Growing crops is a great way to earn money in Harvest Moon: A New Beginning. When you first start out on your farm, there will be Turnips already growing for you! Dunhill will give you a Sickle, Watering Can, and Hoe so you can grow more crops on the remaining fields. Seeds can be bought from Hanna's general store in town.
The Crop Fields
Because of the farm customization, you can place crop fields anywhere that there is room. You can't place additional crop fields onto your farm space until after Spring 25. Once Rebecca moves in and your workshop is unlocked, you can Edit your farm and place additional fields once you've constructed them.
There are four kinds of fields. Three fields are for growing normal dirt-happy crops and a fourth is for growing water-based crops. The more fertile the field, the better the crops will grow:
- The Gravel Field is already on your farm when you start the game. There isn't anything special about this field. To construct more Gravel Fields, combine 8 Soil together using your construction studio.
- The next dirt field is the Regular Field. The blueprint is available at Rebecca's shop for 1600 G once you've harvested at least 300 crops. This field is a little more fertile so crops will grow just a tiny bit faster. A Regular Field requires 8 Soil and 5 Fodder to construct.
- The Soil Field is the most fertile of the three dirt fields. You can buy the plans from Rebecca for 2400 G once you've harvested at least 1000 crops. This field will cost 8 Soil, 5 Fodder, and 5 Fertilizer, and it grows crops a little bit faster than the Regular Field.
- The water-based field is called the Paddy. The blueprint is 3200 G at Rebecca's after you reach Summer 1 of your first year. You need 8 Soil and 5 Small Material Stone to construct it and the Paddy can only be used to grow Rice, Lotus Root, and Wasabi.
The main advantage to the Regular Field and the Soil Field is that they can continue to grow a seson's crops even after the next season begins! A Regular Field will grow the previous season's crops until the 3rd of the new season and the Soil Field will keep the plants alive until the 7th of the new season. This does not work in reverse; you can't pre-plant the next season's crops 3 or 7 days in advance. You have to wait until Summer arrives before you can plant Tomatoes, but the Tomatoes will last a few days into Fall if you are not using the boring Gravel Field.
Note: Fodder grass does count as a crop! Plant Fodder Grass and cut the grass that grows every day to quickly earn the blueprints necessary for the Regular and Soil fields.
Planting and Growing Crops
Before you can plant seeds you'll need to till the soil. Hit the field dirt by using your Hoe to prepare the soil for planting. If you don't plant anything on tilled soil, it will return to its untilled state after a week.
Each of your fields holds eight squares for crops. Since each bag of seeds holds four seeds, you only need to use two bags of seeds to plant the whole 2 x 4 field. You can't plant just 1 single seed from your bag. When you plant your bag of seeds, the area where the seeds will land is outlined for you. If you want to plant in a different spot, just change the location of where your character is standing.
Once the seeds have been planted, you can use your Watering Can to sprinkle water on them. Fill up your can by pressing the A Button at a Watering Spot and then press A when standing on your seeds to drop some water on them. The starting Watering Can will only sprinkle on one spot at a time, but if you upgrade your Watering Can at your workshop, then it can cover more ground. To use a powered-up can, press and hold the A Button until the highlighted area becomes larger. Then release the A Button to throw the water out of your can.
The field soil will dry after 10 hours of in-game time. This means you can water the fields a second time in the same day. Watering your crops twice per day will increase their growth rate. If it is raining, the weather will water the crops for you but it only counts as one-time; you can't water a second time on rainy days to increase growth rates. Snowy weather will not water your crops!
If you forget to water your crops, the next day they will be grey and faded in color. The crops will be fine the next day if you water them. If you neglect to water the grey crops for 7 days then they will wilt and die.
The Paddy field is a little different than a dirt-based field. Tilling the soil is the same as a normal field, but for a Paddy, you are filling the entire field with your Watering Can. Once the field has been filled with water, you can leave it alone until its water level drops.
Each day a little bit of the water will be evaporated out of the Paddy. You want to keep an eye on the water level and fill it back up with your Watering Can when it becomes too low. If the water completely evaporates out of the Paddy, then the crops will wilt and turn grey. If you don't fill it back up within 7 days, the crops will die.
You can't water Paddy crops a second time per day to increase the crop growth rate.
Harvesting Normal, Big, and Giant Crops
When your crops are ready to be harvested, standing next to the them will display the crop name at the bottom of the screen. If the name of the crop doesn't appear, then it isn't ready yet!. To pick a crop, stand next to it and press the A Button.
There are three sizes of crops that can appear the day the crop is ready to be picked: normal, Big, and Giant. The larger the crop, the more money it is worth when you put it in your Shipping Bin. The crop size is triggered in the morning when you wake up, and it will stay the same size until you pick it. Leaving a crop in the ground won't change its chance of becoming a larger size each morning. Once it is full grown, that's the size you're going to get.
- Big crops can begin to appear in a Regular Field or Soil Field once you have harvested 300 normal-sized crops.
- Giant crops will appear only in a Soil Field and after you have harvested at least 50 Big-sized crops.
Only actual field crops can become Big or Giant. You won't ever see a larger-sized Lotus Root (water crop), Wheat (grain crop), or Kiwi (tree fruit). Also, the entire field can only contain the single crop; planting one type of crop on half of the field and another on the other half won't result in any enlarged crops for either type. Big and Giant crops won't appear inside of the Greenhouse.
The chances of an oversized crop will increase as the Star Rank of the crop inceases. The chance of growing a Big crop is only 5% if the Star Rank of the planted seed has 1 or 1.5 stars, 10% for seeds with 2 or 2.5 stars, 15% for seeds with 3 or 3.5 stars, and 20% for seeds with 4 or 4.5 stars. Seeds that has 5 stars still only has a 25% chance of producing a Big crop.
For the Giant crops, you won't see those until (A) you've harvested the 50 Big crops, and (B) the seed's star rank is at least 3 stars. The seed at 3 or 3.5 stars is only 5%, 4 and 4.5 stars is a 10% chance, and a 5 star seed has a 15% of producing a Giant crop.
If you want to harvest grain or Paddy crops, use your Sickle to cut the plant. This is why it is important to make sure you see the crop's name when standing over it. If you cut a crop with your Sickle and it's not ready to be harvested, you'll destroy the crop.