contains curare in addition to salicyclic acid.|
||Asomna||Contains methamphetamine in addition to ephedrine.|
||Nureous||Contains hairgrownium in addition to potassium iodide.|
||Commol||Contains phlogiston in addition to silver sulfadiazine.|
||Venne||Contains atropine in addition to charcoal.|
||Venne||Contains oculine, mannitol and mutadone in addition to charcoal.|
Advanced Gardening for Dummies
The PlantMaster Mk3 is a powerful tool for the dedicated botanist. Instead of relying on Mother Nature and hoping for the best, you can tweak genetic traits with better precision. To this end, the machine is equipped with three distinct modules:
- A seed extractor.
- An injector to infuse seeds with chemicals provided by a beaker or other container.
- A splicing apparatus to create hybrids of the same or two different species.
In case you don't already have seeds with the DNA of a particular plant, insert some fruits (one or two will do) and switch the computer to the extraction mode. It's that simple.
Infusion allows you to directly modify plant traits by adding chemical reagents to plant seeds. Depending on the reagent, it may hurt the plant, help it, or do absolutely nothing, and certain chems combined with certain seeds may wildly mutate the plant into an entirely different form. Just note that, despite popular conceptions, infusion does not necessarily result in a plant that extracts into the infused reagent (i.e. infusing water does not result in a plant that extracts into water).
Anyways, infusing seeds is a straightforward affair. Provide the machine with a seed and filled receptacle, bring up the seed list and proceed from there. Though the various plant formulas will usually be the choice for reliable results, you can use any reagent for experimentation. If the beaker contains several chemicals, you will be prompted to select one. Just keep in mind that every infusion requires 10 units.
Depending on various factors, an infusn may have undesired consequences. Here, the goal was to increase the potency of a cannabis seed with the help of saltpetre and while the operation was successful, it also had an effect on the yield trait. The outcome was beneficial in this example, but other potent reagents (unstable mutagen in particular) tend to have more negative side-effects.
Regardless of what you end up injecting, damage to the seed is almost guaranteed. It increases the chance of failed splicings, plants grown from them are less healthy overall and require special care. Compost is good, presence of mutadone in the nutrient solution is better.
Splicing allows you to combine two individual plant genomes together into a entirely new hybrid plant, with the interesting side effect of the resulting hybrid extracting into whatever the parent plants extracted into. This results in things like superherbs that heal burns, fix genetic defects, and remove toxin damage simultaneously, "prank" bananas that explode when eaten, and peanuts so sugary that they put people in diabetic comas. The mechanics of splicing are described below.
Adapted from a forum post by ISaidNo
Each plant species has a variable called "Genome" which is used to track how similar two species are to one another. Generally two species from the same group (eg fruit, veg, herbs) will have genomes which are close to each other, and thus easier to splice.
When splicing, the formula for your chances is worked out like so:
- 1: Start Splicing Chance at 100%
- 2: Compare the genomes of the two seeds, subtract the lower one from the higher one
- 3: Multiply the sum of step 2 by 10, then subtract that from the splicing chance
- 4: If either seed has damage from infusing, subtract damage amount from splicing chance
- 5: Cap splicing chance between 0 and 100 to prevent bugs
- 6: Perform the check to see if splicing succeeds or not
So, an example. You're trying to splice Weed (genome 2) with Synthmeat (genome 7).
You start with 100% splicing chance.
Subtract low genome from high genome: 7 - 2 = 5
Multiply that by 10: 5 * 10 = 50
Subtract that from the splicing chance: 100 - 50 = 50
Assuming you haven't damaged either seed with infusion, you have a 50/50 chance for this splice to succeed. That's not so good odds, of course. So how can we improve them?
When seeds are successfully spliced, the hybrid has a new genome which is the average of the two, calculated by adding the two plant's genomes together and then halving it. Assuming you successfully spliced Weed and Synthmeat, the new genome would be (from (2 + 7) / 2) 4.5.
What you need to do is chain. The genomes are generally done by group: Herbs have very low genomes, grasses and veg are in the middle, and fruit has very high genomes. Alien plants and weeds have genomes that are all over the place. This isn't a general rule either, there are exceptions here and there! Commol has a genome that's more in the vegetable group than the herb group with it being a root rather than a leaf, for example.
Out of this World
Certain artifacts can be put into plant pods with... unusual effects. And out in the Debris Field and Adventure Zone, you can find several strange, truly alien seeds (though, despite the similar appearance and name, they are not man-eater seeds) Experiment!
|Objects and Items|
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