[Top 10] Stardew Valley Best Early Game Crops (And Why They're Great

There are plenty of crops to pick between for spring, summer or fall!
There are so many crops to choose from!

So. You have your farm. You’re going to grow things. But what, and how much of it? Managing your gold and building up a profitable farm can be a challenge in your first year when you’re still learning the ropes. This guide is intended for people who are still in their first year and assumes that you haven’t completed any of the Community Centre. Of course, be sure to check what you require for the Pantry bundles – it’s possible to complete this by Fall of year 1 with planning, and will unlock the Greenhouse, so you can continue to grow plants regardless of the season!

10. Parsnips (Best for Cheap Quick Profit)

A small gift to help you get started...

Parsnips will probably be your very first crop since you are given some seeds for free at the start and they also grow relatively quickly. This makes them a great crop to start the game with, as you’ll get profits quickly, allowing you to invest in other things as the game progresses.

What makes Parsnips Great:

  • Very cheap – they are one of the cheapest seeds
  • Used in the Spring Crops and Quality Crops bundles
  • Loved by Pam
  • Can be cooked in a Farmer's Lunch for a fair amount of energy and health recovery (requires eggs and milk to make an omelet)

How to Get Parsnips: Parsnip seeds can be purchased for Pierre for 20g throughout Spring, though you should start out with a parcel containing some as well! They take 4 days to grow, so plant outdoors between the 1st and 24th Spring.

Parsnip details


9. Cauliflower (Best for Individual Profits in Spring)

Possibly your first giant crop?

Cauliflowers are a great cash crop. They have some of the more expensive seeds but provide the most profit for an individual crop. Their high individual cost makes them great for processing into juice with a  keg, though you are unlikely to have one of those in your first spring. Make sure to keep one for a quest for Jodi, and another gold quality one for the Luau!

What makes Cauliflowers Great:

  • Highest profit per unit for Spring
  • Gold quality is great for the Luau
  • Used in a quest
  • Loved by Maru

How to Get Cauliflower: Cauliflower seeds can be bought for 80g from Pierre’s, and may also grow from Mixed Seeds planted in Spring. They take 12 days to grow, so plant outdoors between 1st and 16th Spring.

Cauliflower details 


8. Strawberry (Best for Maximum Raw Profit in Spring)

The Egg Festival isn't just about... eggs...?

The Strawberry is a great fruit for spring, as although it takes a while before you can purchase them, they are popular with several Villagers as gifts and produce multiple crops per plant if planted in a timely fashion, making them the most profitable plants for spring for the time it takes to grow despite the late start! They can also be processed into jelly for a more time-efficient profit. 

What makes Strawberries Great:

  • Highest gold per day yield of Spring crops, even if planted on the 13th Spring
  • Loved by Demetrius and Maru

How to Get Strawberries: Strawberry seeds can be bought from Pierre for 100g during the Egg Festival on the 13th Spring. They take 8 days to mature and then produce another Strawberry 4 days after one is harvested until the plant dies. For maximum yield, these should be planted as soon as possible.

Strawberry details


7. Melon (Best for Individual Profits in Summer)

Pink and juicy!

Melons are the Cauliflowers of summer. Hmm… that is a sentence I never expected to write. But they are the ‘cash crop’ in that they are expensive to purchase, but have the highest individual crops value, making them excellent for turning into wine at later stages in the game. They can also be used towards the Quality bundle, so there is an additional benefit to planting a lot of these early on.

What makes Melons Great:

  • Highest profit per unit for summer
  • Used in a quest
  • Used in the Summer and Quality bundles
  • Loved by Penny

How to Get Melons: Melon seeds can be bought at Pierre’s for 80g throughout summer. They take 12 days to grow, so plant between the 1st and 16th Summer.

Melon details 


6. Hops (Best for Early Artisanal Profits)

Ripe and ready to brewed!

Hops are one of the multiple yield crops, producing more than one of their crop for each harvest, and producing more crops from a plant after the initial harvest. The rate at which Hops produces crops makes it already a reasonably good investment if planted early on. On top of that, Hops are required to produce a Pale Ale. Not only is one of these required to complete a quest given by Pam, but they are also quite profitable early on as an artisanal good given the quick turnover in comparison to Wines. Given you won’t have many Kegs in your first year, this is pretty useful as you want to make a profit quickly!

What makes Hops Great:

  • Due to the large number of Hops produced by plants, have relatively high profits
  • Can be processed relatively quickly by Kegs to produce Pale Ale

How to Get Hops: Hops Starters can be bought from Pierre’s for 60g throughout summer. They take 11 days to grow and produce more Hops after one day. For maximum yield, these should be planted at the start of Summer.

Hops details 


5. Hot Pepper (Best for High Profits in Summer)

Add some spice to your farm. 

Hot Peppers are another crop that produces another crop after harvest and sells for a reasonable amount. It is also loved by Lewis and Shane, and is an essential ingredient in two useful cooking recipes – Pepper Poppers, which are great for farming and give a speed boost, and Spicy Eel, which gives a Luck and Speed stat boost. 

What makes Hot Peppers Great:

  • Reasonably high value and regrowth
  • Loved by Lewis and Shane
  • Used for multiple good recipes
  • Used in a quest!

How to Get Hot Peppers: Pepper Seeds can be bought from Pierre’s for 40g throughout summer, and occasionally from the Travelling Cart. They take 5 days to mature and regrow every 3 days. For maximum yield, these should be planted at the start of the season.

Hot Pepper details


4. Blueberry (Best for Maximum Raw Profit in Summer)

An ocean of blue...

Blueberries are the multi-crop of the summer season, producing multiple berries each harvest and regrowing. This makes them the best crop for profit in its raw form for this season. There isn’t much more to this! As with most berries, given the time it takes to produce them, it is best to process them into a jelly rather than wine for additional profit. 

What makes Blueberries Great:

  • Highest raw profit per plant in summer

How to Get Blueberries: Blueberry seeds can be purchased from Pierre’s for 80g, and take 13 days before they reach their first harvest. After that, it takes 4 days for them to regrow. For maximum yield, plant at the start of the season.

Blueberry details


3. Pumpkin (Best for Individual Profits in Fall)

It's Spooky Season...

Pumpkins are an iconic fall squash, and in Stardew Valley, that is no exception. They are the most individually profitable of the crops available in fall from Pierre. Pumpkins produce the most valuable Juice in the game – although this cannot be aged like Wine, in the early game this is extremely useful. Also – you can carve them for decoration!

What makes Pumpkins Great:

  • Highest value fall crop, great Juice
  • Used in the Fall and Quality bundles
  • Used in a quest
  • Love by Willy, Abigail, and Krobus

How to Get Pumpkins: Pumpkin seeds can be purchased from Pierre’s for 100g throughout fall. They take 13 days to grow, so can be harvested if planted between 1st Fall and 15th Fall.

Pumpkin details


2. Cranberries (Best for High Profits in Fall)

Delicious and nutritious!

Cranberries as the multi-yield crop for fall, producing multiple berries to harvest and having multiple harvests. They sell for a reasonable amount, but it is the sheer quantities that make these plants great. Jelly is better than wine for processing profits.

What makes Cranberries Great:

  • Highest profit per plant that can be purchased at Pierre’s

How to Get Cranberries: Cranberry Seeds can be bought at Pierre’s for 240g in throughout the fall. They take 7 days to grow initially, producing more berries 5 days after being harvested. The maximum yield should be planted at the start of the season.

Cranberry details


1. Sweet Gem Berry (Best for Stardrops!)

I wonder what it tastes like...?

The Sweet Gem Berry is an unusual crop, as it cannot be processed, and can only be purchased from the Travelling Cart. Whilst expensive, to compensate for the inability to process it for extra value, this crop sells for a lot of money, even taking its long growth cycle into account. But more importantly, having one allows you to offer it to the statue in the Secret Forest to the west, which will give you a Star Drop, permanently increasing your maximum energy! They only grow in the fall and take a full season to grow, so make sure to grab one in spring or summer!

What makes Sweet Gem Berries Great:

  • Sell for more than any other crop in their unprocessed form
  • Can be used to obtain a Stardrop for increased maximum energy!

How to Get Sweet Gem Berry: Sweet Gem Berries grow from Rare Seeds, purchased exclusively from the Travelling Cart in the Forest for 1000g in Spring and Summer, or between 600g-1000g in Fall and Winter. The Travelling Cart’s stock varies with each visit, so you’re somewhat reliant on random luck if the seeds are even available – make sure to check with them every Friday and Sunday! These plants take all season to grow, so must be planted on the 1st Fall if outside to be harvestable!

Sweet Gem Berry details

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When not seeking nutrition, resting, or gaming, Erica shows a preference for roleplaying with their friends, trying to convince them to read Umineko, and knitting.
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker
Top 3 Favorite Games:Fallout: New Vegas, Dragon Age: Origins, Papers, Please

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