The Webkinz craze shows no signs of slowing down; parents are fighting over stuffed animals at stores, kids are clamoring for charms and trading cards and I’m getting emails from people at Neopets asking me if I’ve quit the site. Yes, I have no one but myself to blame for getting addicted to another website.
One of the coolest things to do at the Webkinz site is to plant a garden. Sure you can go with flowers, trees, bushes, and hedges but if you want something that is going to be worth the effort, go with the seed packets that are sold in the W Shop.
You can get watermelons, strawberries, carrots, cabbage, corn, tomatoes, and pumpkins to grow. Each item takes a different amount of time to produce food but this isn’t your usual food, it’s Farm Fresh and it is a lot better for your pet than the stuff you buy at the W Shop.
Each packet costs between 45 and 50 W (Webkinz cash currency); the watermelon and pumpkin packs are 45 and the others are 50. Each time you harvest the crop is automatically replanted so you don’t have to spend more points to grow another crop. I check my garden every day, harvest, weed, and occasionally water but it is Saturday that I reap my rewards and stroll on over to the W Shop to sell the items.
Harvested items can be fed to your pet, sent to a friend, used to make different types of foods, or sold. I went a little crazy and bought about 50 packets of various seeds to plant. Looking back I should have only bought a few each day and planted them, that way they wouldn’t all be ready to harvest at one time. When I sell the food I get anywhere from 6 to 10 W for them; the watermelons and pumpkins fetch the most.
What do you have to do to make sure your plants are in the “good growing” phase? Here is the step by step process. First, you have to have an outdoor plot. This costs 1,000 W so make sure you can afford it. The seeds, as I mentioned cost between 45 and 50W; there is no minimum or maximum you have to buy and you do not have to leave space between them in the garden so you could fill the entire plot in.
A word of warning on doing this, you have to leave a path through the garden if you are going to have something on the other side. Otherwise, your pet won’t be able to walk through it; you can use the map option to get in and out of the room if you do want to fill the whole thing up.
Once you have bought your seeds you have to figure out where you want to plant them. I have them randomly scattered but when I started adding them to the second yard I planted them in rows to see if it made any type of difference to how they need to be raked or how quickly they produce.
Once you plant the seeds you have to water them. Use the on screen toolbar to pick ‘water’ and you will see a watering can pop up. Hover the cursor over the plant and it will water it. You will want to check your garden at least once a day to water it, check the growth cycle and dig out any weeds.
On the toolbar there is an ‘inspect’ option; use this to check to see how your plants are doing. Most of the time you will be able to tell when they are ready to be harvested. I thought that the pumpkins and watermelons were ready when they looked to be full size in the garden but they needed an extra day before I could harvest them. The growth cycles vary each time but most of them require at least five days.
When you harvest something it tells you when you can expect it to be ready again. The corn was ten days but produced four ears of corn, the cabbage was nine days but gave me three heads. It’s a trade off; you do your part with watering and weeding and you get Farm Fresh produce.
On a side note, if you have a blender, sandwich maker or stove and use the various books and recipes to make cook concoctions, you can use the Farm Fresh produce in the recipes. I tried this out with one of the blender recipes that called for a pumpkin and was really happy that it worked. That means I can save some points by not having to buy them in the W shop and they give my pet a higher health rating.
Now, there are some faux plants that you can buy. These look almost identical to the ready-to-be-harvested plants in gardens but they do not produce. On the up side, they don’t require any watering or weeding. These are sold in the Outdoor section of the W Shop and the last time I checked, they were all under 100 W.
I bought some of these not knowing that they wouldn’t produce any vegetables. Usually Webkinz lists something like that on the description of it. The Giant Pumpkin Patch is 100 W, the regular Pumpkin Patch is only 50 W. On the cheap end of things, the Tomato Garden is only 25 W and the Sunflower is 50 W.
So far I have been having a complete blast with the site and tending to the garden a couple times a day. Annabelle likes to check the plants to see how they are growing and wants to buy yet another outside space so she can have her own play yard and plants. I got her a Webkinz stuffed animal and she flipped over it but she’s yet to pick out a name for it so we haven’t been able to add it to the website.
This portion of the site can be used to teach kids about how things grown, giving them a little bit of responsibility (plants won’t grow if they aren’t watered or there are weeds present) and letting them make the choice of what they want to do with them when they have harvested things.
I really have to commend the Webkinz site for being kid friendly, educational, and a lot of fun. Planting my little cyber garden with Annabelle was a lot of fun and visiting it every day to make sure everything is growing well is something that we both get a kick out of.