Unlike many other Harvest Moon games, Farming is rather complex in Island of Happiness. It therefore merits a mini-guide of its own. I hope to send one to IGN later this afternoon. All basic information included in the Farming Guide is included now in latest version of the General Guide, which should be uploaded later today I hope. Even so, a quick reference guide devoted specifically to farming may be useful to players.
The rate at which Crops grow, the value of the Crop harvested and the conditions under which they will wither in the field vary from Crop to Crop. Crops in IoH each require a specified amount of Sunlight and Water in order to thrive. Crops requiring LESS water or sunlight may wither and die if you overwater them or if there are too many fiercely sunny days in a season. Yes, there are two types of Sunny Day in IoH. The icon of a small sun indicates a 'clear sky' and 'mildly sunny' weather. The icon of a large red sun indicates fierce sunlight, a danger to crops that need 'more' water to survive.
Both Fruit Trees and Grass in Island of Happiness require specified amounts of Sunlight and Water to grow and to continue to grow. As Grass therefore is a labour intensive Crop in IoH, I suggest growing it only for emergency use on the day prior to any Typhoon. Like any Crop, you must continue to water it occasionally (but not too much!) if you wish to keep it ripe in the field.
Fruit Trees will continue to grow through the years and produce Fruit only if Sunlight and Water conditions are met. You need not water them daily but make certain they receive water once in a while. You cannot plant any crops in Winter, by the way, but Wheat should continue to grow during the Winter season.
Most Crops in Island of Happiness need to be unlocked before you will be able to buy the Seeds at Chen's Market. There are only two varieties of seasonal Crops at the Market at the start of the game in each of the growing seasons. All others must be unlocked through your Farming accomplishments. Shipping is the key in most cases.
You therefore need to maintain a fine balance between use of Crops in Recipes, storing Crops for the future and shipping them for Income and in order to unlock new Crops.
The Seed Maker and the Greenhouse are critical items in Island of Happiness. Ultimately, I suggest that players grow almost all Crops in the Greenhouse, reserving the Field for an Orchard and Animal Pens and one plot, perhaps, of ripe Grass.
With a Seed Maker, you can create seeds for crops that you have not unlocked at Chen's Market. Mushrooms in particular can be grown from the first Autumn when you find them in the Wilds provided you have a Seed Maker. With a Seed Maker, you can convert Crops and Grains given randomly by Manfred into seeds if they have not been unlocked yet.
In any event, I hope my Farming Guide will be helpful to players. It is a work in progress, like all of my guides.