The Sims 3 Gardening Skill

This Sims 3 Guide was originally written for the PC and Mac versions of the game, but also will help owners of the console versions – PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Please remember some info or numbers may have changed.

See How Gardening Works in The Sims 4 (With Plant List.

The Sims 3 Gardening SkillThis guide has been updated with information for The Sims 3 Supernatural, which brings 11 new plants to the game in the form of bushes and mushrooms. These new plants are used primarily in the new Alchemy skill to make potions. To learn about all the new plants added in Supernatural, click here. Supernatural also brings a new alternate life state, the Fairy. They can use the powerful bloom power to make a plant grow to maturity or become harvestable. They also come with a hidden Green Thumb Trait, so essentially get six Traits.


The Sims 3 Gardening SkillThe Sims 3’s World Adventures expansion pack also brings some exciting additions to the gardening skill. There are now ten more plants that can be grown, and a new way to use fruit. Nectar making goes amazingly well with gardening. You can turn fruit into Nectar, which will age and grow in value over time. Read up on the Nectar Making skill to learn more. Of course the Plant List is updated to show the locations of the new plants along with their rarities and growth times.

This Guide will help newbies by providing a walkthrough for how to get started and learn Gardening in the Sims 3 and its Expansions. Information is provided for all aspects of this skill. I’ll show you how to grow perfect plants, by evolving your plants’ quality over several generations. I also provide a full plant list for the Sims 3, which can be useful for gardeners by helping them in finding the rare types they’ve never grown.

I’ll try to provide all the secrets I’ve learned about gardening to help your Sims make the most money and get the best plants from your crop. Tips for the importance of sprinklers and how they can help to save time, upgrading sprinklers with auto-water and general guidelines for how to lay out your gardens are also provided.

Your Sim doesn’t have to be a large-scale gardener to enjoy the benefits of the Gardening skill. Most Sims will want to someday grow and fish the ingredients for ambrosia. You can easily make a crop of only life plants. Fishermen will also appreciate a nice apple tree in the front yard. Packing an apple for lunch on a marathon day of fishing is a great idea. Used with the steel bladder lifetime reward, one little apple can really go a long way to helping your Sim stay out at the lake longer.

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I am striving to learn everything I can about this helpful and profitable Sims 3 skill. The guide has been updated over a dozen times so far, and has slowly evolved into an all-inclusive resource for gardening. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have readers submit tips through our Sims 3 forum, ask questions and deliver feedback to help me improve it. This is the first guide, of the four hundred or so articles about gaming I’ve written that I’ve nurtured and grown to this degree, so I hope I can someday bring it to a level of perfection that rivals my Sim’s garden!

Gardening Self Employment

With The Sims 3: Ambitions installed, gardeners can register self employed at the city hall after learning the first level of Gardening. Promotions depend on the amount earned gardening, and come with bonuses and the occasional trophy. Here’s the breakdown:

Sims 3 Gardening Self-Employment
Rank Name Earnings Req. Bonus
Cucumber Smasher 30
Dirt Digger 375
Clodhopper 500
Master Weeder 1000
Fertilizer Flinger 2500 500
Bushwhacker 7500
Seed Sower 15000 1500
Famed Farmer 30,000
Progeny of the Harvest 60,000 2500
Agricultural Mastermind 5000

Gardening Cheats

There are no cheats in the Sims 3 specific to gardening, but there are some that can be useful to you. First, you can cheat to raise the gardening skill by making your Sim never fatigue, you can then read skill books. See my guide to raising skills by cheating. There, you’ll find information on maximizing mood and needs. Additionally, you can cheat to get any plant in the game. Press Control + Shift + C to open the cheat console, and type testingcheatsenabled true then buydebug. Now enter buy mode and go to sort by function. Click the ? and find the plants section. You can plant any type of fruit, vegetable, or special variety in the game. Harvest just one and you can have your gardener plant them to produce more.

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Sprinklers will help a lot when gardening in the Sims 3. They’ll allow your Sim to have a larger garden, because one of the steps from tend garden, the watering, is taken care of for you, every morning beginning at four o’clock. Plant your crops around sprinklers to maximize efficiency. In the morning, or before your Sim does their daily gardening routine, click on each of your Sprinklers to water all the plants in your garden. Give them a few seconds, then switch them right back off.

How to use automatic sprinklers

The biggest tip I can give you for gardening is that you should try to get your handiness skill to at least level four so that you can make automatic sprinklers. You’ll find sprinklers under the outdoor activities tab. Once the sprinkler is placed, select it and try to upgrade. These sprinklers go off every morning and can water a small area.

How to Improve Sprinkler and General Gardening Efficiency

It’s best to keep your garden tight together at first so that one sprinkler will do. It’s also more efficient for your Sim to harvest when they can constantly be touching another plant without moving too much. Later, with certain abilities learned through the skill journal, you will have less weeds and your fertilizer can last longer. This also helps your garden to be more efficient.

Making Money Gardening

It takes a bit more work on your part to make money as a gardener than some other methods, but it’s very rewarding gameplay and simoleon-wise. Gardening is just behind painting for my favorite way to be self employed in the game. You can use some of your harvest to help with the cooking skill, while the rest can be sold to the supermarket or used with Nectar Making.

To boost your Sim’s money-making capacity from gardening, consider working toward making your entire garden perfect. You see, Sims can only spend so long gardening each day before they’re exhausted or otherwise interrupted. You want your Sim to spend their time tending better quality plants.

Also keep in mind that it really isn’t worth the time spent by your Sim or the resources consumed by fertilizing low cash-crops like lettuce and even death flowers. Why? Well, you will likely take a loss. Gardening can’t blossom as a money-maker if you’re fertilizing your Sim’s tomatoes with all those Vampire Fish you’ve caught. Use something cheaper, like garlic for these plants. After all, with green thumb, super green thumb, all gardening challenges completed, and level 10 in the gardening skill, your Sim will be pushing plants very close to, if not always perfect anyway. Save the good stuff like perfect life fruit and vampire fish for your money trees and other high value crops!

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The Best Plants to grow featuring Money Trees

Eventually the gardener’s ultimate wish should be for a crop of Money Trees, Life Fruit plants, Flame Fruit and perhaps fruits for use with Nectar Making. Money trees are the best money makers of all the plants, and life fruit is used as an excellent fertilizer, sells at a decent rate, and is used in the ambrosia cooking recipe. Likewise, Flame Fruit is used in Angel Food Cake, which gives a nice moodlet.

In short, gardening is a great skill, and becomes even more useful to Sims with Nectar Making from the World Adventures expansion pack. It is easily one of my favorite skills in The Sims 3 because of its depth and complexity.

To learn more about the entire process of Gardening in The Sims 3, and how it can be used to make money, Click here.

Our Sims Forum is the place to go for faster answers to questions and discussions about the game. Use the form below to share your own experiences and provide helpful tips to other readers.


Menhoset says…

19th August 2017 5:39am

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Menhoset says…

19th August 2017 5:38am

Playalot says…

15th January 2018 11:08pm

Idiot Playing Sims says…

20th March 2020 10:22pm

Playalot says…

8th February 2020 5:04pm

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