This post is rated O for Optimization. This post contains scenes of min/maxing and optimization that are not suitable for all audiences. This post also contains gratuitous and explicit scenes depicting math, calculations, and formulae. Viewer discretion is advised.
As with any guide on optimization, I would like to caveat that while this is a fairly optimized display, that does not give it any inherent superiority to any other layout, save from a gold per day perspective. Also, there may be some minor tweaks that can be done to this layout to eek out a bit of extra cash, but I find this layout to be the most practical optimal layout that I've come up with, hence the title of 'fairly optimal' instead of 'most optimized'.
Also, the optimized layout shown below is functional on the PC, but may not be as functional on Mobile or Console versions of the game, depending on how your particular version handles diagonal corners.
Pleased to meet you
With that out of the way, let's get down to business, shall we? Now, the Greenhouse unlocks when you complete the Kitchen bundles, and generally speaking the earliest for this to occur is your first Fall, barring either Joja Route to purchase it earlier or certain highly optimized (or very lucky) strats that go beyond the scope of this guide. However, you only get one Greenhouse, with strictly limited real estate within it. You can, for example, put Crystallariums anywhere that townsfolk don't walk, with the bus tunnel and quarry being favorite locations, however the primary advantage of the Greenhouse is that it is always the optimal season for any crop within, and with this in mind I set about how to maximize the utility of this trait for profits.
The simple Solution
The first layout I'll discuss is a fairly simple one... 116 Ancient Fruit with 6x Iridium Sprinklers. This is a no-frills least effort for your money solution for the farmer who wants to enjoy the finer things in life, and actually have enough time in his day to do so. And all you need is a single seed to get the ball rolling. If you want this to happen much faster, use Deluxe Speed Gro to reduce the initial growth time by a full week. If you are *really* concerned about maximizing how fast the greenhouse fills up, you can also use the statue in the Sewer to swap your Artisan perk (which, let's be honest here... if you're at all remotely concerned about profits, this is your only realistic option) to the Agriculturalist perk for a further reduction in iteration time.
Your first seed goes down. At this point, you can utilize the rest of your greenhouse however you like, many people enjoy using Starfruit, some like to plant some Beets for a... certain quest... that requires them. The choice is yours. After your Ancient Fruit fully grows and produces its first fruit, it will then produce one fruit per week thereafter. These fruits go into a Seed Maker for 1-3 additional seeds, with an average of 2 seeds per fruit, give or take (which is the number we'll be using in our calculations). Therefore, we will experience a geometric progression of ancient fruit planted. With Agriculturalist and Deluxe Speed grow, I've been able to fill my greenhouse in as little as a month (although I started with multiple seeds, as I got one in my first mining dive in Spring, and grew it throughout my first year, starting with several fruits by the time my greenhouse unlocked), but even at the slowest rate, it shouldn't take you more than 2-3 seasons to fully fill your greenhouse.
Combine this with either two sheds or one big shed full of Kegs for brewing, 116 in total, and you have a total of 116 Ancient Wine produced per week, once fully in production. At 2,310g/ea, that gives you a weekly income of 267,960g or a seasonal income of 1,071,840g. This also only requires one day per week in maintenance and work, harvesting the crops, collecting last week's wine, and starting the new fruit brewing, meaning it can fit in even the most casual gamer's playstyle, if you so decide. If anything, this lets you plant whatever you'd like in your gardens outside while still bringing in over a million per season in profits, reducing the stress of worrying about the aesthetics of your farm. Unless you wish to use your greenhouse for other purposes, of course.
As an extra bonus, you can plant fruit trees around the perimeter if your greenhouse for some extra cash, or just some extra decoration if you prefer.
So, why not Starfruit? Starfruit wine is the single most expensive item in the game, after all. And you're not wrong about that. However, there's a couple of problems with Starfruit. First, it isn't a multi-harvest crop, and as such will inevitably fall behind multi-harvest crops as crops will never expire in the greenhouse, meaning you don't have to pay every time to replant them. And second, it takes longer for starfruit to grow than Ancient Fruit. In the short term? Absolutely, while you still only have a couple of Ancient Fruit, you can fill the rest of your greenhouse with Starfruit, either for tempting Junimos to live in your farm to be your
As stated previously, Ancient Fruit has a weekly yield of 2,130g, which brings daily profits to 330g/day. Starfruit, on the other hand, takes two weeks to grow and yields 3,150g/ea. But we also have to subtract the seed cost from the gross to find our net profit per unit, so 3150-400= 2,750, which brings the daily profits down to 196 and change per day. Even if you use Deluxe Speed Gro and a 10 day cycle, you're still only looking at 275/day, compared to Ancient Fruit's 330g/day. So while it's not bad, it's also not competitive in the face of Ancient Fruit.
The more complex solution
All right, this is what you came here for, isn't it? So, this is going to be a slightly more complex setup, and furthermore is going to require daily tending to keep up with. However, the upside is over a 50% increase in profits per week! As a result, instead of trying to explain how to set it up, let's use an image instead. The stumps are fruit trees, the rest should be fairly self-explanatory.
Ancient Fruit is pretty awesome in the greenhouse, a steady producer of 330g/day. But there's a few contenders out there who produce even more daily profits, although they come with some terms and conditions.
Hops, for example, produces daily, and Hops are brewed into Pale Ale which sells (assuming Artisan) for 420g! The downside is, of course, that Hops are a trellis crop, meaning you'll still have to have some spaces between them to reach them all.
Another unlikely contender for highest profit per square per day is peach and pomegranate trees. The main drawback of fruit trees is that they are only 'in season' for one season out of the year, which is pretty disappointing for those who wish to make money from them. However, in the Greenhouse, this drawback is entirely negated, and all fruit trees blossom daily and indefinitely, making them a far more attractive proposition from a cash perspective. Peaches and pomegranates cost the same, so you can use either for these calculations. Peach/Pomegranate Preserves sell for 461g/ea, and they produce daily. Already, we've beaten Hops. If we go all the way to wine, however, we get 588g/day! However, there's a couple of severe limitations to that amazing theoretical number. First off, fruit trees need to be spaced out so they have two spaces between them, giving a sharp upper limit on how many can be planted within the confines of the Greenhouse, and then there's production times. Preserves take 2-3 days, brewing into Wine takes a full week. But these trees produce daily, so for each fruit tree you plant, you need 2-3 preserves jars or 7 kegs. Yeouch. With the layout I'm about to show you, with 30 trees, that's going to be 60-90 preserves jars or a stunning 210 kegs. Granted, the advantage is they don't have to be IN the greenhouse, they can go in Big Sheds or simply littered about your Quarry or anywhere else people don't walk, but that's still a LOT of production infrastructure. Therefore, I suggest at least starting out with Preserves Jars, since you've likely already built a few for summer Blueberries and fall Cranberries or Pumpkins.
The other problem with fruit trees is that they *cannot* have anything adjacent to them, or they won't grow. This was slightly changed in 1.4, wherein flooring wouldn't halt their growth, but sprinklers and other crops most certainly will. Of course, it won't stop their production of fruit after they are fully grown, but it does mean delaying the rest of the greenhouse a full season to let your trees grow before planting everything else.
So how much more profitable is it exactly? Well, let's Do The Math on that!
This layout has 30 Fruit Trees, 74 Hops, and 30 Ancient Fruit. Assuming you use Preserves Jars for your Fruit Trees, you're looking at (30*461)+(74*420)+(30*330) = 54,810g/day. That's 383,670g/wk or 1,534,680g/season.
However, to support this throughput, you will need some infrastructure. In total, you will need 144 Kegs to support your Hops, and you'll need another 30 for your Ancient Fruit. Then you'll need 60-90 Preserves Jars for your fruit. So you are looking at a minimum of 3 Big Sheds to keep up with production.
If, however, you decide to switch to Peach/Pomegranate Wine, you'll be getting 58,620g/day, which is 410,340g/week or 1,641,360g/season. BUT it'll cost ya. You'll need 144 kegs for hops, 30 for ancient fruit, then a total of 210 for your fruit, bringing your total to a staggering 384 Kegs total. That'll be a solid 4 Big Sheds to house all that.
Also of note, because you only have 30 Ancient Fruit, you can age it all in your Cellar with 120 Casks (which should just barely fit without needing to remove any) to gold-star quality, netting an extra 50% from that portion of your income, pushing it still further until it approaches (but doesn't reach) the two million mark for seasonal income.
The Greenhouse is the path to post-resource scarcity. Or at least no longer needing to worry about monetary concerns. Even with nothing but ancient fruit, you'll be able to get your Staff of Traveling in a half a year, just from the profits of your Greenhouse alone, and that setup is just about as hands-off as it can possibly be, with only a one day work-week. But with a bit more micromanagement, you can push those profits even higher, and achieve annual revenues of over six million, just from your greenhouse alone.
Ultimately, how you set up your greenhouse is up to you. But if money is a concern... this layout is certainly a top contender.