Whether you’re new to the game or not, we promise that our Stardew Valley: Best Crops guide will have some invaluable tips for you. We’re talking to brand new players as well as those who’re trying to figure out which seeds offer the best ROI.
Even if you’ve hit the highest farming level, are you sure you’re investing in the most profitable yield based on the price to effort ratio? Let’s walk you through the details, some of which you might have missed without realizing it.
Table of Contents
About Stardew Valley
Games like Stardew Valley offer a relaxing mix of farming, RPG, life simulator, and other genres. An indie breakout hit from 2016, SDV is one of the top 10 best-reviewed titles of all time on Steam. It recently received the 1.5.6 update.
You’ll notice a meditative quality about the game as you play — from growing your first parsnip to catching your first legendary fish. Also, the title’s sole developer, Eric Barone, has done an immense job of assuring you never get fed up of the pacing by stuffing in a lot of quests, secrets and fun Easter Eggs.
Without further ado, let’s talk about the most profitable crops to grow in each of the seasons, multi-season harvests and fertilizers. We’ll also list tips you’ll find useful during your first year in the game and beyond.
Choosing Your Farm Type
The game currently offers more than one farm type to new players. A standard farm is the best way to start when you want to properly experience SDV as an agriculturalist while also leveling up your foraging, combat, mining and fishing skills. Once selected, you’ll have to begin a new game if you want to switch to another type of farmland.
The riverland farm gives you less farmland than the standard farm, but makes it easier to catch fish. The forest farm brings in better foraging capabilities, while the hilltop farm makes mining more convenient. The wilderness farm attracts monsters during the nighttime so you that can concentrate on collecting loot and engaging in combat. There’s also the beach farm and four corners farm to choose from.
Stardew Valley: Best Crops To Get Rich Quick
Based purely on their profit margin and ignoring growth time, accessibility of seeds, and other special conditions, below are the most profitable crops in Stardew Valley. We’ll get to the season-by-season breakdown immediately after this list.
Sweet Gem Berry: A single-harvest Fall crop, Sweet Gem Berry takes 24 days to grow from a Rare Seed. It has the highest sell price of any crop at 3000g to 6000g. Its quality does not benefit from the Tiller profession. You cannot put it in a preserve jar or keg. It must be sold as is. But it still remains the most valuable crop you can grow in the game. Buy the seeds for 600g to 1000g from the Traveling Cart near Marnie’s Ranch every Friday and Sunday throughout the year. Ignore everything else you’ve heard and turn any you grow in the first year into seeds using the seed maker. From year 2 onwards, keep selling the star quality ones and converting the rest into seeds.
By the time you’ve unlocked Ginger Island, you’ll be rolling in it. Also, you’ll find that the Traveling Cart will rarely have the seed on sale a few in-game years down the line. You get the Seed Maker recipe at Level 9; so keep storing the produce in chests until then.
Starfruit: Starfruit is only second most valuable crop compared to Sweet Gem Berries in terms of a high profit yield. The single-harvest Summer plant takes 13 day to mature. Make seeds out of the first few batches. Later in the game, you can squeeze out 3 harvests of Starfruits every summer by using Deluxe Speed-Gro and replanting on the day you pick the fruit.
Each fruit nets you around 750g to 1650g (Important: See our note below titled “Choose the right profession at Level 5” before you start playing), while the starfruit jelly, starfruit wine and its aged variety can bring in up to 2170g, 2250g and 6300g, respectively.
Gunther will give you a seed after you’ve donated 15 items to the Museum. You can purchase the seeds at the Oasis for 400g (after repairing the Pelican Town bus once you complete the Community Center Vault bundle), or sometimes from the Traveling Cart for 600g to 1000g. Ancient Fruit: Ancient Fruit ranks among the three highest-earning crops in the game. It can be grown through Spring, Summer and Fall, and is of the multi-harvest variety.
After a long 28-day growth period, it offers four harvests per season. So if you plant it on day one of spring, it’ll be ready for picking 8 times until winter falls. Each ancient fruit fetches 550g to 1210g. The jam sells for up to 1610g, while the aged wine can earn you as much as 4620g.
Don’t bother using Speed-Gro on it to speed up the maturity period. But good quality fertilizer will help. An Ancient Seed costs 100g -1000g at the Travelling Cart. Gunther will also reward you one after you’ve donated an Ancient Seed artifact to the Museum.
Best Spring Crops
The year is divided into 28 days of four seasons, beginning with Spring. The figures mentioned below are based on the assumption that you will plant crops on the second, if not the first day, and not use Speed-Gro.
Deluxe Fertilizer is the only way to get iridium quality crops. So the ROI calculations per seed do not take into consideration the sell price of purple starred produce since this soil enhancer can be too costly for regular crops.
Green Bean: Even if you earn the minimum of 40g for green beans, each bean starter required to grow it costs only 60g at Pierre’s shop. Since it’s a multi-harvest crop which matures in 10 days and yields 6 harvests per season, you’ve turned that 60g into 240g – 396g by the end of spring. Plus, you don’t need to keep replanting it.
ALSO SEE: Is Stardew Valley Cross-Platform?
Coffee: At first glance, the seed cost versus selling price of coffee might fool you into thinking it is the worst crop to raise. But there’s no debate — In the early months, coffee is the most valuable crop in terms of how little effort you need to put into raising it and multiplicative growth.
The Travelling Cart sometimes sells a coffee bean or two for 100g – 2500g each. But ONE bean is all you’ll ever need to start with, rendering it a very profitable crop indeed. You can also win them as drops from defeating Dust Sprites.
This plant matures in 10 days, and grows through Spring and Summer. It yields up to 4 beans every 2 days. Each bean has a sell price of 15g – 22g. After you’ve replanted enough beans from your harvest, put 5 in a keg to make coffee. It’d be better to use the drink to boost your speed while mining or farming or moving around town, than to sell it.
Potato: Plant the 15 free parsnip seeds you receive as a welcome gift and use the 500g startup cash Mayor Lewis gives you to buy potato seeds. It will offer only 30g of profit per head — seed price of 50g minus minimum selling price of 80g.
But its growth time is 6 days and there’s a chance of getting more than one potato when you pull it out of the ground on day 7. Between these two crops and their short growth time, you will get all the cash you need to start up properly and add more spring crops to your fields.
Ancient Fruit: Don’t forget to plant your Ancient Seeds the very day you lay hands them, as long as it’s at least 29 days before winter. But avoid selling the fruit in Year 1. This three-season plant is one of Stardew Valley‘s best crops to invest in if you want to earn the maximum profit in terms of gold per day without replanting over and over again.
Year 2 Onwards:
Strawberries: Though strawberries are the most profitable spring crops, you can’t buy the seeds till the 13th of Spring from the special vendor at the Egg Festival. Purchase as many strawberry seeds as you can afford and save them for your second spring in case you can’t (or don’t want to) plant them on the day you buy them.
Otherwise, the best thing to do would be to prepare the soil before you go to the Egg Festival in your first year. When you return, you’ll have just enough time to plant and water the strawberry seeds before bed. The creeper requires 8 days to mature, drops 1 strawberry every 4 days and has a minimum sell price of 120g.
In year 1, you’ll manage to get 2 harvests out of it, while planting the seeds on the first day of subsequent spring seasons will give you 5 yields. So each seed costing 100g would offer 600g – 990g worth of produce in the latter scenario. You can buy additional seeds at the Egg Festival in year 2 or use the seed maker to get more strawberry seeds from the lower quality yield.
Rhubarb: Rhubarb seeds are available at the Desert Oasis and costs 100 gold per seed. The crop matures within 13 days and only produces one yield. It is a very profitable crop in spite of this since the fruit sells for 220 gold minimum.
Cauliflower: At 80g per seed from Pierre’s shop, each single-harvest cauliflower crop is ready for picking within 13 days since its growth time is 12 days. It brings in at least 175g per head. That’s not very encouraging compared to green beans. BUT if you can spare the land, don’t pick your cauliflowers and let the sprinklers keep watering them instead. They will transform into a giant crop (so you can get up to 21 instead of just 9 heads) a few days later. Place them in 3×3 grids to achieve this. However, this makes sense only if you’d rather let the plot stand as is instead of planting new seeds.
Best Summer Crops
Hopefully, you’re continuing to tend to your ancient fruit and/or coffee plants from the spring season. Here are the summer crops you can add to the mix now:
Blueberries: The best summer crop to grow, blueberry seeds cost 80g each at Pierre’s shop, produce three berries (2% chance of more than 3) at harvest, and are ripe for picking up to 4 times each summer after its 13 days of growth time.
As the crop sells for 50g to 82g per berry, you’re turning an 80g seed into 600g – 984g produce at the end of the season without needing to replant, making it the most profitable crop you can grow in year 1.
Hops: Springing up from the hops starter which costs only 60g at Pierre’s, you can earn 5100g from the humble hops. How? It takes 11 days for this trellis-clinging creeper to grow, after which it bears fruit every single day.
The base sell price of hops is just 25g. So it is not the most profitable crop when you want to sell it outright. But put the entire summer harvest from just one plant in 17 kegs for up to 2 days, and you get 17 x 300g worth of pale ale from it. That’s a total of 5100g at minimum for your bottles of pale ale, if you can wait a few days for your ROI.
Melon: The seed costs 80g at Pierre’s shop and the creeper takes 12 days to bear fruit worth 250g – 412g. So if you grow it twice during summer, you’re minting 500g – 824g from 160g worth of seeds per tile.
In case you don’t need the land and have sprinklers set up for watering it, you can let the melons continue growing and harvest it with an axe once it grows to a giant size instead. Do note that the seeds have to be planted in a 3×3 grid without a sprinkler in the center if you want this to happen.
Year 2 Onwards:
Starfruit: At a per seed price of 400g from the Desert Oasis shop, the crop sells for 750g to 1650g a fruit. This single-harvest plant takes only 13 days to mature. Hence, it’s high on our list of summer crops you need to invest in for making money fast.
Selling the produce as starfruit jelly, regular wine or aged wine can bring in up to 2170g, 2250g or 6300g per piece, in that order. But it’s not easy to start growing the plant on a large scale early on since Gunther will give you just one seed after you’ve donated 15 items to the Museum.
The Desert Oasis shop and Travelling Cart will have the seeds for sale. But until you can buy or make Deluxe Speed-Gro, you won’t be able to get more than two starfruit harvests per summer. So it’s more suitable in this section of best summer crops for year 2.
Red Cabbage: Red cabbage seeds are only available a Pierre’s shop from the second year if you’re playing SDV with the normal game settings. Each seed costs 100g and puts out a fully grown head worth 260g – 429g after 9 days.
In case you wanted to complete the Community Center Bulletin Board’s Dye Bundle by raising your own red cabbage early on, you’d have had to pick ‘Guarantee Year 1 Completable’ from ‘Advanced Options’ before you started a new game to get the seeds from the Travelling Cart. But since we’re past v1.5 of the game now, you can win it as drops if you’re lucky.
Best Fall Crops
Fall is the last season in which you can make the most profitable use of your farm before winter sets in. Now everyone will tell you that sweet gem berry is the best fall crop. But you’re not gonna have enough to plant on a large scale in the first year.
Cranberries: Cranberries offer the best profit margin when it comes to fall crops, especially when you’re in the early period. The seed price is 240g each from Pierre’s shop or the Night Market. The plant has a growth time of 7 days and it drops three blueberries or more up to 5 times in the season. So we’re talking about turning 240g into 600g – 984g even if you’re unlucky enough to get just three blueberries per harvest. Don’t bother adding Speed-Gro to it, the math doesn’t work out. But it remains the most profitable crop to grow in fall, apart from the sweet gem berry.
Grapes: Turn 60g into 480g by buying the grape starter from Pierre’s shop and then harvesting it six times during Fall after its 10-day growth cycle.
Pumpkin: Apart from melon and cauliflower, this is the only other variety that can grow into a giant pumpkin and yield twice as much in its larger form. Plant it in a 3 x 3 grid, water it daily past 13 days and you might just earn twice as much from your plot.
The per seed cost is 100g at Pierre’s shop, while a pumpkin sells at 320g – 528g for one fruit. So you should buy the seeds if you have the spare tiles to let them swell up to a large size or don’t mind the hassle of planting them twice in the season.
You need five gold star pumpkins for the quality crops bundle at the Community Center if you miss out on growing the five gold star parsnips (admittedly the worst crop in terms of gold per day earned) required for it during the first spring.
Beet: The seed cost is a mere 20g from the Desert Oasis shop. But crop sells for 100g – 165g, and the single-harvest plant takes just 6 days to full growth. This makes it among the cheapest fall crops in terms of the initial investment required.
Year 2 Onwards
Sweet Gem Gerry: Single-harvest type with a growth time of 24 days — see the notes above. It boasts of the highest sell price of any crop at 3000g to 6000g. It does not benefit from the Artisan or Tiller professions.
Artichoke: Starting from Year 2, Pierre’s shop will sell you artichoke seeds at 30g. It’s ready for picking in 8 days, is a single-harvest veggie and brings in a cool 160g – 264g per piece (minimum profit margin of 120g).
Best Winter Crops
If growing stuff on your land for small rewards is not your thing, check out our ‘What to do in Winter‘ post for the other activities you should be doing instead.
In case you’ve not managed to unlock the Greenhouse by the first winter, going fishing, foraging, making artisan goods with the produce you’ve saved, and upgrading your tools will earn the most value from your time. But if you love the humble task of growing green things on your land, grab your hoe and start foraging for Snow Yam and Winter Root all around Pelican Town and its surrounding areas. Don’t forget to pick up Crocus and Crystal Fruit along the way.
You should have the crafting recipe for Wild Seeds (Wi) by now. Throw together a snow yam, winter root, crystal fruit and crocus to make 10 Winter Seeds. Alternately, put a winter root in the seed maker to get up to 3 of these mixed seeds.
You can plant these and see what will come up. Crystal fruit has the highest sell price of the lot — 150g minimum. It can be put in a keg for 7 days to earn a base rate of 450g. You could also stick it in a preserves jar for 3 days to fetch 350g – 490g for the jelly.
Crops for the Greenhouse: Once you’ve unlocked the greenhouse, you can do more than just ferment wines on your property. All during the year, you can utilize the greenhouse to grow off-season crops from our aforementioned list of the most profitable ones like starfruit, sweet gem berries or ancient fruit.
Stardew Valley: Most Profitable For All Seasons
Coffee: The beans are purchasable only from the Traveling Cart or as Dust Sprite drops. The 15g you get per bean might seem like a small profit but every plant yields 4 beans every 2 days and lasts through two seasons without replanting.
So each puts out 1380g – 2024g worth of beans through two seasons of Spring and Summer. Just one single bean is enough to set you off on the path to farming the beans on a humongous scale, which is why we strongly feel that it is one of the best crops Stardew Valley has to offer to beginners.
Ancient Fruit: Ancient Fruit can be planted on Spring 1 and gives 8 total harvests until Winter comes around. It’s growth time lasts the full season of spring at 28 days. See the important details above in our ‘most profitable crops’ roundup. The seed costs 100g – 1000g and each gives out fruits with a sell price range of 2200g – 3628g.
Corn: You can plant corn for Summer to Fall. It is great as a multi-season option. In terms of profit, you’re basically turning a 150g seed into 550g – 902g worth of produce at the end of two whole seasons. This is only as long as you’re planting corn on the first or second day of summer.
Bonus Tip: How To Save Fertilizer
Fertilizers stay put if multi-season crops have taken root in the plot, while the tiles are reset when the season changes if nothing is growing on them. If you’re not already planting corn or other multi-seasonal varieties like coffee beans or ancient seed on your land, you can save money by being strategic with when you sow.
For example, if you have certain crops that are set for harvest on or before Summer 25, then it’s better to push the harvest to day 25. What you can do then is plant Wheat on the 25th and harvest it by day 1 of Fall since it will be ready for scything after four days.
This will not only help save on fertilizer costs that would have been incurred due to the change in seasons, it will also spare you the hassle of hoeing the land for planting your next crop.
Ginger Island, clay pots and the Greenhouse tiles maintain fertilizer throughout the seasons unless you use a pickaxe on them.
Want to Reap More Than You Sow?
When you just start off in the game, plant as much as you can (even the mixed seeds you get from cutting weed) so that you can increase your farming level by harvesting the crops. Leveling up will decrease your energy requirements for doing such tasks.
If you’re already a pro at farming and want to raise the value of your yield, here goes:
Using fertilizer is not the only way to ensure a high value crop. Eating a Farmer’s Lunch (+3 Farming) or Complete Breakfast (+2 Farming) before your start harvesting will greatly increase your chances of getting star quality produce.
Even if you’re at the topmost Farming level of 10, these food buffs can bump it up to a maximum of level 13. Both recipes are shared by the Queen of Sauce when you turn on your TV. You can makes these dishes using a Cookout Kit or in the kitchen of your upgraded farmhouse.
Krobus sometimes flogs Farmer’s Lunch and Complete Breakfast on Saturdays. The latter is also sold by Gus at the Stardrop Saloon. Lucky Lunch does not raise your chances of getting star quality yields, in case you’re wondering — yes, we tried it.
Farming buffs do not affect the quality of produce at the planting stage. But they do decrease the amount of energy you need for hoeing and watering.
Choose The Right Profession At Level 5
Carrying out agriculture-related activities and raising animals increases you Farming skill. Clearing your land of trees and weed ups your Foraging skills. When you reach Level 5 Farming, you will get a pop-up asking you to pick between the Rancher and Tiller professions.
This is the most important decision you will make if you want to maximize profits with Stardew Valley’s best crops planted on your farm, or get more from your processed animal products. If you pick Rancher, you will not be able to choose the Artisan skill at Level 10 which gives you 40% more money for artisan products like cheese, wine, mayonnaise, oil, cloth and so on. This means you’ll never be able to earn the maximum bang for your buck from stuff like Starfruit wine or Ancient Fruit wine which can bring in up to 4620g and 6300g, respectively. Go for Tiller at Level 5 so that you can choose Artisan at Level 10, the ideal combination when you want your crops to be uber-profitable.
Speed-Gro Versus Fertilizer
You can use either Speed-Gro or Fertilizer on a tile, not both. While the former can be added at any stage of plant growth, the latter can only be used before sprouting. One application lasts in that tile for the entire season as long as you don’t disturb it with a pickaxe.
In order to maximize profit in Stardew Valley optimally via Speed Gro, use it on multi-harvest varieties like coffee, strawberry or blueberry seeds after planting them on the first day or second day of the season. It decreases the amount of time required for the plant to start producing fruit, even if it does not hasten the time between each harvest. So you get more harvests per season.
Starfruit has the second highest sell price of any other crop in SDV, but is of the single harvest type. Here Deluxe Speed-Gro (available from year 2) is a great option. It lets you squeeze out three starfruit harvests since it reduces the growth cycle from 13 days to 9 days.
After you’ve advanced in the game enough to unlock Ginger Island and complete select Qi challenges, you’ll be able to get the Hyper Speed-Gro recipe and hasten the growth cycles even more. But for higher value yield, it’s better to use Quality Fertilizer (purchasable or can be crafted year 2 onwards) or Basic until you’ve got far enough to get the Deluxe Fertilizer recipe.
Good quality fertilizer is better than Speed-Gro if you want to up your chances of netting high quality harvests. But Deluxe Fertilizer — can be utilized at any stage of plant growth, unlike the other two varieties — is the only way to get iridium quality crops.
High Sell Price Versus High Quantity Yields
Forget about sticking to produce with a high sell price in your first year; go for quantity. Buy seeds for crops that grow fast initially. Whenever you can, go for multi-season and multi-harvest varieties. Make seeds out of the “no star” produce which has a high sell price.
Once you add sprinklers and/or Junimos to aid in your agricultural pursuits, you’ll have advanced enough in Stardew Valley to think of sticking to high sell prices and quantity combined.
Tool For Farming Insights
There’s a nifty interactive tool designed by Thorinair that can be used to gain insights into what actions you should take at any given point to maximize profits. Using criteria like the seed sources you have access to, the day of the season, how many more seeds you have left, your stock of fertilizer and more, it calculates the best course of action from that point on.
A seed maker is one of few ways to ensure that you can get really rich off farming wholesale quantities of sweet gem berries or starfruits in your greenhouse and on Ginger Island year round. Sweet gem berries which sell for up to 6,000g each are grown from Rare Seeds.
You can only get a Rare Seed (up to 5 at a time if you’re lucky) from the Traveling Cart. As the in-game years go by, it gets harder to come by this seed. So it’s totally worth putting the first few harvests through the seed maker to ensure you never run out.
By year 6, we had more Rare Seeds than we knew what to do with in spite of selling over half the produce at each harvest. The crafting recipe to create the seed maker becomes available after you hit level 9 Farming.
Not Selling Your Harvest Outright
If you go with Stardew Valley’s best crops per season based on the year-by-year breakdown we’ve shown above, you’ll soon be making money fast enough to buy seeds and what not without selling all your produce immediately. Do the smart thing and make barrels, kegs as well as preserve jars for your fruits and vegetables.
Everything you grow or forage is worth much more as a jam, pickle, preserve or wine. Sell your gold and iridium quality harvests directly. But put everything but your best crop yields in a jar or keg to increase their value.
For example, a starfruit sells for a minimum of 750g, while you can get at least 2,250g by turning it into wine. If you age this wine in a cask in your cellar, the iridium quality fetches between 4500g to 6300g.
How Long Does It Take For Crops To Grow?
Crops in Stardew Valley differ wildly in terms of growth time. There are some high-profit-yielding crops like ancient fruit which take 28 days to grow while giving you summer and fall. Then we have wheat, bok choy, and parsnip that are ready to harvest in as little as four days.
Then there are fertilizers like Speed-Gro, Deluxe Speed-Gro and Hyper Speed-Gro that can speed up the growth cycle. Of course, your plants might enjoy a growth spurt sometimes if you’re lucky enough to be visited by the Crop Fairy.
You can grow fruit trees on normal soil. All trees take 28 days to reach maturity and you can expect at least one fruit per day when the crop is in season.
Apples, apricots, cherries, bananas, mangoes, and oranges are grown on fruit trees in the game, of course. When it comes to the most profitable ventures, bananas take the top spot at 150g per piece, followed by peaches and pomegranates at 140g per piece.
But you can lay your hands on mango and banana saplings only after you’ve unlocked the Ginger Island farm as they only grow there.
We hope that our Stardew Valley crops guide has given you a fair idea about the best crop to grow each season in SDV. Here’s to you being blessed with a bountiful harvest all year!