Best Way to Plant Crops in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Best Way to Plant Crops in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature

Proper planning and efficient crop planting are essential to making gold in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. Earning gold is not just about which crops sell for more gold, but also how you plant them. Here are the best ways to plant crops in the game that will help you maximize your earnings.

Important Tips when Planting Crops

Tomatoes planted in the square “donut” pattern | Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Tomatoes planted in the square “donut” pattern
  • All crops are planted using a seed bag purchased from the Supermarket.
  • Seeds need to be planted on tilled soil. Use the hoe to plow the ground.
  • Each seed bag contains 9 seeds that get planted in a 3×3 square of tilled soil.
  • Any seed that lands on an untilled soil will be lost forever.
  • All crops need to be watered daily in order to grow, with the exception of grass.
  • Once the crop is ready for harvest, it stays there indefinitely until you harvest them or until the season changes.

A fully grown crop does not need to be watered, unless you harvest it.

Best for Early Game: The C-Pattern

Different variations of the C-Pattern | Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Different variations of the C-Pattern

The “C-Pattern” also called the “Fat-C Pattern” involves a 3×3 square of tilled soil, then leaving one square on the edge untilled. On your first spring of Year 1, you can only water a 3×3 field efficiently using this pattern, as the center crop will be unreachable without an upgraded watering can.

This pattern of planting crops is extremely useful when you’re just starting the game and only have the basic watering can. You can harvest all crops and replant them on the same day without having to wait for the center crop to grow.Tip: Weeds can randomly grow on untilled soil, but you can remove them using the scythe or by plucking them off the ground yourself.

Tomatoes growing on different C-Pattern variations | Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Tomatoes growing on different C-Pattern variations

When you use the C-Pattern, you will waste no crop, as you can water and harvest all the crops you’ve planted. The only downside to this is you will only have 8 crops as opposed to 9 (each seed bag contains 9 seeds), which results in less overall profit per seed bag.

Important Tip: Remember to leave a space for you to walk between the 3×3 squares.

Best for Shipping Crops Quickly: The Parallel Pattern

A variation of the parallel pattern | Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
A variation of the parallel pattern

The parallel pattern is best used when you have expanded your farm and have a huge open field to work with, preferably in your second or third year on the farm. A fully grown horse with saddlebags is crucial in the success of the parallel pattern, since you will use it as a moving shipping bin.

Plant 3×3 squares of seeds next to one another as far as you can manage. Then plant another set of 3×3 squares next to it and use the hoe to remove a single row of seeds to make a walkable path. The hammer can be used to turn tilled soil back into flat ground.

Tomato plants planted using another variation of the parallel pattern | Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Tomato plants planted using another variation of the parallel pattern

This method minimizes the distance between crops and will allow you to harvest entire fields quickly and efficiently. You will earn less gold using this technique, but harvesting and shipping crops will be significantly quicker compared to other methods.

Crops ready for harvesting in the parallel pattern | Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Crops ready for harvesting in the parallel pattern

To harvest crops, ride your horse and place it between the rows of the crops. Then, harvest the crops as fast as you can, throwing each crop into your horse’s saddle bag. Ride the horse to move up or down the rows of crops and repeat harvesting.

Harvesting crops planted in the parallel pattern | Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Harvesting crops planted in the parallel pattern

Sometimes the horse will wander off as you’re harvesting, but since you placed it between rows of crops, it shouldn’t wander too far. If it goes too far, you can whistle for it and it will come to you.

Placing fences on the edges of the walkable area between the rows of crops will prevent your horse from leaving the area.

Best for Non-Renewable Crops: The Square Pattern

The square method is effective for non-renewable crops | Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
The square method is effective for non-renewable crops

The square pattern is a method where you plant all 9 seeds in a 3×3 square of tilled soil. You should only use this pattern when you have upgraded your watering can to at least silver in order to reach the center crop. 

While the square pattern allows you to plant 9 crops and maximize profits, it should only be used when planting non-renewable crops such as turnips, potatoes, or carrots. For renewable crops, the parallel or C-pattern works better than any other method.

Tip: The Harvest Sprites can walk over crops and help you harvest renewable crops that are otherwise inaccessible using this pattern. 

Bonus: The Square “Donut” Pattern 

The square “donut” pattern with grass in the middle to prevent growth of weeds | Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
The square “donut” pattern with grass in the middle to prevent growth of weeds

With the square “donut” pattern, you’ll be able to put your 3×3 fields side by side with each other. This minimizes the space used on your farm, allowing you to plant more and reduces the time traveled between harvesting crops.

It is similar to the parallel pattern, but yields more crops at the cost of slower harvest since you need to jump over crops.

The unwatered seeds on the center prevents weeds from growing | Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
The unwatered seeds on the center prevents weeds from growing

One big disadvantage of this pattern is that weeds can grow in the center and you won’t be able to remove it since it will be unreachable. To prevent weeds from growing, you can leave the center crop unwatered or plant a grass seed.

Grass seeds cost 500G per bag, but it can last indefinitely when planted. This means you can use this method from spring to fall without having to worry about weeds.