Sunday, February 21, 2010

Details about the Greenhouse in Sunshine Islands

The Greenhouse is an advanced option in many Harvest Moon games, including Sunshine Islands, that allows you to grow crops out of season. In HM DS and Cute DS, where water and sunlight had no specific individual requirements where Crops were concerned, the need for the 'Basements' that were the equivalent of a Greenhouse was not as great as it is in Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands. In IoH and SI, the fact that weather can prove your undoing in terms of Crops that require either 'less' or 'more' Sunlight and/or Water makes the Greenhouse almost a necessity.

I had imagined that the Greenhouse option in both games would be the same but that is not quite true. The option IS expensive in both games... but in Sunshine Islands, you actually can add more than one Sun Box to further speed the growth of seasonal Crops.

In Island of Happiness, the Greenhouse actually is built on your original Field. In Sunshine Islands, however, it is built on Greenhouse Island, which is reached via a bridge from Link Island, reached via a Bridge from your Farm. This is true with respect to all three 'special farming' islands: Greenhouse Island, Rice Island and Fruit Island.

If you neither have a Teleport Stone nor Turbo Shoes, you will find yourself at a loss to visit Fruit Island and/or Greenhouse Island on a daily basis. As far as Rice Island is concerned, Rice once planted in Spring tends to itself and you need not visit THAT Island again until Autumn when the grain is mature and ready to be harvested.

The fact that the Greenhouse is located on a different Island has a rather cruel effect in Sunshine Islands which is to deny you any water source closer than the one located in the southwest corner of your Field. In Sunshine Islands, you cannot take water from the shore of the Island, as it is saltwater and would kill your Crops and Grains.

You therefore need to order a Water Spigot for the Greenhouse as soon as possible.

The cost is:

Add Water Spigot:
400 Lumber + 500000G
or 550000G

The cost of the addition of another Sun Box is:

Add Sun Box:
200 Lumber + 900000G
or 920000G

To me, the addition of a Shipping Bin is the least necessary of all options, but it is the least expensive as well as the cost for one is:

Add Shipping Bin:
200 Lumber + 1000G
or 15000G

Remember that, in Sunshine Islands, you can order an Enchantment either to reduce Prices or to reduce amount of Materials required or both.

As in Island of Happiness, the Greenhouse can be upgraded. The cost of the initial upgrade is:

9000 Lumber + 500000G
or 999000G

These prices are not for the faint of heart and a player who slaved away to finally scrape together the amount needed to order a Greenhouse (even with a Green Team discount) without knowing what would be required afterwards may be dismayed to discover the price of these options. Even so, it gives the veteran players another challenge to surmount...

Once you have a Greenhouse, you cannot expect that farming will be nothing more than a matter of flinging your seeds onto tilled soil. Considerations of specific Water requirements for both Crops and Grains as well as seasonal requirements for harvesting Grains still apply. Knowing when to place a specific Seasonal Sun and how to prevent the loss of Grains that must be harvested in Summer is vital.

Incidentally, the acreage in the initial Greenhouse consists of 16 squares by 8 squares. What this means in terms of complete 3 x 3 plots is that you can fit a total of 10 in the Greenhouse. If, however, you are willing to sacrifice Seeds, you can grow more Crops in the remaining 'incomplete' plots. Another way of calculating space is to state that you have a total of 128 squares for farming. You can do as you wish with these... . Remember always that you will need to be able to REACH all the squares that you sow with seed. With sufficient Wonderfuls in your Watering Can, you will be able to reach all squares even if you do not leave space between Crops, and if you use your Stylus instead of traditional controls, you should be able to harvest all of them even in the case of multiple harvest Crops.

The actual configuration of the initial Greenhouse is set up to allow you to till your soil in eight 3 x 3 plots with a space between each on every side. My own procedure usually is to plant in unbroken rows with a single space between rows. In the Greenhouse, this planogram will give you four rows of 2 2/3 plots each. You therefore will waste 3 seeds out of 9 when you sow the final bag of Seeds in each row.

Tip: If you do not have a pair of Turbo Shoes by the time you obtain a Greenhouse, I would suggest that you invest in them as soon as possible. Even with a Teleport Stone, it will take 10 minutes to move from the Teleport destination on Link Island to the Greenhouse. When returning to the Ranch to refill your Watering Can, it will take 10 minutes to move from the Teleport destination of the Ranch (on the bridge) to the watering hole unless you are wearing Turbo Shoes. You will need 60 Orichalcum for Turbo Shoes.

Note that you can have more than one Watering Can in Sunshine Islands and can fill both before you go to the Greenhouse. If you do not have Wonderfuls set in both, however, they will have equal capacity in terms of 50 squares but will not water the squares with equal efficiency. You therefore may wish to go to Charlie to reorganise your Wonderfuls before you visit the Greenhouse... or not, as it is enough of a headache for me anyway, to switch my Orange Wonderfuls from Hammer or Axe to Milker each morning and back again... That's the limit of Wonderful Switching that I am willing to perform on a daily basis for the most part.

If you have only one Sun Box, you MUST keep the Summer Sun in place in order to grow Buckwheat or Soybeans until those Crops are harvested. You cannot 'switch' Suns in the Sun Box. To change from one Sun to another, you first must remove the existing Sun, leaving the Greenhouse without any Sun for a moment until you set the next Sun into the Box. Of the three Grains that can be grown in the Greenhouse, only Wheat will survive if you remove the Summer Sun and replace it with Autumn or Spring. WHEAT IS THE ONLY CROP THAT CAN ENDURE EITHER AN ABSENCE OR CHANGE IN SUNS IN THE GREENHOUSE.

You cannot sow seeds beneath the wrong seasonal Sun in the Greenhouse. As Soybeans and Buckwheat CAN grow during Autumn, you can sow them beneath an autumn Sun but if you remove that Sun in order to place a Summer Sun there in order to be able to harvest them, they will vanish instantly.

I have not grown any Grains to maturity yet in the Greenhouse in Sunshine Islands, but I have tested the ability to remove and replace the Seasonal Suns. Only Wheat survives that. In view of this, I do believe that my Island of Happiness Guidelines with respect to grains is equally applicable to Sunshine Islands.

From my Island of Happiness General Guide:

Tip for Growing Grains

For maximum success, grow all three ordinary Grains in your Greenhouse using a Summer Sun. You will be required to keep the Summer Sun in the Greenhouse for two seasons in order to be able to harvest Wheat and Soybeans, but both are crops that grow both in Summer and Autumn BUT CAN BE HARVESTED ONLY IN SUMMER. Changing your Sun from a Summer to an Autumn Sun will kill ALL Crops apart from Wheat, so do not do that. Simply plant Wheat, Soybeans and Buckwheat in the Greenhouse after placing a Summer Sun, then leave the Summer Sun in place until you have harvested all the Crops. If you plant them all at the same time, the Buckwheat will be ready for harvest first. In fact, Buckwheat requires less than a full season to grow. Soybeans and Wheat, on the other hand, require almost two.

As previously stated, you can water any Soybean Crop twice daily but do not water Wheat more than once every two days!


One final difference between Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands is that you cannot sow Fruit Trees in the Greenhouse. As a separate Island exists for Fruit Trees, that probably is the reason why this practice is disallowed. Unfortunately, this means that your Fruit Trees always will be subject to the vagaries of the Weather in Sunshine Islands. In Island of Happiness, however, you had to perform complex rotations of your Suns in the Greenhouse if you wished to harvest Fruit. Even so, the Fruit Trees grown in the Greenhouse were protected from the weather outside.

I need to scrape together enough money to order a second Sun Box before I relinquish Sunshine Islands to begin on Hero of Leaf Valley.

Another general Farming Tip is that you can leave mature Crops in your field to improve in Rank, Quality and Size as long as Water AND Sunllight requirements are not exceeded. This is one method by which to raise Rank from B to A as well as increasing size. Note that this is true with respect to items that grow in the Wilds as well. By leaving a coloured Herb on the ground for a day or two, it may go from B to A Rank. Even Seaweed left on the Rock at the Beach in Spring may improve from B to A Rank if you do not harvest it for a day or two. Although there is a limit to the number of items that can be placed on the ground, the game WILL drop more items the next day even if you have not harvested every item on the previous day.

Where multiple harvest Crops are concerned, I sometimes leave the Crop in the middle square in place in Sunshine Islands as long as possible to elevate it to S Rank. There is a point where the Crop will receive too much Sunlight or Water and wither, however. Always make certain to harvest it the night before this occurs.

No comments: