In our last Stardew Valley guide, we covered the best fall crops in Stardew Valley. So naturally, we’re covering winter, the next season in the game. However, there’s one slight complication — just about nothing grows in the cold, harsh weather that winter brings. So what can you grow, and what can you do to go against the odds and bring in a profitable harvest? Here are the best winter crops and more in Stardew Valley.
Let’s get started!
Best Winter Crops: Overview
So what grows in the winter? Not much. The only “crops” that are available are forageables. If you want to plant and grow crops on your grandfather’s farm, you have to stick with the things that grow anyway. This includes fiber, crocus, crystal fruit, snow yams, and winter roots.
Fiber can be grown from fiber seeds, and the rest of the plants can be grown from winter seeds. However, this is all stuff you can forage for, so why bother going through all that trouble in the first place?
Fiber vs Winter Seeds
Fiber can be a relatively useful material, but unless you’re actively trying to collect the stuff, it’s not really worth planting. It’s also pretty easy to find, so planting it isn’t necessary. That leaves winter seeds as the only thing worth planting in the winter.
So why should you plant winter seeds when when you can just forage for the things they grow?
As it turns out, these crops can sell for a fair bit, ranging from 60g (crocus) to 150g (crystal fruit). It’s also all profit, since the seeds don’t cost anything. Sure, it’s not the 2000g profit you can get from sweet gem berries. But winter seeds are far more accessible, and it can all add up.
How to Obtain Winter Seeds
So where can you get winter seeds? There are a handful of ways.
Once you complete the Winter Foraging Bundle in the Community Center, you receive 30 winter seeds as a reward. That will net you a minimum of 1800g after harvest, which is a respectable amount for the amount of work it takes to get them. The bundle requires one of each winter forageable: a crocus, a crystal fruit, a snow yam, and a winter root. Keep in mind that snow yams and winter roots are under the soil, so you’ll need a hoe to obtain them.
Alternatively, you can craft them. You need to be Level 7 in the foraging skill to unlock the recipe, so make sure you’re foraging regularly (ideally starting earlier in the year). Once you’ve unlocked the recipe, you can use the four forageables to craft 10 winter seeds at a time.
Or, if you’re Level 9 in the farming skill, you can use a seed maker to turn winter roots into winter seeds. Each root will produce 1–3 winter seeds. With these two methods, you can turn the first couple harvests into more seeds. This will let you make even more profit as a result.
However, winter seeds take seven days to mature, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Make sure to water every day or use sprinklers so they’ll grow. Fortunately, crows don’t attack winter seed crops, so you won’t have to worry about placing scarecrows.
Maximizing Profit with Professions
If you want to take your earnings to the next level, there are a couple of things you can do to maximize profits. One of the best ways to do this is to level up the farming and foraging skills. Once you’re a high enough level, you can pick professions that will help you earn more. If you’ve already selected different profession, don’t worry. You still have the option to change it. Just go to the Statue of Uncertainty in the Sewers. Note that it will cost you 10,000g.
For the Farming skill, you should go with the Tiller profession at Level 5. It will cause crops to sell for 10% more. At Level 10, go with the Agriculturist profession. This causes crops to grow 10% faster, letting you get in more harvests. And, since winter seeds produce forageables, Foraging professions also apply.
For the Foraging skill, you should go with the Gatherer profession at Level 5 and the Botanist profession at Level 10. The Gatherer profession gives a 20% chance for a double harvest of a forageable. The Botanist profession causes foraged items that you harvest to be iridium quality, so you’ll earn even more for each item you sell.
All of this means more crops harvested, and more money earned!
Farming in Any Season
Of course, there’s more that you can plant in the winter. Though you won’t be able to grow anything in your usual plots, there are a few places in Stardew Valley where you can plant and grow crops regardless of the season. By taking advantage of them, you can plant the best crops from any season, even in the middle of winter!
Stardew Valley Greenhouse
The first option is the greenhouse on your farm. To unlock the greenhouse, you can either buy it for 35,000g from Joja or complete the Pantry Bundle in the Community Center. This bundle requires crops from every season, so you’ve hopefully done plenty of farming up to this point. Once you do this, the broken, run-down building on your farm will be repaired, and you’ll have access to the greenhouse year-round.
The Greenhouse has a 10×12 plot of land where you can plant any crop. Crows don’t come inside the Greenhouse, so you don’t need to place any scarecrows, but you still need to water every day, including on rainy days. We recommend setting up some sprinklers. Crops planted here also don’t die when the season changes, so it can be good to plant crops that keep on producing after maturity.
Ginger Island — The Farm
The second place is the Farm, though this is a different farm than the one that your grandfather left you. This farm is the one on Ginger Island, an area that you gain access to after completing either the Community Center bundles or Joja Development Form.
Two days after you complete this, Willie will invite you to the back room in his shop, where he’ll show you a broken-down boat. You can fix the boat for 5 iridium bars, 5 batteries, and 200 hardwood. Once it’s repaired, Willie can take you to Ginger Island for 1000g.
Once you get to Ginger Island, head east and give a Golden Walnut to the parrot inside the hut. Afterward, other parrots will show up on perches around the island — giving them Golden Walnuts unlocks new areas and amenities around the island. When you’ve collected at least 10 Golden Walnuts, head west past the docks and give them to the parrot by the sleeping turtle. This will open up the path to the Farm.
Keep heading west until you reach an area covered with logs, stone, and weeds (much like how your farm was when you first arrived). This is the Farm on Ginger Island. It essentially functions the same way as the Greenhouse, though there’s more land that you can use to plant crops.
There’s also a farmhouse you can unlock for 20 Golden Walnuts, letting you spend as many days as you want on Ginger Island.
Winter Farming vs. Greenhouse/Ginger Island
Even though next to nothing grows in the winter, that doesn’t mean that you can’t turn a profit from farming. You can plant winter seeds and choose certain professions to help rake in the cash. Or you can unlock areas to make it so you can plant any crop you want, regardless of the season. You can also use sprinklers and plant plants with multiple harvests as a source of passive income. As long as you put in a little bit of planning and effort, you can grow crops in the harsh, cold winter in Stardew Valley, despite the odds.
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