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Mistakes to avoid[edit]

There are ways to screw up in Stardew Valley. Most of them are fairly easy to avoid, but some are less obvious than others.

Don’t plant seeds that don’t have time to grow.
Plants die at the end of each season. Not all of them - Coffee is a spring-and-summer plant; Corn and Wheat are summer-and-fall plants. But most of them. So plant your recurring harvest seeds (e.g. blueberries and cranberries as early in the season as you can, and keep an eye on the date once you’ve passed the middle of the season. If your packet says 13 days - that really means 13 nights; you can plant Melons on the 15th of Summer but not the 16th. If you’ve invested in seeds when it’s just slightly too late, you may be able to save the situation with some Speed-Gro fertilizer (must be added before planting). Or you might have to stow the seeds in a chest until next year. But if you put them in the ground when they’re out of time to grow - that’s money wasted.
Don’t plant seeds you don't have energy to water.
Especially in the beginning, you will regret overplanting since there are other fun things to do. The recommended first day field size is 15 crops (Crow risk starts at 16).
Don’t forget to water your plants.
They won't die. But they won't grow either.
Don’t stay out too late.
In your first visits to the mines you’ll want to be leaving around 10 or 11pm. Staying out of bed past midnight will mean you have less energy the next day; staying up until 2am will mean you collapse, and if you’re not in your own farmhouse at that point, it’ll cost you 10% of your gold up to a maximum charge of 1000gp. Not all routes home take the same amount of time, but 2 hours will get you home from pretty much anywhere.
Don’t work until you collapse from exhaustion.
It’ll cost you, same as staying up until 2am. If you get the exhaustion warning, see if you’ve got some food you can eat - in your first spring, salmonberries and spring onions will rebuild your energy, and they sell for so little you’re better off keeping them for energy. If you don’t have food, leave the task - whatever it is, it won’t help you to collapse without finishing it - and perhaps you can go foraging instead. Or just go to bed. After 3 Summer Year 1 you can go soak in the spa to rebuild energy.
Don’t let the mine monsters kill you.
Well, it’s not really death, you lose items, money, access to levels in the mines, and you wake up with little health. It’s still a quite palpable setback. Although the game features a Potion of Life for rebuilding your health bar, you don’t need it - any old food will refill both your health and your energy bar. So take a stack of something cheap and plentiful, and eat it. In the shallow mines it’s usually energy that’s your problem, but in the deeper mines you want to keep your health bar full at all times.
Don’t let expensive stuff sit idle.
When you build a barn or a coop, you’ll have to visit Marnie to buy some animals. So do that. Don’t scrape for ages to get a barn big enough for 12 pigs - buy cows in the meantime. Happy animals can actually be sold for a small profit. If you have kegs and your expensive fruit won’t be ready for a few days, see if you can chuck in something quick like honey, hops or wheat. Not that kegs are particularly expensive.
Don’t buy cosmetic items in your first year.
2000-4000 gp is a lot for a Rarecrow, when you can just make a normal Scarecrow from the weeds and scrap on your farm. Leave it until the money is of cosmetic significance to you. Opportunities to collect the Rarecrows will recur.
Don’t sell seeds you just bought…
…or buy produce you just sold. Dreadful waste of money. Not that small amounts will set you back very much. Like many games, the storekeepers believe in Profit.
Don’t sell stuff you still need.
It’s hard to buy back produce you just sold - Pierre won’t add it to his stock unless there’s a lot of it - so take care when selling directly to him; one click and it’s gone! Also be careful before putting stuff in the shipping crate. At least the shipping crate will let you retrieve the last item you put in.