Gardening and Farming

This page is very much a work-in-progress and I would be grateful for any comments.

General
Prerequisites
Seeds
Plant Info Table
Specific Plants
The Process of Gardening
Beekeeping  
   
   

General

For players of previous Sims games - in Sims 3 you cannot hire a gardener. That said, it seems garden flowers and shrubs need no care. The produce plants need a great deal, and your Sim can build the skill by "doing the stuff", or do a course or read gardening books.

Gardening class can be taken at the Science Facility.

If you want to play "realistically", avoid the "special" seeds... these are the magical ones. They will certainly make your Sims rich but have nothing to do with real farming. You can sell the seeds instead of planting them.

Prerequisites

Green Thumb trait

Helps a lot, giving motive boosts for growing.

Loves the Outdoors and Eco-Friendly help too.

Super Green Thumb reward

This is given for a Skills challenge. The benefits of these two stack.

Complementary traits and skills

The Loves the Outdoors trait gives a boost for being out of doors.

The Eco-Friendly trait gives a boost for gardening, though your Sim may not be happy about driving a truck or tractor!

The Angler trait may well be useful for catching good fertilizer fish

Anglers should buy and read all the various fish books - listed under skills in the store - to learn the bait for different types of fish.

Natural Cook would work well with gardening\farming. Recipes are improved if made with excellent or better ingredients.

Handy Sims will find it easier to upgrade the sprinklers.


Seeds

Finding Seeds

Gardening class can be taken at the Science Facility.

When you reach level 1 of Gardening skill you are give some seeds. These are quality "normal". The seeds\fruit you buy at the supermarket are Very Nice, and it may be worth buying some for a better start. 

Seed Table

Produce Seed rarity Found where
Apple Common You may be given this type of seed by reaching level 1 in gardening skill.

Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Grapevine Common You may be given this type of seed by reaching level 1 in gardening skill.

Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Lettuce Common You may be given this type of seed by reaching level 1 in gardening skill.

Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Tomato Plant Common You may be given this type of seed by reaching level 1 in gardening skill.

Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Lime Tree Uncommon Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Onion Plant Uncommon Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Potato Vine Uncommon Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Watermelon Vine Uncommon Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Bell Pepper Plant Rare Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Garlic Plant Rare Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Death Flower Plant Special Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Only found at the graveyard though. (is this true of every Town? Certainly in Riverview)

Fishing! I had a sim pull up a box with a death flower in it while fishing in the park.

Flame Fruit Plant Special Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands.

Can also be harvested from townie gardens

Life Fruit Plant Special Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands
Money Tree Special Found as seed randomly in parks and woodlands

Drops Money Tree seeds randomly when full grown, so search close to existing money trees - if you grow them, leave enough space around the tree to see the seeds.

Egg Plant Special From random opportunity that crops up when you get to high gardening skills.

Opens up for next step in special plants.

Cheese Plant Special From random opportunity that crops up when you get to high gardening skills.

Opens up for next step in special plants.

Burger Patty Plant Special Gained from opportunity that shows up after you learn the egg plant and cheese plant skill.

Once done leads to another opportunity that will open up omni plant.

Steak Plant Special Gained from opportunity that shows up after you learn the egg plant and cheese plant skill.

Once done leads to another oportunity that will open up omni plant.

Omni Plant Special Gained from opportunity that shows up after learning the steak and burger patty plant skill

You gain 3 seeds and can now order more omni plant seeds via the mailbox.

 

Plant Info Table

It appears that farming most of the WA plants gives inordinate amounts of experience, due to 500 exp per harvest and 2-5 harvests for most plants. Set against the travel expenses and time of going to find them, this seems reasonable.

Plant name Grown from Class of Seed Name of Item Fertilizer Value Fertilizer Lasts Days Bait used Obtained from Comments
Apple Tree Store, Apple, Apple Seed Common Apple 5 4   Grow, can be bought at store Eating Apples in the earliest stage of pregnancy increases a Sim's chance of having a boy.
Lettuce Plant Store, Lettuce, Lettuce Seed Common Lettuce 5 4   Grow, can be bought at store  
Tomato Plant Store, Tomato, Tomato Seed Common Tomato 5 3   Grow, can be bought at store  
Lime Tree Store, Lime, Unknown Common Seed   Lime 5 6   Grow, can be bought at store Good plant for money making as they produce a lot of fruit at a reasonable rate for a lot of cash
Onion Plant Store, Onion, Unknown Common Seed Uncommon Onion       Grow, can be bought at store  
Potato Plant Store, Potato, Unknown Common Seed Uncommon Potato 5 5   Grow, can be bought at store  
Watermelon Vine Store, Watermelon, Unknown Common Seed Uncommon Watermelon 10 5   Grow, can be bought at store Eating Watermelon in the earliest stage of pregnancy increases a Sim's chance of having a girl.
Bell Pepper Plant Store, Bell Pepper, Unknown Rare Seed Rare Bell Pepper 15 4   Grow, can be bought at store  
Garlic Plant Store, Garlic, Unknown Rare Seed Rare Garlic 15 6   Grow, can be bought at store Inflicts 'Garlic Breath' on Sim if eaten. (This has no bad effects)
Life Plant Life Fruit, Unknown Special Seed, Science career opportunity, Gardening opportunity. Special Life Fruit 25 6   Grow, cannot be bought at the store.  Increases a Sim's life span by one extra day per fruit eaten. Best plant Fertilizer. Starts life stage over if cooked with Deathfish to make Ambrosia. Life fruit is best used in cooking to expand life.

Cannot be bought at the store

Death Plant Death Flower, Unknown Special Seed, Science career opportunity, Graveyard, Fishing Special Death Flower       Grow, cannot be bought at the store.  Can allow a Sim who carries one in his/her inventory to placate the Grim Reaper.

Plant produces only 1 flower before dying. After being revived with Green Thumb trait, it will produce one more and then become permanently barren. (The chances of this Plant's success in being revived is 50/50).

Flame Fruit Bush Flame Fruit, Unknown Special Seed, Catacombs exploring, Science career opportunity Special Flame Fruit 15 4   Grow, cannot be bought at the store. 

Fruit provides +5 mood (Cozy Fire) if kept in inventory. (Does not stack).Certain fruits can be turned into flame fruits if your sim has the (hidden) Pyromaniac trait using the interaction Transmogrify.

If Sim has the Pyromaniac trait, it gains energy from having a Flame Fruit in inventory!

Money Tree Money Tree Seed, Unknown Special Seed, Fishing, Criminal career opportunity Special Money Bag

 

    Grow Produces Money Bags from §100 to §800 per bag and cannot be replanted. If a full vacant square is next to it when it reaches "perfect" a seed (Normal quality) will drop.
Cheese Plant Store, Cheese Special   5 4   Grow, can be bought at store Enabled through skill opportunity, after which you will be able to directly "plant" cheese.
Eggplant Store, Egg Special Egg 5 4   Grow, can be bought at store Enabled through skill opportunity, after which you will be able to directly "plant" eggs.
Burger Patty Plant Store, Burger Patty Special Burger 5 4   Grow, can be bought at store Enabled through skill opportunity, requires ability to plant Cheese/Eggplant
Steak Plant Store, Steak Special Steak 15 4   Grow, can be bought at the store Enabled through skill opportunity, requires ability to plant Cheese/Eggplant

Omni Plant

  Special Omni Fruit - replicates what you successfully feed it 5 6

Complete The Omnificent Plant Opportunity, Order seeds through mailbox

Grow, cannot be bought at the store.  The Omni Plant has the ability to replicate any item it's fed. (Left click the plant, choose "Feed"). It can only be fed fish, books and food from the store etc. (It can be fed special fruits i.e. Life Fruit. As well as special fish i.e. Death Fish).
Plasma Fruit Bush   Rare Plasma Fruit 20 4   Grow, can be bought at the store - Sim does not need to be a vampire to grow it but it may make non-vampires nauseous if they eat it Upon becoming a vampire, a sim receives 3 Plasma Fruits
Grape Vine Cranerlet Nuala Grape Seed Rare Grape 5 3   Grow, can be bought at the store France
Grape vine Grape Seed Common   5 3   Grow, can be bought at the store France
Grape Vine Gralladina Fran Store, Grapes, Grape Seed Rare  Grape 5 3   Grow, can be bought at the store Key ingredient in Nectar
Grape Vine Cherimola Grape Seed Common Grape 5 3   Grow, can be bought at the store France
Grape Vine Renoit Grape Seed Common (blanc) Grape 5 3   Grow, can be bought at the store France
Grape Vine Meloire Grape Seed Uncommon (pink) Grape 5 3   Grow, can be bought at the store France
Grape Vine Avornalino GrapeSeedBlue Uncommon  Grape 5 3   Grow, can be bought at the store France
Grape Vine Cab GrapeSeedCab Uncommon Grape 5 3   Grow, can be bought at the store France
Pomegranate Tree PomegranateSeed Uncommon Pomegranate         Egypt
PlumTree PlumSeed Uncommon Plum         China
Cherry Tree CherrySeed Rare Cherry         Egypt and China
Pomelo   Rare Pomelo         China
      Goldfish 5 3 Lettuce Freshwater ishing, store  
      Anchovy 5 3 Tomato Saltwater fishing, store  
      Alley Catfish 5 3 Goldfish, Cheese Fishing, store  
      Kissing Gourami 5 3      
      Rainbow Trout 8 3   Fishing, store  
      Tuna 10 3 Goldfish, Onion Fishing, store  
      Minnow 10 4 Goldfish, Apple Freshwater fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      Jellyfish 10 4   Fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      Swordfish 12 3   Fishing, store  
      Salmon 12 3 Lime, Bell Pepper Fishing, store  
      Black Goldfish 12 3 Goldfish Fishing, store  
      Blowfish 15 4 Potato Fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      Piranha 15 4   Fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      Red Herring 15 4   Fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      Siamese Catfish 15 4 Goldfish, Bell Pepper Fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      Tragic Clownfish 15 4 Watermelon Fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      Sewer Trilobite 15 3   Fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      Angel Fish 25 4   Fishing, store  
      Sea Sludge 25 4   Fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      Lobster 20 3   Fishing, store  
      Shark 20 4   Fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      Vampire Fish 25 3   Fishing, cannot be bought at the store  
      MummyFish 25 3 Pomegranate Egypt Cannot buy from store  
      Crocodile 5 3 Siamese Catfish Can buy from store in Egypt  
      Crawfish 5 3 Frogs Can buy from store in France  
      Frogs 5 3   France Cannot buy from store  
      DragonFish 25 3 Tancho Koi China Cannot buy from store  
      DoitsuKoi 5 3 Pomelo China Can buy from store

 

 
      KawarimonoKoi 5 3 Plum China Can buy from store

 

 
      OchibaKoi 5 3 Pomelo China Cannot buy from store  
      TanchoKoi 5 3 Plum China Cannot buy from store  
      Snails 5 3 Grapes France Cannot buy from store  
      DeathFish -200 -4   Fishing, cannot be bought at the store.  

 

Specific Plants

Flame Fruit

Having a flame fruit in your inventory can give your sim a happy  moodlet of +5

Ingredient in Angel Food Cake, which gives a larger warmth bonus

The flame fruit sprout is distinctive looking, it's the only ground-hugging plant of the four special seed plants.

Life Plant

Life Fruits will give your sim 1 day of life back if eaten.

They make excellent fertiliser.

It is a staked plant that wilts the moment it is planted. Move all wilt-upon-planting specials into a single row: all the stake plants in that row will be life fruit plants.

Death Plant

Move all wilt-upon planting special seed plants into one row. They will be Money tree and Plasma? Or Flame?

Staked plants from special seeds, which do NOT wilt upon planting, will be Death Plants

Revival also seems to have a 50% success rate, but only get the option to use it on Death Flowers.

If you have a Deathflower in your sims inventory when he/she meets with a serious accident, the Grim Reaper will take the flower instead of your sim, but NOT if it is due to old age. Basically it is a "Don´t die from accidents" free pass.

Also, you can only revive a dead plant, not a barren one. They look the same, but there is the subtle difference that one has a chance of flowering again if revived.

There are reports that SOME Sims who have the green thumb trait and has the super green thumb, can revive death plants over and over. This might be a bug.

Money Trees

You can tell the  money tree once it is growing because of the icon that shows up as it starts to grow. Once it becomes a sapling it looks very different from all other plants.

An orchard of money trees can bring in $10K in money bags and will drop seeds if there is enough space around the tree. Leave enough space around the tree if you want the seeds (1 clear tile all round)

The money tree sprout is very distinctive looking and starts to wilt the moment it's planted.

Money trees cannot be revived as they'll explode upon their death

The OMNI Plant

You get it by completing a challenge to grow 10 steaks of quality.

You can feed the omni plant any veggies, and fish you can find.

You can also feed it all books, with the exception of the magic scroll books that go poof when read.

You can't reproduce the ambrosia recipe this way.

The omni plant looks pretty weird with 4 swordfish growing on it.

Has special interactions - Feed and Check Diet.

Things you can feed it: 

Things you cannot feed it:


The Process of Gardening

Watering

Sprinklers are essential if you are growing more than one or two plants.

They can be upgraded to automatic by a Sim with Tinkering level 4, and this is well worth while. Automatic sprinklers work from 4-7 am and use less water than leaving the sprinklers on all the time, affecting household bills.

Watermelons (and the Money Tree) show the effects of needing water differently than the other plants, though they will all show as 'wilting'.

Fertilizing


Life Fruit is the best thing you can fertilize with, though you might prefer to keep those for other uses. Lobster is great if you fish. I found Garlic and Steak are close.

Passing the Skill Journal Challenge Master Farmer adds an extra two days to the lasting time of any fertilizer.

Great, Excellent, and Outstanding quality all give an extra one day, Perfect gives two.

So a Perfect Life Fruit used as fertilizer by a Master Farmer yields 50 performance, and 10 days of fertilization.

Talking to plants raises the Sim's social motive, great for lonely farmers.

Replant to Improve Quality

When you plant an item of produce (eg an apple) you already know the quality of, the new plant will be one step better quality. E.g. Nice garlic, planted, gives a plant of Very Nice quality. 

Plants which die or go barren

Dead plants can occur after you neglect any plants under 'Wilting' condition for one day. After that, your sim will have to dispose or revive them. Dying and barren are two different states.  Barren plants have the same appearance as dead plants, but they cannot be revived. Each plant will become barren after it reaches its maximum amount of produce. The Green Thumb trait (not the reward) allows a Sim to revive a plant. So a Green Thumb Sim can get two Death Flowers.  Everyone else gets just one.

"Going barren" is unavoidable, and not reversible.  It's part of the game balance.  The idea is that you get a limited amount of produce from each planting cycle before you must go through the investment of planting and waiting through the initial growth.

Cleaning up dead plants

Telling a Sim to clean up dead plants is time consuming for a real farmer.  Each trip goes to the lot garbage can, and won't target small trash containers.  You could just delete them manually in Build mode; or use moveobjects on to place the bin closer to the growing plants.

Cooking Fruit and Veg

Usage of fruit and veggies from the fridge goes in alphabetical order.

Sims always use up the ingredient in the inventory first. So if you want to make 'Apple Cobbler,' take an apple from the fridge, put the apple in the cook's inventory and then do the cooking.

Sell Produce at a Supermarket

If the harvested produce is sold to a supermarket, it sells for at least 10% higher value than if sold via an inventory hole, depends on quality.

Sell Produce at a Consignment Store

Seeds for Selling - worth experimenting

Seeds you do not want can be sold to the Supermarket or in the inventory box.

From the Base Game on, there were rumours that if Sim collected a lot of seeds (maybe with the Collector or Supreme Commander) occasionally a seed might be worth a great deal of money. Sorting through Sim's inventory and checking prices may be helpful. There are reports of seeds worth up to §20,000. It's possible these are seeds that spawn close to the Science Building. I cannot confirm this, suspect it might have been a BG bug.

Seeds MAY also vary in price if left lying around on the ground.

To Sort Items in Inventory and Price them Easily

To examine a stack of seeds in inventory, click on the rounded blue triangle in the upper left corner of the inventory icon.  A new window will open in which you can examine each item in the stack individually. Items are always displayed in descending order of quality in this window. I plant the first few fruits, thus keeping to the highest quality available, and sell or stock the fridge with the rest.

Moving house

Without special mods, if your Sims move to a different house, the plants become untendable to them. They can harvest but not tend, weed or water and the plants do not seem to go barren. The new owners of the house can harvest but can only grow according to their own level of Gardening skill. Moving an unskilled Sim into a house with a mature garden is a quick way to help that Sim's gardening skill develop.

Alternatively, save a lot full of grown, perfect fruit/veggies/money trees and place it as a community lot. Sims in the Neighbourhood can go daily and harvest without having to do anything for it. This is particularly useful for Life Fruit.

Beekeeping

BUY Mrs. Stingley’s Beekeeping Box for $275

Beekeeping is an all-new hobby in Supernatural. As such, Sims need a new object for this hobby. With this special beekeeping box, Sims can raise a colony of honey bees and produce copious amounts of delicious sweet stuff—provided you put in a little effort. Should you not take good care of the bees, well, they let you know. They sting!

To make bees happy, regularly choose the Feed and Clean interactions on the beekeeping box.

Depending on the bees’ current state, you risk getting stung or attacked when attempting to clean.

But regular cleaning results in a lower chance of being attacked, so you can see how once you get over the hurdle, beekeeping can be smooth sailing.

Also feed bees regularly.

Both cleaning and feeding bees raise the mood of the bees, but like your Sims’ moods, over time the mood of the bees decays unless you attend to them.

Honey is produced every few hours.

When honey is ready, click on the box to Harvest.

Quality of Honey:

To harvest the honey, it’s often a good idea to use the Smoke Out interaction to calm the bees. This seems like a win-win, but there are costs to regularly using Smoke Out before harvesting. This interaction reduces both hunger and mood, which can over time lower the quality of the honey or wax. So, keep an eye on the beekeeping box, gauge mood, and then make the best call to avoid getting stung!

Look for the motion of the bees outside the box to determine mood. If you see some buzzing bees just circling the box, they are happy. If you spot just a few bees buzzing peacefully around the box, the are currently content. If you see a swarm buzzing around the box and hear an aggressive buzzing sound, the bees are angry. And angry bees are likely to sting 75 percent of the time!


Credits

Information collected from

MATY, Sims 3 Wiki, Sims 3 guide, my own gameplay.