In a dying world like Filgaia, one can expect that it is hard to find good places to grow life-sustaining crops. The situation is in fact so bad that the game's healing item (the Heal Berry) is not sold anywhere in the game aside from the Black Market. This requires the player to be very careful and very stingy with his supply of Berries, using them only when absolutely necessary.
But what if there was a place where we could grow these berries, along with the other curative vegetables and plants found throughout the game?
Fairly early into the game, you will be able to meet up with Florina at The Secret Garden. Take your horses to the area north of Midland Station and leap the chasm, then search around for The Secret Garden. Florina tells you that the soil here is dying due to an evil presence nearby (she also gives you 10 Heal Berries). Head to the Decaying Labyrinth dungeon and complete it (click HERE for a walkthrough of the dungeon), then talk to Florina again. You will now be able to garden; meaning, you will be able to plant various healing items here, and eventually harvest more.
Gardening is a little tricky to get the hang of, so let's start from the top. You can garden the following 8 items: Heal Berry, Potion Berry, Mega Berry, Revive Fruit, Holy Root, Tiny Flower, Mini Carrot, Full Carrot.
To begin, talk to Florina and choose "Gardening". You will see a screen with 8 boxes and some options. The boxes are flower beds; one for each item. To begin gardening with a specific item, first you must do the following:
Once you have completed this, you have basically began a "breeding ground" for that item that will stay for the entire game. Now that you have "sowed" the item, you can select "Breeding" from the options. Here, you can select an item from the 8 available types and sacrifice one of the ones currently in your possession to "breed" with the seedling of the same type. This increases the harvesting ratio of that particular seedling by 1%. The ratio will be explained later.
To actually obtain more items, select Harvest. However, you will need to let some time pass first to allow the plants to grow. The plants grow by a hidden in-game timer called the Counter Point System. Basically, that means each plant type has a certain amount of Counter Points that it must accumulate before you will obtain one of that item. Here are the amounts of Counter Points needed to grow one of each item:
And here is how Counter Points are accumulated.
Understand? This basically means that, for example, we want a Heal Berry to grow. We would have to gain 25 Counter Points (the Counter Point cost for a Heal Berry) for one to grow, then come back and harvest to get it. We could get these points by staying at the Inn once, then talking to people 5 times, or fighting 5 battles, or whatever your fancy. The best and absolute fastest way to do this is to stay at Gallows' room in Baskar Village over and over again.
Now you may be thinking that this sounds too good to be true. It is, unfortunately. You see, certain plants like Full Carrots and Tiny Flowers are harder to grow than Heal Berries and other low-level items. Each of the 8 gardening items has a Harvest Ratio that they begin with, and this ratio determines the probability that an item will grow after the seedling of its type reaches the needed Counter Point total. Here are the Harvesting Ratios for each item:
Meaning, for example, for every 100 Counter Points we rack up, we have a 10% chance of growing a Full Carrot for use.
Eep. Yes, I know that some of them are very low. The only way to get these numbers up is to Breed with the corresponding items in your inventory. You will also have to Harvest items that you grow, and then breed them back to the seedling to get the precentages up to respectable numbers. It should be very easy to do this for Heal Berries and Revive Fruits, but some items such as Tiny Flowers and Full Carrots are so rare in-game that you will have to invest a lot of time into gardening, constantly staying at the Baskar Inn, then checking up on your crops so that you can harvest.
Now, you may be asking yourself the inevitable question: "Why bother gardening?". Well, here are some very good reasons;
Q: Do you have any tips for gardening? Anything to make it easier?
Yes. The best way to garden the items is to sow relatively early in the game; as soon as you get one of the item, take it to the garden and sow it. That way, you should be off to a good start. Once you reach the end of the game, breed everything you have to get the ratios up, then stay at the Baskar Village inn (Gallows' house). You will awaken close to the bed, so you can easily move back down to the bed and rest again. This passes Counter Points quickly. Repeat this until you've earned about 500 or so points (25 stays at the inn), then head for the garden and harvest what you can. Breed what you harvest to get the ratios up, then repeat the Counter Point strategy, staying at the Inn.
Of course, this is very dull and takes a very long time. So I recommend you do something else while you rest at the Inn over and over again. Read a book, browse the Internet and chat, look at my other shrines (*plug*), whatever your fancy, just make sure that you can keep track of how many times you have rested at the Inn, and that you can play the game and do something else at the same time. If you have a TV with picture-in-picture, or PIP, set the game to one picture (the small one), and put your favourite TV show or movie on the big screen and simply play the game on the small screen while watching whatever you like. This works very well.
Also, remember that once you're done with a easy to max-out crop like the Heal Berry, you can sow a "duplicate" seed in its place, such as another Full Carrot! This way, you'll have a whatever % chance of getting an item from both flower beds! So, if you have 8 flower beds dedicated to Full Carrot production, you have a whatever % chance of getting a Full Carrot every 100 Counter Points for each bed!
Gardening is hard work, but it pays off in the end, and as you garden more, it gets easier and easier. Just keep at it, and you will be richly rewarded.