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How To Get Seeds In Dwarf Fortress

How To Get Seeds In Dwarf Fortress

Bay 12 Games has done a pretty good job of creating the most complex real-to-life game out there with Dwarf Fortress. Agriculture is your way of putting food on the table for your Dwarves. You have the option of growing either above-ground crops or underground crops, but regardless of the crop you choose in Dwarf Fortress, you’ll need seeds. 

You can get seeds in Dwarf Fortress by trading, brewing drinks at a still, processing plants, eating uncooked plants or fruits, and milling plants.

Now, you do start with some seeds, but you’ll soon run out of them, which brings up the question – how do you get seeds in Dwarf Fortress? Today’s guide will explain all of the methods mentioned above and also leave you with a few farming tips so you can provide the best life for your Dwarves.

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Different Ways To Get Seeds In Dwarf Fortress

How to get seeds in Dwarf Fortress

You do get seeds for exploring the surface and harvesting plants, but if you want a good amount of seeds, you should look into processing plants. Here are several ways for you to get seeds in Dwarf Fortress by processing your plants. 

1. Embark With Seeds

This is perhaps the simplest method of getting seeds. Each seed only costs a single embark point, so you can easily bring a large amount with you on your starting wagon. Bringing anywhere from 20 to 100 seeds should be a safe bet. 

2. Brewing Drinks At A Still

The easiest way to get seeds is to brew drinks at the still. Not only do you get some drinks, but you also get seeds as a by-product. All plants leave behind seeds when they’re brewed. Different drinks will give you different seeds, so check the Crafting Menu beforehand to figure out which drink you should brew for a particular seed. 

3. Trade

Another way to get seeds is through the trade representative. You can trade seeds with him, but the only problem is that he visits every autumn. So, whenever he does pop by, make sure you make the most of it and buy the right seeds for the season. 

4. Processing Plants

If you don’t want to trade, you can head over to the farmer’s workshop and process plants. Processing plants like pigtails or cotton will give you seeds. 

4. Eating Uncooked Plants Or Fruits

As crazy as it sounds, you can get seeds by having your dwarf eat uncooked plants or fruits. However it may sound like the easiest method, but unfortunately, it’s not the most reliable. Still, you never know when your dwarf might find a seed in their teeth while eating. Keep in mind that eating plants cooked in the kitchen will not get you seeds. 

You can prevent your dwarves from cooking plants by going to the Kitchen tab and clicking the steaming bowl next to the plant. Once you do, the bowl will turn red, and your dwarf will be placed under restriction. 

5. Milling Plants 

If you’re looking for the most reliable method to get Seeds, then it’s milling plants. Just head over to the Millstone and mill some plants. You’ll get seeds for each plant. 

6. Gathering Plants And Fruits

Another way of getting seeds is to gather plants and fruits. Just gather plants in the caverns below your fortress or the overground. Not only will you get seeds but other materials that might come in handy in the game. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work if there are no plants near you. 

Important Tips For Getting Seeds

Before you go forth on your mission to gather seeds, make sure you have Bags to store them in. In case you don’t, just head over to the Clothier’s Shop. You’ll find Bags in the Build menu under Workshop clothing and Leather. 

Of course, if you want to make use of all the different ways of getting seeds, make sure you have a still to begin with. Building one will get you not only seeds but also plenty of alcohol. You should also look into building a Trading Depot if you haven’t already. 

Without it, you can’t trade with the trade representative for seeds. And while you’re at it, you’ll also need a broker. Make sure you have one assigned in the Nobles and Administrator menu. Just click on the crown on the bottom left toolbar. 

Other Farming Tips

To make the most out of your harvest, make sure you plant seeds according to the appropriate season. Dwarf Fortress has its cycle of seasons. There are four in total which last for three consecutive months. Their details are as follows:

  • Summer: Hematite, Malachite, Galena
  • Autumn: Limestone, Sandstone, Timber
  • Winter: Moonstone, Opal, Obsidian
  • Spring: Granite, Slate, Felsite

You can check what season and month it is right at the top of your screen. Underground crops are not affected by these seasons. Moreover, if you have a temperate climate, you can forget to worry about seasons and grow plants all year round. 


In short, getting seeds in Dwarf Fortress is not difficult. You can look into several different ways to get the job done, like brewing at the still, trading, or even having your dwarf eat uncooked plants. Just make sure you’re choosing the seeds according to the appropriate season. Happy farming!