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At first, Stardew Valley isn’t the kind of game you’d think would be on the site. Thus far, the posts here have been about things like Dungeons and Dragons or Magic: the Gathering – things with a markedly darker or more adventurous tone.
But I was introduced to Stardew Valley by a friend, and was surprised to find that I was quickly hooked. There’s so much strategy involved, from deciding which buildings to add to your land to planning out days spent in the mines to even focusing on your crops. When you manage to fine-tune your farm so it runs like a well-oiled machine, it’s so satisfying.
Because I’m addicted to this game, I wanted to share some guides with you so you can achieve virtual farming perfection, too. I’ll start by telling you which are the best summer crops for year 1 in Stardew Valley.
Is Growing Crops Lucrative?
After logging countless hours in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (something I’ll probably talk about later), I started playing Stardew Valley. Like I said before, I fell in love with it almost instantly. I might be a little late to the party here – the game was released in 2016 – but it was still new to me.
The first thing I wanted to do was dedicate huge swaths of land to crops like some industrial farmer supplying an entire country…but, as you might imagine, that was pretty difficult in the beginning – not to mention time-consuming.
Later on, I discovered the first basic sprinkler. Suddenly, crops became much more feasible, because I didn’t have to spend hours in-game meticulously watering each individual plant. You get the sprinkler once your farming gets to level two, and I think it’s absolutely vital in order to make crops worth the investment.
Sprinklers free up your time to do whatever you want and explore the game. You can go fishing, delve into the monster-filled mines, befriend villagers, even fall in love. All the while, your crops will be automatically watered every morning, becoming one of the best money makers in the game.
So, yes – growing crops is worth your time, but it will take some work in the beginning until you get your sprinklers.
Best Summer Crops for Year 1
Blueberries are a fantastic crop for a bunch of reasons.
For starters, they keep producing after the first harvest. You get to harvest them over and over again, which makes them highly profitable. Ideally, you should plant them as soon as you can in the summer, so you can harvest them as many times as possible.
Second, they sell for a decent amount of money. They cost 80 gold to buy from the store, and each individual blueberry sells for 40 gold. After waiting thirteen days for their first harvest, they’ll produce more blueberries every four days, rapidly paying back what you spent for the seeds.
Aside from the money they can make you, blueberries are great for making wine. In terms of year one growing, you can’t do much better than them.
For your first year in-game, melons are another good option. At twelve days of growth, they mature at a decent speed. Unlike blueberries, though, you’ll only be able to harvest them one time.
Despite only being able to harvest them a single time, they can make you a nice chunk of gold. Each seed costs 80 gold, but they sell for 250, which means a profit of 170 for you.
Furthermore, they have a small chance at becoming giant crops, which means, of course, that they’re much larger than usual. You can achieve this by planting a 3×3 patch. If they happen to be giant, they’ll yield double the amount of melon.
Next, I would recommend hops, because who wants to have a farm without beer? I know I don’t.
Jokes aside, hops are great because, like blueberries, you can harvest them more than once. Later on in the game, when you get kegs, you can use your hops to make pale ale.
They also mature fairly quickly, with a growth time of 11 days. Once mature, they’ll produce hops every day, so make sure you plant them as soon as you can – especially if you’d like to turn your farm into a brewery.
Unfortunately, hops alone only sell for 25 gold, but keep in mind that you can harvest them every single day. That measly 25 gold really does add up.
Note: Hops grow on a trellis, which means you can’t walk through them. I recommend planting them in lines or on the edge of your crops so you can reach all of them.
Last, but certainly not least, we have our spiciest crop in more ways than one: hot peppers. They mature after just 5 days, which makes them a lightning-speed crop.
After maturation, you can harvest them every three days. They’re a wonderful one-time investment and will pay themselves off in no time.
If you plant them right at the beginning of the summer, you can harvest them eight times. In other words, your peppers will make you about 10 gold per day over the course of the summer per plant. Plant a bunch of them, and those profits will add up to a formidable sum.
Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket (and I’m not just talking about chickens here), I recommend planting a few crops of each type. Don’t rely on just mass amounts of one crop, even if it gets you a lot of money.
You should keep your eyes on the prize by completing bundles in the Community Center, once you’ve unlocked it. After you unlock the Vault Room and finish it, the broken-down bus is repaired, allowing you to visit the desert.
Beyond the much more lucrative mine in the Calico Desert, there’s a store where you can purchase star fruit seeds. Star fruit seeds are a phenomenal summer crop, because they’ll help you make a quick buck.
Additionally, in the second year, you’ll unlock red cabbage seeds, which end up being second only to start fruit in terms of profit. They also cost less up-front.
Basically, just make sure you’re checking out and working on the bundles. They’ll give you access to things that will allow you make massive improvements to your crops, as well as random rewards.
That just about does it for summer crops. Remember, don’t just stick only to a single money-maker; plant a variety of profitable crops so you can finish bundles and get to the stuff that will really up your game. Like with anything else in life, Stardew Valley is a game of patience and planning, so focusing only on immediate rewards won’t benefit you in the long run.