A crop of Blueberries in Stardew Valley
Screenshot by Destructoid

The best crops for every season in Stardew Valley

Low maintenance crops are where it's at.

One of the biggest facets of Stardew Valley is Farming. You’ve inherited a farm, you need to rebuild it and make money in the process, so one thing you need to figure out is which crops are best for every season. 

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There are multiple schools of thought when it comes to deciding which crop is best in each season; some people swear by the ‘gold per day’ rule, favoring crops which grow quickly and yield more expensive vegetables, while others tend to favor low maintenance but constantly producing crops. 

I am part of the latter school of thought, so my suggestions will lean towards constantly producing crops for every season except Winter. While these crops may not provide as much profit as some of the other crops, they don’t need to be replanted every time you harvest the crop, which comes with a few benefits:

  • Only one initial output of Gold at the beginning of the season
  • If you implement sprinklers, you only need to water these crops once when they’re first planted
  • At the beginning of a new season, these crops will die but remain in place, preventing you from having to till the land again in order to plant the next seasons crops

For this article, I’ll use an example plot size of 10 x 10, which would require 100 seeds to fill, and look at the initial set-up cost at the start of the season and how much profit you can stand to gain across the season. 

I’m also not going to go into turning these crops into Artisanal Goods, though doing so will massively increase how much Gold you can make from each harvest. The numbers here are based purely on the crops themselves, from the ground directly into the Selling Bin with no additional Profession buffs.

It’s worth noting that you should plant a variety of crops, especially at the beginning of a new game, because these items will be needed for quests or as part of the Bundles within the Community Center. 

The best crop for Spring in Stardew Valley: Strawberries

Strawberry Seeds in Stardew Valley
Image by Destructoid

In terms of low maintenance crops, Strawberries are the best option for Spring. Strawberries take 8 days to reach maturity and following this first harvest, you’ll be able to harvest them again every four days. 

Unfortunately, you can only purchase Strawberry Seeds at the Egg Festival on the 13th of Spring, so buy as many as you can and plant them. 

Despite being halfway through the season, you’ll still get two harvests worth of Strawberries. Don’t sell these harvests. Craft a Seed Maker and place all of your grown Strawberries into it. Each Strawberry will produce between one and three Seeds, which you can save for year two. 

If you plant 100 Strawberry Seeds on the first day of Spring, you’ll get five harvests across the season, each resulting in 100 Strawberries. Even if you put aside 50 Strawberries to turn into seeds for the next year, you’ll make a minimum of 54,000 Gold on the remaining 450 Strawberries, increasing depending on the quality of the fruit.

The best crop for Summer in Stardew Valley: Blueberries

Blueberry Seeds in Stardew Valley
Image by Destructoid

Blueberries are as equally low-maintenance as Strawberries and follow a similar growth pattern. Blueberries reach maturity after 13 days, and you’ll be able to re-harvest them every four days after that. However, Blueberries have a significantly higher yield, giving three Blueberries per plant harvested. 

Blueberry Seeds cost 80 Gold each, so you’ll need to spend 8,000 Gold at the beginning of Summer to fund a 100 plant plot. While this seems like a big initial cost, you’ll get at least 150 Gold back on a single harvest of a single plant, as Blueberries sell for 50 Gold at the very minimum, so it works out pretty well. 

Planting Blueberry Seeds on the first day of Summer will provide you with four harvests across Summer, with each harvest yielding three times as many Blueberries as there are plants. For a 100 plant plot, the minimum income over the Summer season will be 45,000 Gold. 

The best crop for Fall in Stardew Valley: Cranberries

Cranberry Seeds in Stardew Valley
Image by Destructoid

As with the previous two seasons, Fall offers yet another low-maintenance crop with high returns in the form of Cranberries. This fruit takes seven days to initially reach maturity and then grants additional harvests every five days, with each plant producing two fruits. 

Cranberry Seeds cost 240 Gold each, which makes this the most expensive season to set up initially, coming in at 24,000 Gold to fill a 100 plant plot. While this is expensive, if you’ve had a successful Summer growing Blueberries you should have enough to set up this first sowing in Fall. 

If you plant your Cranberries on the first day of Fall, you’ll get five harvests out of them, with the last harvest being on the 28th day of Fall. Each harvest of a 100 plant plot will provide 200 Cranberries, selling for at the very least 75 Gold each. Across the Fall season, you can look to make at least 75,000 Gold. 

The best crop for Winter in Stardew Valley: Powdermelon

Powdermelon in Stardew Valley
Image by Destructoid

It goes without saying that nothing really grows in Winter, but with the addition of Powdermelon in update 1.6, there is now a single crop which can be grown throughout Winter to make even a little bit of money. 

Powdermelons grow in seven days, producing one Powdermelon per plant. There is a chance that Powdermelons can become a Giant Crop, which will drop between 15 and 25 Powdermelons when destroyed.

The good news is that there is no initial cost to set up for planting Powdermelons, as the seeds are found in various ways at no cost, but there is some work involved and you’ll likely only be able to have worthwhile profits beginning in year two. 

During your first year, plant and grow any Powdermelon Seeds you find, but don’t sell them. Instead, place them into your seed maker and repeat. At the end of the season, and across the following year, use all of your first year’s Powdermelons to produce seeds for the following year. 

While you’re definitely not going to get rich off of Powdermelons, and they’re not repeating crops so you’ll need to replant them after every harvest, it does at least provide some small income over the cold Winter season. Each Powdermelon sells for 60 Gold at the very least, meaning that each harvest from a 100 plant plot will bring in at least 6000 Gold. 

How to maximise profits in Stardew Valley

The Greenhouse in Stardew Valley
Screenshot by Destructoid

If you’ve finished the Pantry Bundle and you have a fully functioning Greenhouse on your farm, you can plant any crop inside at any time of the year. With 120 plots inside, it’s an easy way to keep income coming in over the Winter, without having to worry about Powdermelon Seeds. 

Once you’ve repaired the Greenhouse, Evelyn will visit and provide you with the recipe for Garden Pots. These can be placed inside your house or Greenhouse to add extra out-of-season growing space.

Similarly, once you’ve unlocked Ginger Island and opened up the Farm there, you can also grow things out of season there, exactly as you would in the Greenhouse.

There are also various fertilizers which can be used to boost the number of harvests in a month, or to increase the quality of fruits from a harvest:

FertilizerEffect on cropsRecipe
Basic FertlizerImproves quality of soil by a small amount, slightly increasing the chance to grow high quality crops2 Sap
Quality FertilizerImproves quality of soil by a larger amount, increasing the chance to grow high quality crops2 Sap 
1 Fish
Deluxe FertilizerImproves quality of soil by the largest amount, greatly increasing the chance to grow high quality crops1 Iridium Bar
40 Sap
Basic Retaining SoilSoil has a small chance to retain water overnight2 Stone
Quality Retaining SoilSoil has a good chance of retaining water overnight3 Stone
1 Clay
Deluxe Retaining SoilSoil is guaranteed to retain water overnight5 Stone
3 Fiber
1 Clay
Speed-GroIncreases growth rate by at least 10% (for the first harvest)1 Pine Tar
5 Moss
Deluxe Speed-GroIncreases growth rate by at least 25% (for the first harvest)1 Oak Resin
5 Bone Fragments
Hyper Speed-GroIncreases growth rate by at least 33% (for the first harvest)1 Radioactive Ore
3 Bone Fragments
1 Solar Essence

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Author
Paula Vaynshteyn
Paula has been gaming since she can remember and is now juggling family life with virtual adventuring. She is a long-time FFXIV nut with a passion for helping others in the game. If she's not writing or traversing the realms of Eorzea, she's either asleep or traveling between the UK and the US to see her fiancé, whom she met in Zadnor.