Gardening (The Sims 3)

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A Sim gardening.

For gardening in other games, see Gardening.

Gardening is a skill in The Sims 3. The skill is augmented by the Green Thumb trait, and the Super Green Thumb lifetime reward. It involves (as with gardening in real life and the previous Sims games) the planting, growing and harvesting of various plants that Sims can find within the game. Unlike the previous Sims games, The Sims 3 gardening has been much expanded upon, introducing many real-life plants and several fictional species such as the 'Life Fruit', 'Flame Fruit', and 'Plasma Fruit'.

Some expansion packs include more varieties of plant collections. Some of the plants can be used as ingredients for Nectar Making and Mixology, with the key ingredients for Nectar Making being the grapes from Champs Les Sims. With Ambitions, Sims can register as a self-employed Gardener. Gardening can be profitable by selling the harvested produce from the inventory, supermarket, or consignment store.

Only teens and older can tend gardens. Children cannot learn the Gardening skill, but they can learn the Child Gardening hidden skill. Once a child grows up into a teenager, they will earn Gardening skills at the same level of their Child Gardening and Scouting hidden skills.

Once a Sim has maximized their Gardening skill, they will receive a certificate in the mailbox a few days later, along with a notification saying: "The Dillinger Diggers Guild congratulates you, [Sim name], for achieving the very highest level of excellence in bringing life forth from our fertile Earth. Please accept this handsomely framed certificate and display it with pride knowing others will see just how skilled you are."

Statistics[edit | edit source]

  • Number Planted
  • Unique Plants Planted
  • Items Harvested
  • Perfect Items Harvested
  • Unknown Seeds Planted
  • Best Harvestable
  • Money Earned
  • Largest Money Bag Harvested

Challenges[edit | edit source]

Master Planter

A Master Planter must plant 19 types of plant that can be planted in the game. Once you have mastered the varieties you will be able to reduce weed growth significantly on future plants.

Botanical Boss

Botanical Bosses must harvest at least 75 Perfect fruits and vegetables. After so many Perfect harvestables, the plants of Botanical Bosses almost never die from neglect.

Master Farmer

Master Farmers have harvested at least 650 fruits and vegetables. The plants of Master Farmers remain watered and fertilized longer, meaning their gardens are more efficient.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Level Ability
0 Plant Common seeds
2 Weed garden
3 Fertilize garden
5 Plant Uncommon seeds
6 Revive plants (with Green Thumb trait)
7 Plant Rare and Special seeds
8 Plant Cheese and Egg plants (via Skill Opportunities)
9 Plant Burger Patty and Steak plants (via Skill Opportunities)
10 Plant Omni Plant seeds (via Skill Opportunities)

Plants[edit | edit source]

Plants and seeds can be planted at home. Seeds can be found on the ground throughout the town or upon reaching level 1, while plants can be found from the supermarket, vegetable stand[Store], or harvesting from wild plants.

Several plants are exclusive to premium Store contents. These plants are only included by purchasing certain premium contents (which are usually part of a set or venue) and installing them to the game. The plants and the premium contents are as following:

Image Plant Name Rarity Value (in §) Max Produce Fertilizer Value Fertilizer Days Plant Type Nectar Value EP
Tomato Common 3 20 5 4 Staked Bush - &BG
Apple Common 4 40 5 4 Tree 3 &BG
Grapes Common 4 15 5 3 Vine 3 &BG
Lettuce Common 3 15 5 4 Vine - &BG
Onion Uncommon 7 25 5 6 Staked Bush - &BG
Potato Uncommon 7 15 5 5 Vine - &BG
Watermelon Uncommon 9 10 10 5 Vine 7 &BG
Lime Uncommon 9 40 5 6 Tree 7 &BG
Bell Pepper Rare 12 15 15 4 Staked Bush - &BG
Garlic Rare 15 30 15 6 Vine - &BG
Life Fruit Special 25 12 25 6 Staked Bush 22 &BG
Death Flower Special 0 2 -200 4 Staked Bush - &BG
Money Tree Special Varied 10,000 - - Tree - &BG
Flame Fruit Special 18 20 15 4 Vine 18 &BG
Egg Special 7 15 5 4 Staked Bush - &BG
Cheese Special 5 15 5 4 Staked Bush - &BG
Patty Special 16 15 5 4 Staked Bush - &BG
Steak Special 20 15 15 4 Staked Bush - &BG
Omni Plant Special Varies 25 - - Staked Bush - &BG
Renoit Grapes Common 4 30 5 3 Vine 5 &EP01
Cherimola Blan Grapes Common 4 30 5 3 Vine 5 &EP01
Pomegranate Uncommon 8 50 7 3 Tree 6 &EP01
Plum Uncommon 7 50 8 3 Tree 7 &EP01
Avornalino Grapes Uncommon 7 30 10 3 Vine 8 &EP01
Meloire Grapes Uncommon 8 30 10 3 Vine 10 &EP01
Pomelo Rare 15 50 12 5 Tree 12 &EP01
Cherries Rare 12 50 15 4 Tree 9 &EP01
Gralladina Fran Grapes Rare 10 30 15 3 Vine 12 &EP01
Cranerlet Nuala Grapes Rare 13 30 15 3 Vine 16 &EP01
Plasma Fruit Rare 20 2 20 4 Staked Bush 18 &EP03
Carrot Uncommon 7 20 5 6 Vine - &EP05
Banana Rare 7 50 5 6 Tree 0 &EP06
Mandrake Root Common 6 20 5 3 Bush - &EP07
Porcinis Common 10 30 10 4 Mycelium - &EP07
Red Toadstool Common 20 30 10 6 Mycelium - &EP07
Red Valerian Root Common 6 20 5 3 Bush - &EP07
White Caps Common 5 30 5 6 Mycelium - &EP07
Wolfsbane Flower Common 13 20 10 3 Bush - &EP07
Mycenas Uncommon 33 15 12 5 Mycelium - &EP07
Spotlight Mushroom Uncommon 38 15 15 4 Mycelium - &EP07
Ghost Chili Rare 22 15 15 3 Bush - &EP07
Glow Orbs Rare 64 15 20 6 Mycelium - &EP07
Truffles Rare 42 30 20 4 Mycelium - &EP07
Pumpkin Uncommon 9 10 10 5 Vine - &EP08
Cortado Bean Common 22 20 10 5 Coffee Plant - &EP09
Kona Bean Common 9 20 10 5 Coffee Plant - &EP09
Maui Bean Common 11 20 10 5 Coffee Plant - &EP09
Midnight Bean Common 12 20 10 5 Coffee Plant - &EP09
Red Berry Bean Common 50 20 10 5 Coffee Plant - &EP09
Basil Common 15 15 10 5 Staked Bush - &EP09
Ginseng Common 13 15 10 5 Bush - &EP09
Peppermint Common 12 15 10 5 Staked Bush - &EP09
Lavender Uncommon 17 15 10 5 Bush - &EP09
Cinnamon Uncommon 16 15 10 5 Staked Bush - &EP09
Licorice Uncommon 13 15 10 4 Staked Bush - &EP09
Greenleaf Uncommon 19 15 10 5 Bush - &EP09
Sweet Grass Uncommon 9 15 10 5 Bush - &EP09
Wonderpetal Uncommon 12 15 10 5 Bush - &EP09
Buzzberry Uncommon 18 15 10 5 Staked Bush - &EP09
Chamomile Rare 29 15 10 5 Bush - &EP09
Bumbleleaf Rare 26 15 10 5 Bush - &EP09
Forbidden Fruit Special 1 - - Forbidden Plant - &EP09
Crystal Flower (Emotional Charge: Kindness) Common 35 20 - - Crystal Flower - &EP11
Crystal Flower (Emotional Charge: Laughter) Common 35 20 - - Crystal Flower - &EP11
Crystal Flower (Emotional Charge: Love) Common 35 20 - - Crystal Flower - &EP11
Crystal Flower (Emotional Charge: Rage) Common 35 20 - - Crystal Flower - &EP11
Crystal Flower (Emotional Charge: Neutral) Common 15 20 - - Crystal Flower - &EP11
Lemon Common 4 40 5 4 Tree 3 &Store
Purple Eggplant Common 4 20 5 4 Staked Bush 3 &Store
Orange Common 4 20 5 4 Tree 3 &Store
Blackberry Common 4 20 5 4 Staked Bush 3 &Store
Blueberry Common 4 20 5 4 Vine 3 &Store
Cocoa Common 4 20 5 4 Staked Bush 3 &Store
Peach Common 4 20 5 4 Tree 3 &Store
Pear Common 4 20 5 4 Tree 3 &Store
Pecan Common 4 20 5 4 Tree 3 &Store
Raspberry Common 4 20 5 4 Staked Bush 3 &Store
Strawberry Common 4 20 5 4 Vine 3 &Store
Corn Common 4 20 5 4 Staked Bush 3 &Store
Cucumber Common 4 20 5 4 Vine 3 &Store

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The sale values of each plant depends on its quality. The higher the quality, the more valuable it will be, based on its base value:
    • Horrifying: 60%
    • Putrid: 70%
    • Foul: 80%
    • Bad: 90%
    • Normal: 100%
    • Nice: 110%
    • Very Nice: 150%
    • Great: 200%
    • Excellent: 250%
    • Outstanding: 300%
    • Perfect: 400%
  • Max Produce is the maximum produce the plant can bear before being barren.
  • Nectar Value is the value of the produce when used as a single nectar ingredient.

Quality & varieties[edit | edit source]

Harvested produce has a quality ranging from horrifying, putrid, foul, bad, normal, nice, very nice, great, excellent, outstanding, and perfect. Higher quality produce is worth more for selling and will have increased strength as fertilizer. The quality of the harvested produce roughly corresponds to the quality of the plants. Thus, an excellent apple tree will usually bear excellent apples, however there is a chance of harvesting higher quality produce.

Produce can be used for the following:

Generally, plants are used for ingredients. Store plants are usually used to complement other premium contents:

  • Lemons are used to create lemonades from the lemonade stand. The lemonade stand is part of Humble Harvest Stands premium content.
  • Lemons and purple eggplants are ingredients of some of the pizzas from the wood fire oven. The wood fire oven is part of Monte Vista special premium content.
  • Plants from Bohemian Fruit and Nuts premium content are ingredients of most recipes for the Baker's Station premium content.

Additionally, produces can be used to create jams and preserves with Canning Station premium content.

Some plants also have their own unique variety, which makes them have other usages aside from ingredients.

Mushrooms[edit | edit source]

Mushrooms are plants that came from Supernatural. The common use of mushroom is for Alchemy ingredients. Some mushrooms are edible and can be used as a food ingredient, i.e. truffles, porcinis, and white caps; while the others are inedible. Collecting wild mushrooms is also part of the Collecting challenges. Collecting 7 of them will increase the quality of mushrooms grown. Harvested mushrooms don't count to the challenge.

Edible mushrooms:

  • Porcinis
  • White Caps
  • Truffles

Inedible mushrooms:

  • Red Toadstool
  • Mycenas
  • Spotlight Mushroom
  • Glow Orbs

Herbs[edit | edit source]

Herbs are plants that came from University Life. Herbs are related to Rebel social group. Herbs can be used as an addition to meal or herbal drink, burned in bonfire or fireplace, or eaten raw, which will give a moodlet and various certain effects. The moodlet time is based on how the herb is consumed: 8 hours if eaten raw, 5 hours if added to meal, 3 hours from herbal drink, and 2 hours from being burned. There's a 15% chance the herb will cause herb nausea when consumed, which will increase or decrease based on the quality of the herb.

Below is the list of herbs and its effects:

  • Peppermint - No effect
  • Chamomile - Increases social group influence gain by 15%
  • Cinnamon - May increase the effect of romantic interactions
  • Greenleaf - Increases weight loss rate by 20%
  • Basil - Increases performance gain by 5% and opportunity reward by 10%
  • Bumbleleaf - Extends the "On Fire" moodlet to 4 hours
  • Buzzberry - Increases Athletic skill gain by 15%
  • Ginseng - May decrease energy need decay
  • Lavender - Increases energy need gain by 10%
  • Licorice - Decreases hunger need decay by 30%
  • Wonderpetal - Increases academic performance gain by 10%
  • Sweet Grass - Removes "Nauseous", "Visceroidal Nausea", "Virtually Nauseous", "Seasick", "Herb Nausea", and "Buzz Crashed" moodlets. Does not remove "Liquid Crash" and "Food Poisoning" moodlets, however.

Coffee beans[edit | edit source]

Coffee beans are plants that came from University Life. Coffee beans can be consumed raw or as coffee drink from the barista bar. Coffee beans cannot be used as any ingredients or for the espresso maker. Consuming coffee bean will give various moodlets, which work like "Buzzed" moodlet from drinking coffee, which will temporarily override "Sleepy", "Tired", and "Exhausted" moodlets, as well as getting "Buzz Crashed" when the effect expires.

Below is the list of coffee beans:

  • Midnight Bean
  • Kona Bean
  • Red Berry Bean
  • Cortado Bean
  • Maui Bean

Crystal flowers[edit | edit source]

Crystal flowers are plants that came from Into the Future. The main use of crystal flowers is as ingredients to create trait chips for plumbots. A crystal flower has 5 types of emotional charges. The common emotional charge is neutral. Sims can charge a crystal flower so the emotional charge will turn into either kindness, laughter, love, or rage. After that, they must charge the flower regularly, or the emotional charge will lose its power and eventually turn back into neutral. Sims can also neutralize the flower to change the emotional charge to neutral instantly.

When the flowers are harvested, Sims can harness the flower or imbue it to other Sims. When harnessed, the flower will grant a special moodlet to the user. Only non-neutral flowers can be harnessed.

Money tree[edit | edit source]

Money trees

Money tree is a special tree that has money bill leaves and grows money bags. Sims can harvest the money bags and exchange them for money. Sims can receive the seed from certain opportunities, fishing, analyzing an unknown special seed, and so on.

If tended well, money trees will never die. However, should it be neglected too long and perish, it will explode and leave many bills behind.

Special plants[edit | edit source]

The following plants have the rarity of special. Sims can plant these seeds after they've completed certain opportunities. Completing the Uncommonly Good opportunity will grant the ability to plant cheeses and eggs. Completing the Outstandingly Rare opportunity will grant the ability to plant steaks and patties. Completing The Omnificent Plant grants the ability to plant omni plant and order its seed from the mailbox.[1] These opportunities can only be received in order, but not necessarily consecutively. This is because The Omnificent Plant requires Sims to plant outstanding steaks and Outstandingly Rare requires Sims to plant excellent cheeses.

Omni plant is a special plant which can be used to replicate many things. The plant can be fed with items, and once the plant is on its harvest state, Sims can harvest whatever the plant was fed with. The following are items that can be fed to the omni plant:

  • Books (general, fishing, skill, toddler, written, and sheet music)
  • Ingredients (harvestable produce, fish, and grocery ingredients)
  • Candles
  • Rubber duckies
  • Teddy bears
  • Toy box toys

There are several things to consider about the items that can be fed to:

  • Cooking recipes, alchemy recipes, and comic books cannot be fed to omni plants. This means that the players cannot exploit Ambrosia recipe book worth §12,000.
  • Not all plants are considered as ingredients. Death flowers, forbidden fruit, and crystal flowers cannot be fed to omni plants in particular.
  • Inedible plants may still be considered as ingredients, such as kelp, inedible mushrooms, mandrake root, and wolfsbane flower.
  • Imaginary friend doll is considered as a teddy bear, but cannot be fed to omni plants nonetheless.

Fertilizer[edit | edit source]

Fertilizer can be used to increase the plant speed growth. Fertilizer does not affect the quality of the plant or produce. Most ingredients can be used to fertilize plants, as well as horse fertilizer from the horse stall. Below is the list of fertilizers, the time the effect lasts, and the grade.

Fertilizer Grade Time (Days) Relative Potency
Plants Vs. Zombies™ Sun 50 4 200
Reviving Sprinkle 40 5 200
Life Fruit 25 6 150
Angelfish, Sea Sludge 25 4 100
Vampire Fish, Mummy Fish, Dragon Fish 25 3 75
Glow Orbs 20 6 120
Vampire Fruit, Truffles, Shark, Ninja Starfish 20 4 80
Lobster 20 3 60
Garlic 15 6 90
Steak, Bell Pepper, Flame Fruit, Cherries, Spotlight Mushroom, Red Herring, Tragic Clownfish, Siamese Catfish, Piranha, Blowfish 15 4 60
Gralladina Fran Grapes, Cranerlet Nuala Grapes, Unicorn Fertilizer, Ghost Chili, Sewer Trilobite, Linckia Starfish, Eel 15 3 45
Pomelo, Mycenas 12 5 60
Salmon, Black Goldfish, Swordfish 12 3 36
Red Toadstools 10 6 60
Watermelon, Pumpkin, Ginseng, Sweet Grass, Cinnamon, Basil, Lavender, Peppermint, Wonderpetal, Chamomile, Bumbleleaf, Greenleaf, Licorice, Buzzberry, Kona Bean, Midnight Bean, Cortado Bean, Red Berry Bean, Maui Bean 10 5 50
Porcinis, Minnow, Jellyfish, Fairy Damsel, Three Eyed Fish 10 4 40
Avornalino Grapes, Meloire Grapes, Horse Fertilizer, Wolfsbane, Tuna, Sea Bat Starfish, Octopus, Squid 10 3 30
Plum, Rainbow Trout 8 3 24
Pomegranate 7 3 21
Onion, Lime, Carrot, Banana, White Caps 5 6 30
Potato 5 5 25
Cheese, Burger Patty, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato, Apple, Lemon, Purple Eggplant, Orange, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cocoa, Peach, Pear, Pecan, Raspberry, Strawberry, Corn, Cucumber 5 4 20
Grapes, Renoit Grapes, Cherimola Blan Grapes, Mandrake, Red Valerian, Anchovy, Goldfish, Alley Catfish, Crocodile, Crawfish, Frog, Doitsu Koi, Kawarimono Koi, Ochiba Koi, Tancho Koi, Snail, Kissing Gourami, Toad, Luminous Salamander, Sea Urchin, Anemone, Sea Polyp, Hermit Crab, Seahorse, Rainbow Snail 5 3 15
Deathfish -200 4 -800

Depending on the quality of the fertilizer, the value and length can be modified. The fertilizer value will be multiplied according to the multipliers, and the length will be added with extra days. Furthermore, completing the Master Farmer skill challenge will benefit Sims by giving additional 2 days for any fertilizers.

Fertilizer modifiers based on its quality
Fertilizer Quality Value Multiplier Extra Days
Horrifying 0.6 -
Putrid 0.7 -
Foul 0.8 -
Bad 0.9 -
Normal 1.0 -
Nice 1.1 -
Very Nice 1.2 -
Great 1.4 +1
Excellent 1.6 +1
Outstanding 1.8 +1
Perfect 2.0 +2

Achievements[edit | edit source]

The following achievemtns from The Sims 3 Website can be unlocked through the activities involving gardening skill:

Name Image Type Description Notes & Tips
Achieving Grapeness Gold Have a Sim harvest 100 Perfect Harvestables
Fruitful Efforts Silver Harvest 60 Items
Precocious Pollination Bronze Plant 10 Plants
Profitable Botany Platinum Have a Sim earn 50,000 Simoleons from selling Harvestables Can also be unlocked by reselling fruits and vegetables bought at the Grocery Store
Weed ‘Em and Reap Silver Have Sims Pull weeds on 50 plants

Tips[edit | edit source]

Sprinkler area of effect.
  • Sims can use a sprinkler to water plants in a 5x5 area. It can be turned on and run indefinitely. Sims can upgrade the sprinkler with Auto-Water so it will run between 4 AM and 7 AM, but it has to be turned off first.
  • Science skill helps aid Sims with gardening. The higher a Sim's Science skill is, the more chance they will harvest extra produce, boost the harvested produce quality, and increase the seed quality.[TS3:UL]
  • The harvester can be used to harvest multiple plants at once.
  • Selling the produce in the supermarket is worth 10% higher than selling from inventory, and even more if sold in consignment store.[TS3:A]
  • Sims can plant indoors with the planter bowls from Supernatural or soil rugs from Into the Future.
  • Unicorns and fairies can use their abilities to grow up the plants one level higher, up to their harvestable state.
  • The following traits are suggested to help with Gardening:
    • The Green Thumb trait increases the quality of plant produce when they plant a seed or harvest produce.
    • The Loves the Outdoors trait will create a positive moodlet when Sim is outdoors.
    • The Eco-friendly trait will create a positive moodlet when gardening.
    • The Gatherer trait increases the quality of produce harvested from seeds the Sim plants.
  • Several premium Store contents are released to help Sims with gardening utilities. The premium contents are as following:
    • SwiftGro Gardening Station, which can be used to identify unknown seeds, water plants instantly, talk to plants, and use composter to fertilize the plants.
    • Plants Vs. Zombies™ Sunflower, which produces sun that can be used as an excellent-quality fertilizer.
    • Grandpa's Grove Tractor, a set of a tractor and track pieces, which can be used to tend, water, fertilize, and harvest a large amount of plants at once, so long as the plants are within the range of the track, approximately 8 tiles away.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Plants will turn to dead state if they are neglected from wilting state. Sims with Green Thumb can revive plants with 70% chance of success, while failure attempt will destroy the plant.[clarification needed] Money trees cannot be revived as they'll explode upon their death.
  • Plants will turn to barren state once they reach their maximum amount of produce. Barren plants cannot be revived.
  • Fertilizers and weeds don't affect the plant quality. They only affect the growth time of the plant: fertilizer shortens the time, while the weeds increases the time.
  • Plants are immune from meteor impact, but the produce will be destroyed.[TS3:A]
  • Banana[TS3:ST] and corn[Store] don't have proper plant mesh. Instead of growing on a banana palm tree like in The Sims 2: Castaway and a corn stalk, they grow on a generic fruit tree and a staked bush, respectively.
  • Watch out for zombies as they will eat the plants and set them to dead state. Keep the plants indoor to keep them away from zombies. Consider enclosing gardens with fences and lock the gate to only the household - this will keep the zombies out. Plant the garden a few squares away from the house to avoid zombies spawning in the garden.[TS3:SN]
  • Like zombies, horses and deer will also autonomously eat garden plants. Fencing off the garden and locking the gate will prevent them from getting in.[TS3:P]
  • During and near winter, plants will remain dormant until it's mid-spring. During the dormant period, Sims cannot tend the garden. Planting indoors will prevent plants from getting dormant. It will also change the dormant state to normal when the plant is moved indoors, but only after 4 AM or the next time the game is loaded.[TS3:S]
  • There is a glitch that prevents Sims from ordering Omni Plant seeds via mailbox normally after patch 1.17 causing the Sim's action queue to be automatically dropped when they reach the mailbox. There is a temporary workaround for the Sim to bypass the glitch and order the Omni Plant seed via mailbox normally.
  • There is a glitch with Gardening after installing Supernatural. Sims' action will be dropped shortly when they are interacting with the plants. The plants will remain in the harvestable state after Sims harvest them instead of going back to mature state, causing the plants to be stuck and unable to produce again. The bug is caused due to the new collection journal feature introduced in this pack. This bug only occurs to Sims who have had history in Collecting; newly-made Sims will not experience this bug. The bug is fixed in Twallan's Overwatch mod.
  • The cucumber plant from Canning Station premium content is missing translation strings for all languages except English. This prevents the game from loading the plant data properly, and causes the plant not to grow at all. There is a mod that includes all the missing strings, although the strings are all in English.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. There's a glitch that prevents Sims from ordering the Omni Plant seed from the mailbox.
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