The Rare Seed in Stardew Valley is a mysterious item that seems almost unattainable in the early game, but it can lead you down a path of massive profit if you play your cards right and make the most out of your Sweet Gem Berry at the end of Fall.
There are dozens of different kinds of crops in Stardew Valley, but one of the most intriguing is the Rare Seed. It can only be acquired in one place and planted during the Fall, and it results in one of the most profitable crops in the game: the Sweet Gem Berry. You're going to want to grow at least one in your Stardew Valley career, but is it worth it to plant more?
Stardew Valley Rare Seed Guide - How Does a Rare Seed Work?
Rare Seed is a very straightforward crop. It can only be planted in Fall (or in the Greenhouse, natch) and takes 24 days to grow. That means that you're only going to be able to plant it once for the month.
You can speed things up with fertilizer, but you still won't be able to get it growing fast enough to plant it twice in the Fall. However, you could theoretically net a few more seeds from the Traveling Cart for your first year. Here are the latest dates you can plant Rare Seed to have it sprout on the last day of Fall according to the Stardew Valley Crop Planner:
- No Fertilizer: Thursday, Fall 4
- Speed-Gro: Sunday, Fall 7
- Deluxe Speed-Gro: Wednesday, Fall 10
Once it sprouts, you'll get a Sweet Gem Berry, which sells for a minimum of 3,000G, tripling your initial investment (or better).
You'll definitely want to give one to the Master Cannoli statue in the Secret Woods to the top left of Cindersap Forest. This one-time offer will net you a Stardrop and increase your energy, so you should definitely be planting a Sweet Gem Berry in your first year no matter what, if only to get these benefits.
Here is what the resultant Sweet Gem Berry can sell for:
- Regular Quality: 3,000G
- Silver Quality: 3,750G
- Gold Quality: 4,500G
This means that you'll be tripling your investment at the bare minimum. Even if you buy Deluxe Speed-Gro from Pierre, you're still netting a sweet 1,850G in profit per Sweet Gem Berry!
Stardew Valley Rare Seed Guide - How to Get the Seed
Getting the Rare Seed is very straightforward. Every Friday and Sunday, the Traveling Cart appears in Cindersap Forest to the top left of the map. The Traveling Cart has a random chance of carrying all sorts of goods—the Rare Seed among them—but this is a somewhat special situation.
To start, there is a guaranteed slot for the Rare Seed during Spring and Summer, according to the Stardew Valley Wiki. Every time the cart shows up, it will have at least one Rare Seed at the price of 1,000G. This means that you will be able to purchase, at the minimum, 16 Rare Seeds before the beginning of Fall.
Planting it late and using Speed-Gro or Deluxe Speed-Gro fertilizer can increase the amount of Rare Seed you can buy:
- Planting it with no fertilizer on Fall 4 will give you no extra days.
- Planting it with Speed-Gro or Deluxe Speed-Gro will give you 1 extra Friday and 1 extra Sunday.
This brings us to the other part of the Traveling Cart formula: the Rare Seed is only guaranteed to show up in Spring and Summer. There is, however, a 1.26% year-round chance for 1–5 of the seeds to show up in the Traveling Cart at a price range of 600–1,000G. You are not guaranteed to get them with the extra days, but it doesn't hurt to increase your chances, and the cost of the fertilizer will still be paid by the profits from selling the Sweet Gem Berry.
Stardew Valley Rare Seed Guide - Protecting Your Investment
Before you even consider planting Sweet Gem Berries, you should be mindful of the hazards that can ruin your investment.
Firstly, consider Storms. While Summer is the time when lightning strikes most, it can still happen during the Fall. I recommend an absolute bare minimum of 10 Lightning Rods to protect your farm, lest an unlucky strike destroys a highly valuable crop. I personally don't feel safe unless I have 30 Lightning Rods on my farm.
Lightning Rods have great chances of intercepting lightning as long as they're not already processing a bolt. It doesn't matter where on your farm you place them; make sure you have enough.
Should You Put a Sweet Gem Berry in the Seed Maker?
Considering the Rare Seed costs 1,000G, should you be putting it in the Seed Maker? I'd say it's usually a bad idea, but there is one situation where it isn't.
The Stardew Valley Wiki article on the Seed Maker states a 97.51% chance of producing 1–3 seeds, averaging out to two. Considering that the most you could buy a Sweet Gem Berry for is 1,000G, and it will sell for 1,850G in the worst-case scenario, you are effectively losing 850G–2,350G in profit every time on average.
Even if you get three Rare Seeds from one Sweet Gem Berry, all that means is that you've canceled out the profit you've made. In the long run, though, the odds are against you. You're more likely to lose money than break even. It's a bad gamble, so don't do it—sell your Sweet Gem Berries and buy more seeds from the Traveling Cart instead.
There is one scenario where using the Seed Maker might be a better idea: the Greenhouse. The Rare Seed only grows once, so you'll have to replace it. Unfortunately, it could take years to stock up on the seeds since you can only buy them at the Traveling Cart.
This would be one of those "time is money" kinds of situations. A Greenhouse can accommodate 108 plants with 16 Quality Sprinklers or 116 plants with Iridium Sprinklers, and it would probably take several in-game years to get that many if you want to grow Sweet Gem Berries there exclusively.
If you want to grow only Sweet Gem Berries in the Greenhouse, here's what you should do:
- Purchase your initial seed stock from the Traveling Cart.
- Grow Sweet Gem Berries and toss them into the Seed Maker to get more seeds, expanding your total number.
- Continue to purchase seeds from the Traveling Cart as you do this.
- Once you haave 108–116 Rare Seeds, stop chucking them into the Seed Maker and save them for one massive planting.
- After your Sweet Gem Berry Crop grows, throw the less-valuable ones into the Seed Maker until you have 108–116 Rare Seeds in total, and then sell the rest.