The Wiki for Tale 5 is in read-only mode and is available for archival and reference purposes only. Please visit the current Tale 11 Wiki in the meantime.

If you have any issues with this Wiki, please post in #wiki-editing on Discord or contact Brad in-game.


Jump to navigationJump to search
Bulk 1
Weight 1

Growing Barley Overview

Information from Tale 4 is shown below and has not, apparently, changed.

  • Note: before you get into the frustrating process of fighting weeds, bear in mind that you will save a lot of grief by using water and grain fertilizer (or just water) only, and harvesting after weeds appear, rather than attempting a full harvest on every patch, because of the time involved. The payoff for attempting full harvests increases if you have passed worship tests.
  • Barley is highly recommended as an offline chore because it is more difficult and expensive than growing vegetables, or harvesting wood or grass. Grow and harvest 1000 barley to enable offline barley. You can harvest crops grown by others to achieve this.
  • If a person who has passed worship tests harvests barley, they should get 10 more barley per full harvest, per worship test passed (at least this has been so in previous telings). One player can harvest barley another player has planted in order to take advantage of the bonus.
  • A variation of the water and fertilizer only method is to harvest when yellow or white/green weeds appear, water only when spiky brown weeds appear, and use both water and fertilizer if no weeds appear. You can get a few more full harvests this way.
  • Barley growing can be macroed.


Barley is one of the staple crops of Egypt. Harvested raw, it can be cooked in a Grain Oven to make roasted barley (light, medium, dark or burnt). It can be turned into Malt (raw), and the malt can itself be cooked similarly. Malted barley is a primary ingredient in Beer.

It is grown from Barley (Raw) using water and Grain Fertilizer, and (optionally) Weed Killer, yielding more Barley (raw).

Once you have grown and harvested 1000 barley, you become eligible to grow barley as one of your Offline Chores.


Required By



Barley is grown using Barley (Raw), water, Grain Fertilizer and Weed Killer, and requires you to know the Barley Cultivation technology. New citizens may obtain a starter packet of 4 raw barley from any University of Worship where Barley Cultivation has been unlocked.

NOTE: Weed killer is not strictly necessary for growing barley, and some cultivation strategies ignore it.

General Information

Plant a barley patch on grassy terrain. Barley patches have controls to add water, fertilizer, and weed killer, and meters indicating the current level of each.

  • Water, fertilizer, and weed killer levels will all drop as time passes.
  • When water and fertilizer are high, the barley will grow rapidly.
  • When water and fertilizer are low, the barley will die back.
  • Weed killer has no effect on the pace of growth.

Barley may be harvested at any time.

  • If the patch does not display as "Ready to Harvest", it will yield between 0 and 5 barley, depending on the presence of weeds and how much the barley has been allowed to grow.
  • "Ready to Harvest" patches will yield 10 barley. The yield is increased by 10 for every rank you earn in the Worship discipline (a Student will get 20 total, a Prentice 30, etc.).
  • In order for a barley patch to achieve "Ready to Harvest" status, it must have reached a certain level of growth and be entirely free of weeds.

NOTE: A barley patch which is "Ready for Harvest" will die 20 minutes later if left unharvested.


As barley grows, it is subject to attack by three varieties of weed. These appear randomly and, when present, prevent a barley field from reaching maturity. More than one type of weed may be present simultaneously. A field with weeds can be harvested, but the barley yield is less than one without.

Weeds thrive and remain in a field until killed. Unlike flax weeds, barley weeds cannot simply be yanked out of the ground; they must be made to die off by manipulating the level of water, fertilizer, and weedkiller in the field.

  • Weed #1 is thin and spiky. It thrives on fertilizer and is immune to weedkiller. To get rid of it, stop adding fertilizer. The weed will disappear when the fertilizer level gets low enough. Water and weedkiller neither help nor harm the weed.
  • Weed #2 is yellow with small leaves. It thrives on water. To get rid of it, start adding weedkiller and stop adding water. The weed will disappear when water is low enough and weedkiller is high enough. The fertilizer level has no effect.
  • Weed #3 is green with a white puffball on top. It thrives on fertilizer. To get rid of it, start adding weedkiller and stop adding fertilizer. The weed will vanish when fertilizer is low enough and weedkiller is high enough. The water level does not affect it.

Picture How to Kill Unaffected By
Low Fert Water, Weedkiller
Low Water,
High Weedkiller
Low Fert,
High Weedkiller
  • Brown: High Water & Weedkiller
  • Yellow: High Weedkiller & Fert
  • Green: High Weedkiller & Water

If your goal is to grow a barley field to completion, you will devote a lot of time to fighting weeds. Occasionally a lucky field will make it to maturity without a single weed, but these are rare. More often you will have to watch your barley closely and manage the levels in order to keep your barley healthy, while cutting back on those ingredients that feed the weeds. A field may suffer multiple weed attacks before it reaches maturity. Patience and a good supply of weedkiller are required of the devoted barley farmer.

(Hekatef's Observation: Although we know how to treat weeds once they appear, there is no way to prevent them that I know of. Weed appearances seem to be entirely random, with no controllable factors making them more or less frequent. They will happily sprout up in a field already full of weedkiller. They do not seem to "spread", so having weeds in one field will not affect adjacent fields. I know of no ecological affects that influence the appearance of weeds. In other words, forget about trying to prevent weeds, and just deal with them as the inevitable random force they are. If anyone should discover a reliable method to prevent weeds, discussion is warmly encouraged!)

Harvesting Methods

Using Water, Fertilizer and Weed Killer

The Hekatef Method

I like to run 3 barley fields at a time -- that's as many as I can fit on the screen simultaneously while still zoomed in enough to spot weeds.

I start a field by adding 1 water and 1 fertilizer right away. At all times, for as long as there are no weeds to worry about, I keep a field at max water and fertilizer (or just a smidgen below max). This keeps the field progressing quickly toward "Ready to Harvest" status.

I keep a very close eye out for weeds and treat them as soon as they appear. I don't skimp on the weedkiller -- if it's needed, then I keep weedkiller at max (or a smidgen below max) for as long as it takes for the weed(s) to die. I stop water and/or fertilizer, as needed, while keeping the other ingredient maxed out; that way the barley can stay as nourished as possible in the meantime. Sometimes a field is hit with multiple weeds simultaneously, and at these times there's nothing to do but max out weedkiller, withhold water and fertilizer, and wait -- the barley will suffer a little, but once the weeds are gone you'll be able to make up for lost time.

All in all, at the end of a session of barley harvesting, I find I've used fertilizer and weedkiller in more or less equal amounts.

Stay observant! Sometimes weeds are very small and hard to see. Zoom in and move the camera a bit if you're not sure. Also, a weed infestation can consist of more than one plant: just because you see one weed fade away, it doesn't mean you've eradicated all of them. Don't start adding water/fertilizer again until you're positive the field is free of weeds that thrive on it.

Drowning Barley Method by Xaxyx

For those Egyptians who find weedkiller to be a bit difficult or costly to obtain in large quantities, I recommend the following method. It uses some fertilizer, very little weedkiller -- and lots of water!

To start out, plant as many barley fields as you feel you can run comfortably. (I run four; ymmv.) Fill their water to maximum. Give them each a pulse of fertilizer.

Every tick, fill the water back to maximum. Growing near a water source helps so you don't have to run for more all the time. Keep water maxed at all times and in all circumstances; don't even think about it.

Add fertilizer only if it goes below half, and only if the bed is totally weed-free. Don't fill it up too high; just one pulse is plenty.

Weeds will invariably show up. Here's how you deal with them:

  • Thorny: Stop adding fertilizer. Continue to keep water maximized. Eventually, the thorns will die.
  • Green/white: Stop adding fertilizer. Continue to keep water maximized. Wait until fertilizer is low -- 25% or less -- then fill the weedkiller. Keep weedkiller (and water!) near or at max until the weeds die.
  • Yellow: Harvest and start the bed over. Don't hesitate to do this, even if the bed was almost full. It's much easier -- and cheaper -- to just plant a new bed.

Once you've killed off all of the thorny and green/white weeds, add some fertilizer -- not too much, though, as before. Continue to keep the water at full.

Using this method, about half of your beds should max out, the ones you harvest early will often produce 3-5 barley, and you'll end up using very little weedkiller.

Using Water and Fertilizer

Plant the barley, immediately add 1 water and 1 fertilizer. Add 1 of each every other tick, and if weeds appear, immediately harvest the bed and plant a new one. While you won't get many grown to full harvest, this usually ends up netting about 4-5 barley per field.

  • With weedkiller being pretty expensive for someone just starting out I use the following method with more full harvest yields per planting session...after planting add 1 weed killer with the 1 water and 1 fert. Add 1 water and 1 fert for every tick until weeds appear then harvest. (this way if you can only get your hands on a few toadskins you can still plant and harvest quite a bit of barley.)

Efficient Fertilizer Method

(Augma's method) I wanted to make things as simple as possible for myself in the face of barley's randomness. Each time the water and fertilizer level moves down, I call this one "tick". I use about 100 fertilizer and harvest well over 100 barley (net) in about an hour. If you plant more than 1 barley at a time clearly you can make more efficient use of your time.

  • 1) Plant the barley and add 1 water and 1 fertilizer.
  • 2) For the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ticks:
    • If there are weeds or weeds appear, only add 1 water.
    • Otherwise, add 1 water and 1 fertilizer.
  • 3) For the 4th tick, only add 1 water. (no fertilizer even if there aren't weeds)
  • 4) For the 5th tick:
    • If there are weeds, Harvest! (almost always the net barley harvested will equal or exceed the amount of fertilizer used)
    • If there are no weeds, only add 1 water.
  • 5) For the 6th tick:
    • If there are weeds, Harvest!
    • If you made it this far with no weeds, Congratulations!, Harvest your 10 barley!

DO NOT harvest as soon as you see a weed and try not to get frustrated if you see more weeds appear as you continue. Wait until the 5th tick! The yield will almost always be better if you wait. If the only weed you have is the spindly brown kind, you can make a judgment call whether to continue growing (and just adding water) rather than harvesting prematurely. Very rarely those weeds go away and the barley grows to a complete harvest.

Using Water Only

It is possible to raise barley (albeit slowly) with no fertilizer or weedkiller. Simply plant the barley field, water it to the max level, and keep it fully watered. Ignore any weeds that appear. When you see the number of stalks increase, harvest. You should end up with 2 barley per field (net gain of 1 raw barley) if there are weeds, or 3 barley if weed-free.

I would like to add that when a new stalk appears, water once more, then harvest on the next water drop, This gives the new stalk a chance to grow. I harvested as soon as a new stalk appeared and only got back 1 barley, so there seems to be a small time requirement for growth. Despite weeds you will get 2 barley. (Euripedus)