Knowing when to harvest your wheat can be difficult in Minecraft especially if you are new to the game. Wheat can be a good food source and allow you to fulfill your hunger needs keeping you from dying.
Wheat has eight different life stages and you will want to wait until your wheat is in the eighth stage of life to harvest so you can get the most from your crops. If you want to learn when the best time to harvest is and what to look out for in your wheat keep reading below.
How to find wheat seeds
There are a few places you can find wheat seeds (or seeds if you are playing on Bedrock). When you are running around your world you can find wheat seeds by cutting down grass. As you cut down longer grass around your world, there is a chance wheat seeds will pop out and you can pick them up and then plant them later on. This is one of the easiest ways to find wheat seeds especially in your early game.
If you happen to run into a village, there is a good chance you will find some wheat already growing or some wheat seeds (and other seeds) in some of the villagers’ chests. If you find some wheat growing in the village, you can harvest it and get the wheat seeds from the gardens. You can also go into the villagers’ homes and open the chests and see what is inside. Most of the time you will find wheat seeds and a variety of other seeds.
If you want to speed up your garden’s production then you will also want to look out for bee nests when you’re out look for wheat seeds. If you find a bee nest you can create bee hives and start farming bees at your base. You can learn more in this article that covers everything you need to know about bees.
How to plant wheat
If you want to start growing wheat the first thing you need to do is prep the land for your wheat seeds. Wheat grows on dirt blocks, so you will need to make sure you have plenty of dirt around you for your wheat. You will need to craft a hoe, find or create a water source, and then plant your wheat seeds on the tilled soil.
First, you will want to craft your hoe, there are few different materials you can choose to make your hoe out of. You can use either wood, stone, iron, gold, diamond, or netherite. You will need a stick no matter what material you choose. To craft a hoe you will want to use the crafting table then put two sticks with one of the materials right above it and then one other material to the left of the other one.
Next you will want to find a good water source to till your land around. If you are in the early stage of your game and do not have enough iron to spare to make a bucket, you can choose to grow your wheat next to water sources appearing naturally in your world.
If you have a bucket you can go fill it up and choose a block to pour this water into to create your garden around. A water block will hydrate four blocks of water from every side. So one water source will hydrate an eight by eight square around it. For wheat to grow it needs to be on one of these blocks that is being hydrated by the water.
To prepare your land you will want to use your hoe to till the land around your water source. You will notice that the top part of the dirt block has changed in appearance. You will know if the block has been hydrated by the water because it will turn a darker brown. Once you till the soil when you hold your wheat seeds and point towards the tilled dirt block you can now plant your wheat seeds in the ground.
Once you plant your seeds you will want to wait for the wheat to cycle through all the life stages to become fully mature before you harvest it. When you harvest fully mature wheat you will receive one wheat and two wheat seeds.
The different stages of wheat
As your wheat grows it will get older in age, there are eight different ages your wheat can be from age 0 to age 7. When you first plant your seeds they will be age 0, you will just see a few small green leaves popping out of the ground. When your wheat reaches ages 1 to 2 you will notice it is slightly higher off the ground.
You won’t see much difference in your wheat until age 4, here you will start to see the bottom of the plant start to turn a yellow color. As it matures to age 5 you will see that it grow a bit taller on top. At age 6 it will be mainly yellow with some green still remaining.
When it is fully mature at age 7 the entire plant is a light yellow color and will look at bit dry. This is the stage at which you want to harvest the wheat. When you harvest the wheat when it is fully mature you will receive one wheat and two wheat seeds. This will allow you to expand your garden further and scale your wheat production.
If you harvest your wheat prematurely (between ages 0 and 6) you will not receive any wheat from your harvest. You will receive your wheat seeds back so if you want to move your garden you don’t have to fear losing your seeds that you already planted.
How to check the age of your wheat
You can tell the age of your wheat from looking at it. You will want to wait until you no longer see any green in the plant itself before you harvest. However, if you have java edition there is an easy way to know the exact stage your wheat is in. Unfortunately, this option is not available for bedrock players. You will want to click on F3 and you will see a lot of data appear on your screen.
This data provides a lot of different information from your coordinates, the current biome, your PC specs, and information about your targeted blocks. The targeted block information is what you want to pay attention to. If you target your wheat block and with the F3 screen open. Under the targeted block section, you will see an age section and it will range from age 0 to age 7.
How to skip stages and harvest faster
If you want to speed up the production of your wheat there are a few options you have. You can utilize bone meal and bees. These can skip some of the life stages of your wheat and they will mature at a much faster rate.
You can learn how to optimize your wheat garden, obtain bone meal, and how to use bees to your advantage in this article that covers how to grow your wheat faster.