v50 Steam/Premium information for editors
  • v50 information can now be added to pages in the main namespace. v0.47 information can still be found in the DF2014 namespace. See here for more details on the new versioning policy.
  • Use this page to report any issues related to the migration.
This notice may be cached—the current version can be found here.


From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is about an older version of DF.

Soil is the name for the various kinds of ground that can be planted on (both above and below ground) without irrigation using water. In DF, the category of "Soil" includes all types of sand, clay, ooze and any "non-stone" layer equally, even if you or I generally don't associate that substance with "growing plants".

Topsoil Tile
Loam .
Loamy sand .
Peat .
Sandy clay loam .
Sandy loam .
Silt .
Silty clay loam .
Silt loam .
Ocean Floor Tile
Pelagic clay .
Siliceous ooze .
Calcareous ooze .
Sand Tile
Sand (tan)
Black sand
Red sand
White sand
Yellow sand
Clay Tile
Clay .
Clay loam .
Sandy clay .
Silty clay .
Fire clay .


  • The "topsoil" types listed in the upper part of the table do not count as sand for glassmaking, even if their names include the word "sand" - only those in the "Sand" section are usable for this purpose.
  • The 3 "ocean floor" layers are only found under deep ocean tiles, usually far out from any embarkable site. Thus, they can rarely, if ever, be encountered in either fortress mode or adventurer mode.
  • Soil layers marked with are capable of supporting an aquifer.
  • The clay types listed at the bottom can be used for making ceramic items. Fire clay produces stoneware, while the other types produce earthenware.

In previous versions, types and quantities of available soils were listed at the bottom right of the fortress location selection screen; in the current version, however, it will only indicate the presence of soil and whether it can be used as sand or clay.

Note, however, that you may only plant cave flora if the tile is marked "Subterranean." To check this, go to the tile in k mode.

Digging into soil does not generate any byproduct materials, unlike digging in rock, and also is a much faster process which makes it much easier to create storerooms and other large areas of empty space, and to train miners.

Soil cannot be smoothed, so it is more difficult to make high value rooms, or pierce aquifers. Also, since soil cannot be smoothed, soil cannot be used to make fortifications.

Building a farm plot or road or removing a construction on top of soil will cause it to become "furrowed", making it appear with the and ~ tiles. Furrowed soil — including furrowed subterranean soil — will gradually smooth itself out, at which point grass and other vegetation will begin to grow. Sand always appears as and ~ and cannot become furrowed - as such, sand roads do not last as long as those made on ordinary soil.

Trees and Shrubs

Once you discover the caverns, subterranean trees and shrubs will begin to grow on any subterranean soil.

Ocean floor