Getting started in Stardew Valley can be overwhelming, no matter how many times you’ve done it before. Being presented with a derelict farm in desperate need of some TLC and a lot of weeding isn’t a job for the faint-hearted.
As any relaxing farming sim would, you immediately get thrown into the deep end. No matter how many times I start a new farm and sit back to enjoy the introductory cutscene, I dive right in as soon as Mayor Lewis and Robin say their farewells.
I always lose my patience at how long it takes to water crops when starting a new farm. It’s tedious and time-consuming, and when the energy bar is rapidly depleting, I feel like I’ve wasted a day hunched over a field of turnips.
Finding a way to lose the responsibility of catering for my main money-maker and just harvesting when ready is the key to smooth sailing in Stardew Valley.
This is where I cannot preach the importance of sprinklers enough. As soon as I unlocked the recipe for the basic sprinkler, I made sure my farm was covered head to toe in them. Or, mountain to sea at least. Not having to worry about getting watering out of the way before you can start your day, or praying for the next rainy day in peak summer, is such a relief.
Plus, when your farm starts to develop, and you’re planting hundreds of crops for a rich harvest shortly – the last thing you want to do is pour all your energy into caring for them.
Why Should You Bother to Use Them?
If you don’t want to worry about watering crops individually every day, setting up an efficient sprinkler system on your farm is my biggest recommendation. There are three different types of sprinklers you can either craft or receive as a reward for completing community center bundles.
Depending on your farming level results in which recipes you will have access to. But as you progress through a year, it’s essential to litter your farm with these super handy tools.
Essentially they are just a tool to make your life easier. They certainly did for me, and having to worry about watering crops was pushed to the back of my mind. Especially as you dive deeper into the lore of Pelican Town and realize there is more than just your farmyard to consider.
I’ve been playing Stardew Valley for years now, so I have poured hours into different farms. So if anyone knows the first-hand frustration of starting a new farm and having to go around masses of crops one by one, watering each individual square until I muster up the gold and resources to upgrade my watering can, it would be me.
I cannot express enough how freeing using sprinklers as soon as you can actually is. Sure it may seem a little inconvenient to be using so much ore on four squares of watered ground, but I found it to be the most efficient in increasing your farming level while also working on other projects. Rather than wasting my energy watering my crops by hand, I spent more time fishing or mining – especially in my first year.
Harvesting crops when they’re ready feels more like a nice treat than a frustrating grind. Plus, you’ll get a little benefit from increasing your farming level. Which eventually will lead to unlocking more crafting recipes, including two more efficient sprinklers.
The first sprinkler you receive is the most basic of its kind, and when you’re a few years into the title, it’s probably the one you find a ridiculous amount of lying around. I definitely have a single chest hidden somewhere on my farm filled with these sprinklers.
They’re fantastic when you’re just starting out and can only afford a handful of cauliflower seeds. Still, you’ll probably abandon their loyalties like me once you get that taste of freedom with an iridium sprinkler.
Once you have reached a farming level of at least two, you’ll receive the recipe to craft a basic sprinkler. The ingredients to craft the sprinkler are:
- 1 x copper bar
- 1 x silver bar
These sprinklers will water four squares adjacent to their placement every morning. These squares need to be lined up with the four points of the sprinkler rather than freehanding the sequence. Or it’ll result in some sad, dehydrated crops. Setting up a handful of these in a designated farming corner honestly saved me in my first year of playing. It felt like a steady source of income, especially if I had one crop which consistently produced a harvest per season.
So green beans in spring, blueberries in summer, corn in fall, and then I gave them a well-deserved break in winter. Basic sprinklers are reliable and can also be a suitable gap filler for any empty spaces in your farmyard.
Once you’ve utilized basic sprinklers and find yourself harvesting crops for in-game hours, you’ll hit farming level 6. Quality sprinklers will become your best friend, doubling the number of crops a basic sprinkler would cover. To craft a hoard of your own, they’re a little more expensive in terms of materials. To create a quality sprinkler, you will need:
- 1x iron bar
- 1 x gold bar
- 1x refined quartz.
They are capable of watering eight adjacent tiles each morning. So rather than tactically placing four squares, a complete loop around the sprinkler will now result in well-watered crops. If you don’t want to craft your own, you receive a quality sprinkler for completing the Summer Crops Bundle, or if you’re playing with remixed bundles, the Garden Bundle.
Occasionally, the traveling cart will stock a few quality sprinklers for sale, costing between 1’300 g and 2’250 g. However, I wouldn’t advise buying them from the traveling cart because of the price.
Sure it’s super convenient, and it could save you some severe mining. But once you can access the skull cavern, you’ll have materials for quality sprinklers pouring out of your ears. By my third year, I had more refined quartz than I knew what to do with. The other materials (gold and iron) also become rapidly accessible the further you dive into pelican town.
The last sprinkler you can unlock is the iridium version. Now, these babies are essential for any avid farmer. It’s a guaranteed bountiful harvest if you have a couple of these bad boys set up somewhere on your farm since they water twenty-four adjacent squares each morning.
But with great power comes a hefty charge. In this case, it’s a level 9 in farming to unlock the crafting recipe, which seems a little expensive in terms of materials too. To craft an iridium sprinkler, it’ll set you back:
- 1x Gold bar
- 1 x Battery pack
- 1 x Iridium bar (hence the name)
Should you not want to waste materials, if you have obtained the Rusty Key and met Krobus, he sells one iridium sprinkler every Friday. But it’s by no means cheap. For 10’000g, you can take home one of your own, but for that price, it’s frankly cheaper to just devote a week or so to grinding for the materials.
It took me a while to be able to carelessly craft iridium anything, let alone sprinklers. I only have a handful of them scattered across my farm. But they are such a savior when it comes to farming.
If you’re going for a little more coverage, it may be time to look into a sprinkler upgrade. While an iridium sprinkler is the last craftable item, there are two attachments that you can purchase later on in the game.
Upgrades are placed onto existing placed sprinklers rather than creating a new sprinkler as a whole. When you decide to move a sprinkler, the upgrade will come off as a separate piece – so make sure you have two open inventory slots!
These attachments are only available once you have reached Ginger Island and collected 100 golden walnuts, so they aren’t something you can easily access really. I’d argue that finding 100 golden walnuts is harder than harvesting iridium, which says something.
But if you’re really keen on gaining access to Qi’s walnut room, then sprinkler upgrades are in your hands. Costing 20 Qi Gems each (which can be obtained by completing tasks on Ginger Island), you can get your mitts on a set of four of your preferred attachments.
If you’re searching to cover more surface area with your morning watering, then the pressure nozzle is the upgrade you’ll want to aim for. Adding a pressure nozzle to any sprinkler will increase the watering range by one tile. So, it will increase the square surrounding a sprinkler as follows;
- A sprinklers watering field will increase to a 3 x 3 square or eight adjacent squares
- A quality sprinklers watering range will grow to a 5 x 5 square or twenty-four adjacent squares
- An iridium sprinklers watering range will increase to a 7 x 7 square or forty-eight adjacent squares
It’s worth noting that an iridium sprinkler with a pressure nozzle attached will cover every single square barre ONE in the greenhouse. So if you’re looking to optimize that space, it might be worth suiting up your iridium sprinkler in the middle of it to maximize its output.
The enricher attachment works a little differently from the pressure nozzle, and rather than dispensing water, it’ll cast fertilizer in its adjacent squares and water them. I got struck by a few quests and bundles relying on harvesting quality crops, where this fertilizer dispenser definitely would’ve come in really handy.
I am SO forgetful when it comes to fertilizer. In fact, there’s a chest dedicated to it in my farming corner, and it’s full of new boxes. I’m a little embarrassed to share how forgetful I am, even when I get so frustrated at silver star crops when I’m going for gold.
But if you’re like me and forget to add fertilizer to tilled soil, the enricher dispenses fertilizers into the ground where seeds are already planted. Six out of ten fertilizers are suitable to use with an enricher, enhancing either growth speed or the quality of your crops. These fertilizers are as follows:
- Basic fertilizer (improves soil quality a little)
- Quality fertilizer (enhances soil quality and the chances of growing high-quality crops)
- Speed-Gro (increases growth rate by 10% and is my favorite when I forget crops for bundles!)
- Deluxe Speed-Gro (increases growth rate by 25%)
- Deluxe fertilizer (massively improves the soil quality for higher quality crops)
- Hyper Speed-Gro (increases growth rate by at least 30%)
Many other fertilizers make crops retain water, but I hardly see how this would be useful if it’s attached to a sprinkler! I always rely so heavily on speed-gro when it’s coming to the end of a season, and I’ve fallen short on a community center bundle. Having a couple boxes lying around is one of my top tips because I ALWAYS need it when I least expect it.
Stardew Valley Sprinkler Layout Guide: FAQs
Question: Is there a Limit to how many Sprinklers I can have on My Farm?
Answer: There is no limit to how many sprinklers you can have on your farm. You can have a bountiful harvest every season. So it’s crucial to ensure no space is wasted!
Question: Can I Use Sprinklers in My Greenhouse?
Answer: Yep! Sprinklers function the same way in a greenhouse as they would outside. They can even be placed on the wooden beams surrounding the central soil to make sure you’re covering every possible square.
Question: How do You Move a Sprinkler Once it’s Placed?
Answer: I am constantly misplacing sprinklers when planning out my crop layout for the season. Luckily, one swipe of a pickaxe lifts the sprinkler back into your inventory. So don’t fret if you’re like me and always fumble over where you want the sprinkler to land!
Stardew Valley Sprinkler Layout Guide Summary
So, farming never seemed so easy, right? I hope you’re ready to set up an intricate sprinkler system across your whole farm to maximize sales every season. Plus, I always feel like Pierre has a soft spot for my farmer after how much gold I spend on seeds every few days.
I can’t express how handy it is to have a network of crop-watering mechanics on the days when you just have too much to do. Sprinklers are one of the many pleasures Stardew Valley offers the struggling farmer.