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by Lirishae

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FAQ/Walkthrough by Lirishae

Updated: 08/25/16


For more in-depth help on this topic, please refer to the crop/mutation FAQ. For basic help, refer to the Farming and Ranching Basics and Elevation sections.

Mutations are influenced by six main factors:

  • seed type
  • season
  • elevation
  • soil type
  • fertilizer
  • crop health

Even when a seed is planted in all the right conditions, the mutation chance is still more or less random. Some mutations such as Savoy Spinach are rarer than others and require much more persistence on your part to grow. However, there are things you can do to improve your chances. Keeping your crops healthy by watering them frequently and fertilizing after bad weather or dry spells will increase the likelihood of a successful mutation. Conversely, plants that have lost too much health won't be able to mutate at all. Research also suggests that reusing the same plots of soil will bump the odds in your favor. Don't forget to hire Rowan and Blossom, either! At 100% chemistry, these two will drastically improve how many of your crops mutate.

The Save/Reload Trick (aka "save scumming")

A crop's fate is ultimately determined at 6 AM every morning. If it has lost too much health, it will be found withered and dead. If it reaches maturity, the game will then decide if it's normal, Great, or a mutation. This means you can save before going to bed, check your crops first thing in the morning, and reset to sleep again if you didn't get the mutations you wanted. This trick is a big help when meeting the 30/50 crop quota to unlock seeds before the season ends.

Mutations are linked to the type of seed planted; you cannot substitute a different seed from the same family to grow a mutation. This means you will have to unlock the seeds required to grow the plant in every step of a mutation chain. For example, to grow Golden Peppers, you must first mutate enough Bell Peppers to unlock Bell Pepper seeds. Then the Bell Peppers are mutated into Magic Peppers in Spring. After unlocking Magic Pepper seeds, you can finally plant them to grow Golden Peppers in Summer.

Once you know what to plant, height is one of the most important factors when deciding where to plant. In the case of regrowing crop families (strawberries, tomatoes, corn, green peppers, hot peppers, and pumpkins), you may want to plant the base crop at the height where the target crop regrows most quickly. When planting Tomatoes to grow Crimsons, for example, planting them at HE-16 will allow newly-mutated Crimsons to regrow at their fastest possible speed. Another strategy for growing mutations is to plant them at a non-preferred height where they will grow more slowly. Savoy Spinach for example has been observed to mutate more readily when planted at HE, despite the fact it grows much more quickly at HE-5. Of course, planting at the optimal elevation will allow you to grow much more Spinach, which will in turn increase the chances of getting enough Savoy Spinach. Which strategy is best depends depends on personal taste, the rarity of the mutation, and how high your Rowan chemistry is.

The elevation ranges are as follows:

Elevation RangesHEWLLevel
Very Low ElevationHE-19 to HE-16WL-9 to WL-6Level 1 to Level 4
Low ElevationHE-19 to HE-11WL-9 to WL-1Level 1 to Level 9
Medium ElevationHE-10 to HE+4WL to WL+14Level 10 to Level 24
High ElevationHE+5 to HE+11WL+15 to WL+21Level 25 to Level 31

Some plants do not have any preferred elevation and grow at the same speed anywhere above HE-16. These crops stay forever immature when planted below HE-15 and eventually die when the season changes. If you're having trouble remembering where key elevations are, it may help to create landmarks for yourself, such as planting trees or placing a decorative object using ARCHITECT.

When a crop is planted in the season it prefers and has high health, it may produce a Great quality crop instead of a normal quality. Great crops sell for more gold, and are required to make certain items or complete certain quests. Regrowing plants that have mutated can eventually begin producing Great quality crops, but for non-regrowing crops, you will have to unlock and plant the seeds in the right season to get a Great quality version. When planting specifically for Great quality, plant the crop in its preferred season, elevation & soil, water often, hire Rowan, and use plenty of fertilizer to help your chances of growing them. For mutations that require a specific fertilizer to trigger, only one application is needed, but using that specific fertilizer again appears to greatly help your chances to get Great quality (e.g. use Goby Blend on Golden Peppers for Great Golden Peppers, Orange Compost for Great Habaneros, etc.)