You should definitely select the “greenthumb” trait for gardening sims, this goes without saying.
learn the gardening skill faster
get high quality plants plants more often
talk to plants to raise your social bar
revive dead plants (this only works on neglected plants, barren plants are totally dead, except for the death bush)
Also you can choose “loves outdoors” but I wouldn’t call it a requirement.
gives a slight mood boost when outdoors
The Collector 40,000: Really all you need is the Collector, which allows you to see seeds, rocks, insects and fish in the overhead map view. Whenever you zoom in on area the spots you have selected will glow, making it super easy to find what you are looking for!
Super Greenthumb 25,000: Again, this improves your plant quality so you should pick this up asap (probably after steel bladder though)
While you can read gardening books (Volumes 1, 2, and 3) to improve your gardening skills, I always prefer doing the “real thing”. I like the natural progression you get and you’ll know what plants have been growing instead of nothing happening and you reading. A healthy combination is probably best. HINT: when you first start out the game you have no seeds. Once you reach level 1 you automatically get some free seeds to plant but they are “normal”. If you buy the fruit/veg from the store they are already “Very Nice” quality
Ali Asked: How do you take a gardening class? Hi Ali, You can take the gardening class at the Science Facility. Classes are like watching tv, they don’t give you the actual gardening experience, and they cost you money. They are good if need to improve your skills at the beginning, but I was able to get to level 3 in about 2 days without taking the class and just planting seeds.
Step one: Visit The Grocery Store
At first you will only be able to grow certain products because of your low skill level. As it raises visit the grocery often until you have planted all the Fruits and Veggies available from there. I suggest buying at least 5 of each item you plan to plant because sometimes they end up in meals you decide to cook. Don’t skip any fruits or veggies!, make sure you plant them all so that you can get rewards easier down the line.
Step Two: Planting
Plant your seeds by selecting them from the inventory and click “plant“. If you have more than one (if you paid attention you should ) you can click “plant many” and it will allow you to plant multiple seeds one after another without having to re-select them. If you decide to stop planting I find it easiest to hit your “ESC” key when you are finished, otherwise you could try to do something else and your sim will still be holding onto a seed to plant.
Step Three: Tending
Tending involves watering, weeding, and harvesting your plants. You should first buy the sprinkler to water your garden, I leave mine on full time. Second choose a plant with a weed, and click “tend garden“. This is a lifesaver because your sim will automatically tend the entire garden! Also see the FERTILIZER section, because it deserves a section of its own.
Step Four: Get Special Seeds
Special seeds need be acquired as quickly as possible. These plants take much longer than common plants to grow, so I try to plant them early. The best way to find seeds is with the Collector, but because it costs 40,000 lifetime points I’ll assume you don’t have it. (*See my TIP at the bottom of the guide) The only way to find a seed without the collector is to search for them yourself. In Sunset Valley look around the graveyard and in the hills on the EAST side of the map (when ocean is South). In Riverview look by SimHenge and check along the path in the island surrounded by the river where the main part of town is. Oh you are looking for SPECIAL seeds only! Leave all the others.
Once your Trees are growing, watch for them to drop the occasional seed!
Step Five: Re-Planting
Once your garden is moving and producing a harvest, it’s time to upgrade your plants. Here is a little guide for you to use (also applies to fish)
QUALITY CHART (from lowest to best)
- Very Nice (bought from store)
Each time you replant a seed it will grow the next quality level. For example when you plant a Very Nice Tomato from the store, it will produce a Great Tomato plant when it grows, and It’s fruit will be Great. So you can see why it is important that you re-plant your harvested goods and not sell them. Eventually you will reach Perfect quality and from there it’s just a matter of re-planting them once they die – or if you are ahead of the game, re-planting them before they die. Sometimes when you take care of a plant well enough, it will grow even better quality than it already should!
Step Six: SPECIAL PLANTS (SPOILERS! – BE WARNED)
Special plants come from the special seeds you find in the world. When they first start to grow, you will not know what they are until they harvest.
Life Plant: produces life fruit. These take a day from your sim (or add a day however you want to phrase it), and they are an ingredient in ambrosia.
Death Flower Bush: I just call it the death plant. It harvests death flower. If your sim has one of these when death comes along, you can give it to death instead of dying. This is the only use I’ve found. The death plant will die after harvest every time. The nice thing about being at a high level gardening is that you can occasionally revive the deathplant (click on dead plant, choose “revive“), getting a two for one deal. I have been unable to revive a death plant more than once as far as I can remember.
Money Tree: produces money bags that you can sell. Although you can’t replant money bags, the Money Tree occasionaly drops a seed you can plant. I haven’t had one of these die on me yet, they seem to perpetually harvest as long as you take care of them. For a high quality money tree harvest, you can get a lot of simoleans out of these money bags. Sell them in your inventory for a quick cash in.
You can find money tree and other special seeds occasionally while fishing!
Flame Fruit: An ingredient that can be used to make Angel Food Cake. Also it will give you a constant 5 point mood boost whenever you have one in your inventory.
Get some flame fruit growing for a glowing warm light in the dark
Step Seven: Cash In
So for all your hard work you get these three major things.
Improved Happiness and Lifetime Points
Sell your extra perfect fruits and veggies for a House-Full of cash
Perfect quality food for your meals and no need to buy them from the store!
Fertilizers are probably one of the things I overlooked the most when I was growing my garden. Big mistake. They not only improve the quality of your plants, but they move the growing process along very quickly. Remember the faster you get to the next generation of plants, the better. All the plants in this screenshot were planted at the same time, can you tell which ones were fertilized?
You can begin fertilizing at Level 3. Here I will list the levels where you can obtain special gardening abilities, and a list of fertilizer quality.
Skill Level Gardening Abilities
Level 2 – Weed: pull up weeds before they harm the plant (gets faster with skill level)
Level 3 – Use Fertilizer: improves quality of plants (see Fertilizer Quality below this section)
Level 5 – Plant uncommon seeds: Lime, Watermelon, Onion, Potato (common: Apple, Grape, Lettuce, Tomato)
Level 6 – Revive plant: Save a dying plant
Level 7 – Plant Rare and Special Seeds: Garlic, Bell Pepper
Special: Life Fruit, Death Flower, Flame Fruit, Money Tree
only unlocked through challenge – Cheese and Egg, Burger and Steak, Omni Plant
Fertilizer Quality: (from lowest to highest )
kill plant – deathfish
1- Anchovy, Goldfish, Alley Catfish/Cheese, Hamburger Patty, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Potato, Apple, Lime, Grapes
2- Rainbow Trout/Watermelon
3- Minnow, Jellyfish, Tuna/ Steak, Bell Pepper, Garlic, Flame Fruit
4- Salmon, Black Goldfish, Swordfish
5- Red Herring, Blowfish, Siamese Catfish, Piranha, Tragic Clownfish
6- Shark, Lobster
7- Vampire Fish, Angelfish
Achievements and Challenges
harvest 75 Perfect fruits and veggies – effect: plants rarely die from neglecting them
harvest 650 fruits and veggies: effect: - plants stay watered and fertilized longer
plant every type of plant: effect: – reduces weeds
SPOILERS!! and I am still testing these triggers!
1. Grow 20 (excellent or better) plants -> unlocks ability to plant cheese + eggs
2. Grow 10 Excellent cheese plants-> unlocks ability to plant steak + burger
3. Grow 10 (outstanding or better) steak plants -> Receive Omni Plant seeds and ability to purchase more.
4. Omni Plant: This is a special plant that will reproduce whatever you feed it within a few days, and I believe you can either mail order or buy more seeds once unlocked.
You can only feed it certain things. Because it’s special, I want you to experiment to find out what it can be fed, because that’s half the fun. But to appease the curious I will add some things that you can’t feed it.
Seeds (no money tree/omni plant farming)
If you do want to see some omni-awesomeness check the screenshots page. Thanks to nina for adding that the omni plant looks the same as the other “bush” plants.
The first challenge is the hardest to get. It is totally random when you get it, so don’t expect it at a certain level (although you CAN get it as early as level 7-8). One of my sims lived nearly 158 days out of 190 and were elderly before they got the first challenge. Now I did notice that the sim that got it at level 8 had no job, they were a fisherman, while my level 10 sim who was a chef still hadn’t received the challenge. Frequent visits to the BISTRO and DINER may help trigger the event because that is where the challenges come from, but don’t count on it.
While it may be fun to have a ginormous garden, your sim will spend all day there if you have too many plants. I limit my sim to 5 of each and that seems to produce good harvest without spending too much time. One of sims spent 7-8 hours of their day gardening. What’s so wrong about that? Nothing really, but it was very inefficient use of time because there were tons of low quality plants in the garden. I could have been using that time to do other things with my sim. Once you reach perfect plants though, all bets are off because you should be at a high enough skill level where you can pull off a Huge garden.
PERFECT PLANT SELL LIST
from lowest to highest
§80_steak (most profitable!)
§100_life fruit (best fertilizer + great price)
to select all items at once in your inventory (for example ALL apples) click and hold the little arrow in the upper left hand corner. Drag your apples to the fridge, another persons inventory, or to sell them all at once! (this drove me crazy until i figured it out)
The best Job that coincides with gardening is the Culinary Arts. The benefits of being able to garden really help you out when you are given tasks at work, but most importantly when you cook with higher ingredients it improves your food quality when cooking. Your sim will also get “wants to cook with perfect ingredients” wishes, and you’ll be able to fulfill those quickly with high gardening skill.
My secondary Job choice would be fishing for a gardening oriented sim, although fishing is not an “official” job. I prefer to create another sim to do that because gardening and fishing are both so timestaking though, still it’s worth mentioning because in both jobs you choose your own hours. Fish are the best fertilizers, so it helps give your garden an extra boost.
My third Job choice would be the Science Career. Gardening alone can get you to a high level because it’s one of the performance requirements. The hours are good 9-2:30 at the beginning and they get lower as you are promoted, so more time to garden after work The only slight downfall is handiness and fishing are also included in your performance, and it’s hard to keep those two up with a good size garden. I advise just scraping by on those aspects and improving them only when needed. Gardening will compensate for them and you’ll be a level 10 scientist in no time.
Just because your sim doesn’t have 40,000 points yet, doens’t mean another sim doesn’t! Use another sim to buy the collector with their points. Set the collector to “seeds” and go seed hunting. Once you’ve collected all the special seeds you can find, or have time to find, use the item selection tip i wrote and drag them to your gardening sim. Now that is how you do it! If your gardening sim has a lot of time on their hands, you could just gift the entire Collector to them (it’s the butterfly icon in the inventory panel).
Also it’s important to note that once you have grown and harvested from a special seed, if you find it in the wild it will no longer be “special”, but will show what seed it actually is!
If you tinker with a sprinkler, or have someone handy you can upgrade the sprinkler to “auto-water“. While this is probably helpful, I just leave mine on 24-7, because apparently sims have no need for water preservation.
CLEARING DEAD PLANTS
One trick I use is to go into buy mode when you see a plant is dead (totally black but not a death plant!). In buy mode you can select the plant and just hit delete, bam it’s gone and your sim didn’t have to deal with it. You can also move plants around and put them in a nice order, or even a crazy order if you like.
GET SEEDS BY FISHING
There is a very low chance your fishing sim will catch a box containing something inside. It can vary, but in relation to gardening you catch the Flame Fruit, Death Flower and Money Tree seed. You only have a 3% of the first two, and a 5% chance for a money tree, so good luck and happy fishing!
HARVEST WILD FRUIT
Sometimes your sim will get the urge to harvest a wild fruit. Basically for you that means scrolling around the town looking for plants. Apple trees are a good one to look for, but you can even harvest other sim’s gardens. In Riverview there is a garden you can visit on the island that has bell peppers and other various veggies growing. Jen commented that you can get a deathflower (once it reaches a harvest point) from the death plant in the cemetery and plant it in your own garden. Thanks Jen I totally forgot to add that trick, and basically this entire section
The above is a rough draft, I’m still working on this guide because there is a lot to cover. I try to test as much as possible before posting. Let me know of any wrong info or additions and I will credit you with the changes. Please do not copy my guide, but feel free to post the link to it.
omni plant info
answered gardening class question
plant classifications -common, rare, etc
corrected bonus challenge
harvest wild fruit – thanks to Jen
screens for challenges+money tree
greenthumb trait benefits
barren vs. dead info to level 7
perfect quality sell prices
gaining seeds through fishing