In this guide, we will discuss the best summer crop choices in Stardew Valley. We will focus on their profitability, and for Bundle requirements, you can refer to my Bundle-related Articles. We will mainly compare the following crops: Blueberries, Hops, Melons, and Starfruits. Red Cabbage will be excluded since it can only be widely planted in the second year, and Pineapples will also be excluded as they require access to Ginger Island.
Summer Crop Selection: Profitability Comparison
Blueberry seeds cost 80g, take 13 days to mature, and yield 3 blueberries per harvest, with a small chance of producing an extra one. After the initial harvest, they can be harvested every 4 days, allowing for 4 harvests throughout the summer season. The base selling price for blueberries is 50g, and the daily profit is 20.8g/day.
Hops seeds cost 60g, take 11 days to mature, and yield 1 hop per harvest. After the initial harvest, they can be harvested daily, allowing for 17 harvests throughout the summer season. The base selling price for hops is 25g, and the daily profit is 13.52g/day.
Melon seeds cost 80g, take 12 days to mature, and yield 1 melon per harvest. They can be planted twice throughout the summer season. The base selling price for melons is 250g, and the daily profit is 14.17g/day.
Starfruit seeds cost 400g, take 13 days to mature, and yield 1 starfruit per harvest. They can be planted twice throughout the summer season. The base selling price for starfruits is 750g, and the daily profit is 26.92g/day.
From the perspective of daily profit, the ranking is Starfruit > Blueberries > Melons > Hops. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that planting Starfruit is always the best choice.
Return on Investment
When comparing daily profits, it is crucial to consider the number of crops planted. For instance, planting 100 Starfruits will undoubtedly yield more profit than 100 Blueberries. However, when the available funds are limited, the situation might be different.
Suppose you have 10,000g to invest. If you choose to plant Starfruit, you can plant 25 of them, resulting in a final sale of 750 * 25 = 18,750g. If you choose to plant Blueberries, you can plant 125 of them, resulting in an estimated revenue of 125 * 50 * 3 * 4 = 75,000g. In this case, planting Blueberries is more appropriate.
This concept of return on investment (ROI) is essential in the early game, as it reveals a crop’s ability to multiply your initial investment. Considering the ROI, rather than daily profit, is more practical when funds are limited. With level 10 farming skills and level 5 Agriculturist skills, Blueberries have an ROI of 9 times, Hops also have an ROI of 9 times, Melons have an ROI of 8 times, and Starfruits have an ROI of around 5 times (6 times when using Speed-Gro fertilizer for three harvests).
Profitability of Brewing
If you choose to brew your crops, the ranking of crop profitability with Speed-Gro fertilizer is Hops (8,190g) > Starfruit (8,100g) > Blueberries (2,920g) > Melons (2,760g). Hops and Starfruit are almost equal in terms of profit, but Hops require less startup capital, while Starfruit requires fewer Kegs and is less labor-intensive. Blueberries and Melons, on the other hand, are not worth considering for brewing, as their profits are not in the same league.
Some players argue that planting Blueberries is more convenient since they require less daily harvesting effort compared to Hops. However, this perspective is incorrect. Even if you harvest Hops every four days instead of daily, they still yield more profit than Blueberries.
Think of it as having two part-time jobs: one that pays 100g per day and is available daily, and another that pays 50g per day and is only available on weekends. The first job is more convenient since you can decide whether or not to harvest Hops every day, while the second job has a fixed schedule. You can plant fewer Hops if you feel that harvesting every four days is too time-consuming.
As for how much to invest in Hops and Starfruit, I can only share my personal opinion: to save time and effort, it is best not to plant too many crops. I believe the upper limit is around 300 crops, as this amount is sufficient to meet your financial needs in the early game. You can then transition to using the Greenhouse and Ginger Island, as the late game offers much faster ways to earn money. Planting 600 Starfruit, for example, is more than twice as tiring as planting 300 and is unnecessary unless you truly enjoy the laborious process. Different players may have different preferences, so choose what works best for you.