Grass Block

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Grass Block
First Appearance Cave game tech test
Type of Block Solid Block
Stackable Yes 64
For the non-grass counterpart, see Dirt.
For the path variant of this block, see Grass Path.

The Grass Block is one of the first blocks ever to be seen in Minecraft and is found in almost every biome in Minecraft (besides the End, the Nether biomes, Icebergs, Oceans, and Mushroom Islands) It uses 3 different textures: first is a gray one for the top, which is then tinted to the correct color according to what biome the block is in, next is one borrowed from the dirt block for the bottom, and last is an edited dirt texture with grass on the top edge on all of the sides. When covered by snow, the side texture is white. On natural maps, grass appears on the topmost blocks of dirt with no fluids or opaque solid blocks above them.

In terms of mining, grass blocks behave just like dirt - they drop dirt resources and are best dug up with a shovel. However, they make a different sound when harvested and take slightly longer to dig up. This can be used to tell when the player is about to break the surface when tunnelling upwards. When grass blocks are tilled with a hoe, it changes into farmland and has a chance of dropping 1-2 seeds. With enough foot traffic (jumping or running) or time left un-planted or un-hydrated, it will change back into a dirt block and can regrow grass after that. Grass paths can be created by using any type of shovel on the side or top of a grass block that has air above it, albeit with the shovel losing 1 use of durability.

Growth and Death[edit | edit source]

Grass blocks grow spontaneously only during map generation. Afterward, they can only spread from a nearby block. Grass can spread to any immediately adjacent dirt blocks at the same height, including diagonally. It can also spread one level above and as many as three levels below. The grass spreads directly from one block to another and is not affected by gaps or other blocks obstructing it.

For grass to spread, it must have a light level of 9 or brighter directly above it. Additionally, the dirt block receiving grass must have a light level of at least 4 above it and must not be covered by a block that reduces light by 2 levels or more. This includes any opaque block, as well as lava, water, ice, and some non-opaque blocks that light can't pass through, like slabs and stairs. Grass can grow under all other transparent blocks, like glass, fences, torches, or pistons.

While it is in direct sunlight, (light level 15) grass will die with 4 or more water and/or ice blocks directly on top of it (assuming it isn't getting any extra light from the sides). In the moonlight, which has a light level of 4, grass will die when covered by a single water or ice block. Grass will also die when Sheep eat them and will turn into dirt.

Grass spreads at random intervals and have an equal chance of spreading to any suitable dirt blocks that are in range. Because grass can spread as much as 3 levels downward, it tends to spread downhills much faster than it spreads up the hills.

Uses[edit | edit source]

  • Animals will occasionally spawn on grass blocks that have light level 9 or brighter in the space directly above. This is quite rare and requires that there be few other animals nearby. Most animals are instead created along with the terrain.
  • Passive mobs tend to wander towards grass blocks. They also wander towards light, but they'll ignore light over grass blocks, and prefer them to any light levels below 10.
  • Bonemeal used on grass blocks will grow tall grass and flowers.
  • Grass blocks can be used to create lawns or gardens.
  • A growing or dying grass block can be detected by a BUD (Block Update Detector). Therefore, growth and death conditions can be used to create a Redstone light sensor.

History[edit | edit source]

Grass blocks were the second block introduced in Minecraft, after cobblestone. When first introduced, the grass block had its top side texture on all sides. Later on, the side textures showed a signature 'tuft' of grass overlaying dirt. When biomes were added in the Halloween Update, the color of the top of the grass block corresponded to whatever biome it was in.

Attempting to place grass blocks through hacking one's inventory in Classic Creative multiplayer will cause the server to automatically kick out a player. Due to creative mode's lack of dynamic lighting, grass that is in shadow will eventually die and change to dirt. Grass, in one's inventory, used to have a green color on all sides of the block.

Before the Beta 1.6 update, seeds could be harvested from grass blocks with a hoe. Seeds can now be harvested by destroying tall grass. In Beta 1.9-pre5, the top of the grass block's texture was slightly changed.

Mining[edit | edit source]

A Grass Block can be mined with any tool or by hand, but a shovel is the fastest.

Tool File:Shovelgraphic.png
Hardness 0.6
Breaking time[note 1]
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Grass blocks and dirt blocks changing between each other is a very common trigger for chunk updates.
  • A grass block has become the "favicon" for, as well as the icon for Minecraft on PC and the Minecraft: Pocket Edition app artwork.
  • In Indev, placeable grass blocks were stored in chests for a short time, and when placed, no matter where it was, the grass would never die. The only way to kill the grass was to mine the block.
  • Between Alpha 1.2.0 and Beta 1.8, grass blocks had a different texture when obtained in the inventory (via an inventory editor or the /give command), or held by enderman (in the 1.8 pre-release). The strange inventory texture appeared to have the side face on the top and sides.
  • A grass block can be obtained in the inventory by using a shovel with the Silk Touch enchantment or by killing an Enderman holding a grass block.
  • As of Beta 1.5, the grass block textures on the top of the sides are the same hue as the grass on top on "Fancy mode".
  • Before the Halloween Update, grass blocks had a bright green top texture, since biomes didn't exist at that time.
  • If a shovel had the silk touch enchantment when it was first introduced, grass placed in the Nether was grey, like mycelium.
  • If a building was constructed with grass blocks, and the world went unused for a long time (presumably 4 months), the grass blocks will grow vines. This has so far only been observed in the Pocket Edition.
  • In Minecon's goodie-bags, grass blocks, along with creepers, diamonds, and a player model, were all given as foldable decorations.
  • Grass blocks are available in a player's inventory in creative mode, allowing for a more interesting ground patch.
  • Grass can spread to nearby dirt as long as mycelium or podzol does not get there first. Podzol or mycelium cannot spread over grass and vice-versa.
  • Since grass blocks do not submit to gravity, floating grass blocks can be generated in a new world.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Click for full Grass Block gallery.