Your Account
    Log into your account here:
       Forgot Password

    Not registered? Sign Up for free
    Registration allows you to keep track of all your content and comments, save bookmarks, and post in all our forums.
Follow the dark path or use the light

06: Basic Farming

Farmville Walkthrough and Guide

by CMBF  

Print page (no screenshots)   |   Print page

Chapter 06: Basic Farming

This chapter is a basic introduction to the game -- it will provide you with all of the information that you need to begin playing with an edge, so read it before you begin to play to get that edge. 

The chapters that follow will provide you with in-depth knowledge that will allow you to quickly surpass even those mates who have been playing longer than you have, turning you into a Farmville Wizard!

When you start playing the game you begin with a small farm -- in order to increase its size you either have to add a certain number of neighbors, or spend real-world money to purchase Farmville Bucks (in-game virtual currency) in order to pay to expand your farm. If you go the neighbor route, you still have to spend a form of in-game money called Farmville Coins, but coins are earned in the game for completing various tasks, including harvesting crops and collecting resources from the animals on your farm, rather than exchanging real-world money.

While we are on the subject of virtual money trade, using Bucks to buy items in the game is how Zynga -- the company behind Farmville and many other similar games -- profits from hosting the game. Players are not forced to participate using real money -- most of the items in the game can be acquired using coins earned in the game -- and while a smaller percentage of items can only be obtained using Bucks, most of the items that sell for Bucks can also be obtained either with coins or as free items received from the "feeds" of your friends and neighbors (more on that in a bit).

Every new farmer starts out with the same potential, a plot of land upon which they can plow and seed, and harvest their crops. New players should complete a few crops to earn some working capital in coin -- a good target is around 20,000 coins -- of which they should always retain 10,000 for use in planting the next crop, as seeds cost money to buy.

Once extra coins are available, the player should purchase a Chicken Coop and Dairy Barn from the in-game store, as these two buildings can hold a certain number of chickens and cows (respectively) allowing the player to store them and harvest from them in one click.

The Chicken Coop also serves as an interactive element in the game for your friends, who can visit your farm and, once a day, feed your chickens for you, providing the opportunity for them to find a special egg that can contain rarer chickens, buildings, or special items when it is opened.

In addition to feeding your chickens, visiting friends can also help fertilize your field, thereby finding collectible items or cans of fuel, and once you have constructed one of the recently added special buildings -- like a greenhouse -- they can also help you with the process of combining seeds to make new plants. Each gesture of assistance that you provide to a friend -- or they provide to you -- is rewarded with coins and potentially, special items.

Once you have those two instant-structures installed on your farm, you can begin building the structures that take materials to complete -- a Nursery and Stables -- that come in kit form. You can obtain the materials that you need by either asking your friends to gift them to you (you are allowed to send free gifts twice a day) or by obtaining the items from their feed.  Either way, building the stables and nursery early is a good idea, as the stables allow you to store and harvest horses as well as breed new horses, and the nursery allows you to take young cows and horses and raise them to their adult forms.

The Feed is the Source for Valuable Resources

-- The Feed --

Like most apps on Facebook, Farmville writes events to your Wall -- these events and your Wall are called "The Feed" by Farmville veterans, as the events are a constant source of new material, items, and sometimes rare and special animals and plants.

Each time you find an object in the game, or create something new, you are given the opportunity to post that to your feed -- and in the process share one or more of that item or resource with your friends. For example, when you feed your chickens or those of a neighbor, and find one of the special eggs, you have the option to "share" that find on your Wall. Any of your friends can then click on that post to receive one of that item as a bonus, thanks to you. There are limits however -- for example with eggs and building parts, only a certain number of people can claim a bonus, then they are exhausted.

Players are allowed to obtain up to 125 items each day from the feeds of their friends -- but items like rare animals and special trees only contain one bonus copy, so it is first come, first served, a limitation that has a lot of serious players stalking the feeds of their friends throughout the day, hoping to grab good items. Obviously spending a few minutes reviewing the feeds of your mates is a good idea, as you never know when you could be the first in on a claim!

-- Crop Strategy --

One of the bigger mistakes that most new farmers -- and some vets -- make, is planting a crop with a bad time-cycle on it. Each type of crop takes X number of hours to grow. Once it completes growing, after a few hours if you do not harvest it, the plants begin to wither, and die, rendering them useless to you.

When your crops wither, you lose their value and what you spent in planting them, so the first strategy in farming in the game is to always pick plants whose grow time is convenient to your play schedule. If you know you are not going to be on over the weekend, pick a plant that takes 3 or more days to grow. If you will be available all day, you can grow several crops of shorter duration.

-- Fertilization = Better XP --

Fertilized crops deliver a bit of extra XP when they are harvested, which is why in the past players tried to encourage their friends to visit and fertilize their crops by doing the same for them, but a recent addition to the game has changed how that works.

A new item, called the "Fertilize All" bag can be obtained by visiting your neighbors and fertilizing their crops. If you are lucky, the item will pop up and you can then both obtain it -- and share it with your mates. This special bag of fertilizer can also be obtained as a random reward for harvesting your beehive, and in posts to your friend's feed page  -- as whenever they find one they can post and share it to their feed, as can you.  And you should!

That being the case, it is a good idea to grab a bag whenever you see it shared on one of your mates' feeds so you can stockpile it, allowing you to quickly level up in the game by earning double XP from every crop!  There is a limit to how many items you can store unused in your Gift Box, but save for when a holiday or special event includes a large number of items that you need to store in the Gift Box temporarily, the chances are slim that you will hit that item limit.  That being the case, stockpiling bags of fertilizer is a good idea.

In addition to obtaining the Fertilize All from your mates farms, it can also be obtained by building a beehive and stocking it with a Queen Bee and Worker Bees on your farm. Each day you can harvest the hive, and each time that you do, there is a random chance for obtaining a Fertilize All bag, so that should be on your list of building projects as you work on improving your farm.

Orchards are The Source for Seedlings

-- Trees, Orchards, and You --

A new addition to the game is a building project called an "Orchard" that can hold 20 trees in a smaller, more compact area, and that allows you to conveniently harvest all 20 trees after two days time has passed regardless of the grow times for the trees individually.

That makes Orchards a blessing in Farmville for new farmers, not just because of the convenience of having all of the trees in a compact area when you do not have a large farm (though that is a convenience), but also because the filled Orchards have the potential to give you a special item called a Watering Can with each harvest, as well as a Seedling of one of the forms of the trees inside the Orchard.

Seedlings can also be obtained from your mates' feeds, and are one of the best ways to obtain the rarer trees that you do not have. Simply collect the Seedlings and Water Cans from feeds, and then "grow" them by placing a Seedling and applying 8 Water Cans to it, and you have a new tree for your farm.

About half-way through watering the Seedling you have the chance to share either a Seedling or Water Can with your mates, and you get that chance again when 3/4 of the way through. When you grow the tree at the end, you can also share one on your Feed, so this approach is a great way to both share resources and trees with your mates, and obtain plenty yourself from their feeds -- which is something to think about.

-- Understanding Wither --

All of the crops in FarmVille will wither if they are not harvested within a certain amount of time after they have fully matured.  The only exception to this is when the powers-that-be turn withering off, which they only do for special events or because of trouble with the servers so you cannot count on that happening often.

Once a plant withers you basically have two choices -- you can plow it under, eating the cost of what you spent to plant and grow it, and then replant the crop and try to be on time for your next login to harvest it -- or you can purchase an Unwither from the market and use that.  Actually there is a third choice -- but that only comes into play if you own an Unwither Ring, which alows you to unwither any withered crops for free pretty much forever...

What you need to understand is that all of the crops in FarmVille will wither in roughly 2.5 times their growing time.  For example a 12 hour crop will wither fully in 30 hours -- but that does not mean that if you get there before 30 hours have elapsed from the time that the plant was fully grown you are OK.  Not at all!

That 30 hour marker for a 12 hour crop is the point at which ALL of the crop has withered.  At 15 hours you can count on roughly half of the crop having withered, and so on, so if you show up at 28 hours, you can expect to see a rotting field with a handful of crops left to be harvested!

The process is easy to understand:  12 hours x 2.5 = 30 hours to full withering means you have 12 hours to grow fully, and then 12 hours of safety before the crops begin to wither and rot.  There is no point in taking chances though -- you know from when you planted the crop when it needs to be harvested, so if you cannot log in at that time, do not plant the crop!

-- More Advanced Strategies --

This pretty much concludes the basics -- the following chapters in the guide will look at more advanced strategies and tricks, and how to maximize your best results for special event and holiday play. But before we sign off on this first piece, a warning...

Farmville is possibly the most addictive game on Facebook. It can easily suck away hours of your life -- hours you can never get back!  We are not suggesting that you play the game, we are only giving you useful information if you choose to do so. The point to this? Just that moderation is a good thing, and if you have issues with obsessing and video games, perhaps a good game of chess would be a better choice for you?

Need some help with this game? Or can you help others?
Click below to go to our questions page to see all the questions already asked and ask your own.
More Farmville on

Comments for 06: Basic Farming

2 comments, latest first.
Nov 6th 2012 Guest
This doesn't make sense:

If you have 12 hours to grow and 12 hours of safety, you can harvest just before 24 hours and be ok. But the above says at hour 15, half will have withered. Which is it??
ID #205961
Sep 18th 2012 Guest
yes, chess would be a better choice for everyone
ID #187208