Disclaimer: All the information displayed here is gained from my experience when i was palying Final Fantasy XI,and i believe that it is useful to the guys who love MMO not only the Final Fantasy XI,but also MMOS.
Why Gardening: Well if you want to get elemental ore and you don’t want to buy it, this is the best way to get it. Granted there are some BCNMs and the like that you can do but this has a better success rate. Follow the steps in the guide and I am sure you will be getting 3 or more ores a harvest. But remember, you have to do it by the guide. Many a chance at getting elemental ore has failed due to an anxious gardener. You have to have patience.
What do I need: To maximize you ore output there ae a few things you will need.
Harvesting Gear: I find that using this helps when planting and looking at plants. But for some reason it decreases your chance of getting Ore if you wear it while actually harvesting the plants. With experiments that I have done I would get only an average of 1 less ore per group while wearing the gear. This was after 4 experiments with it on a couple mules. Could just be random but with a 600k gil item I will go with taking the gear off.
Mog Enhancement Gardening: Maple tables are the best since you can fit more of them in your house. Wth the added earth Energy and the Enhancement it is a great help at getting Ores. I have also had great success with putting several pieces of different furniture in my Mog House that give Gardening Enhancement. Seems to boost the effect if you have multiple items. This is something I am experimenting with. So far an average of 4 ores per harvest out of 6 total harvests. Maximum was 6 ores which has been noted from only one other person to have one that great. Needles to say I was happy. I continues to use this method. Items that give Gardening Enhancement are:
· Tarutaru Desk
· Maple Table
· Oak Table
· Water Cask
· Bastokan Tree
· Windurstian Tree
· San d'Orian Tree
· Scimitar Cactus
· Elshimo Palm
· Beverage Barrel
· Freshwater Aquarium
Arcane Flowerpot: To me this is optional. It takes about 2x as long to grow a seed but the result is 2x times the regular amount (i.e. Elemental Ores) But then again it might not be. So the decision is yours. Do you wait twice the time to risk dissappointment or do you just use all regular flowerpots. I have done both ways but the only time I got a yield of 6 ores was with the Arcane Flowerpot giving 2 ores. Recently I have been using regular pots. These are rare so you cannot get more than one per character.
When to plant?:
Planting time: Extremely Important. You have to make sure you plant at a time when you can harvest at a full moon on the corresponding day of the ore you are trying to get. It takes approximately 2-3 weeks for your plants to be ready for harvest. Time will vary with the amount of items you have with Gardening Enhancement. This enhancement makes it to where you plants can go longer without being checked on/feed/harvested. Hence it is important to plan the Harvesting time. Every person will vary slightly due to time of checks and when crystals are fed (Which will be explained) I have planted on full moons of the day corresponding with the element I am trying to get but find that doing that costs me to catch a full moon some of the time. What I do is Check out an online timer and see 17 days ahead to see when a full moon is closest and plant 17 days from the full moon on the elemental day. This has worked for me about 80% of the time. May not seem as reliable as some people may like but it works well for me.
When to examine: Examining the plant is a way to build Elemental Strength. But some time there is to much. (wear harvesting gear)
Moogles Response: There ae two things the Moogle will say after you examine a plant prior to buds blooming. They are “The plant is doing well” and “The plant is growing well”. These responses are important. This lets you know how the elemental strength in the plant is doing. If you get a “Growing well” Message you are on the right track. If you get a “Doing well” message theres is something you need to do. I’ll explain what later.
Initial Examination: The initial Examination should be done on the day of your element. (i.e. Firesday for Fire Ore) Annotate your results per pot and keep track of them from here on out. You should check a plant on the same day twice in a row to get a good thought of the Elemental strength in the plant. If you get a “Growing Well” message, continue to examine on the same day as you have been (i.e. if you inspected on firesday and got the “Growing well” message, examine next firesday)
If the plant starts out with a “Doing well” Message. Continue to check on the same elemental day (i.e. Fire for Fire ore) to build up the elemental strength. But If it goes from a “Growing Well” to a “Doing well” you have to much elemental strength. In this case you will have to check on the day the element is weak to (ie fire__water) This will tune down the elemental strength of the Crystal. Do this for one check and on the next inspection check on the elemental day (i.e. Fire__Water__Fire) anc continue to until you get a “Growing Well” Message again. Following this pattern is hard to keep track of but it pays off.
When bud are present: Moggle changes his responses when flowers bloom. He will sa either “Flowers are blooming” or Beautiful Flowers are Blooming” When he says Beautiful, it means good. If he does not say beautiful, Than refer to the same techniques as stated above to get the elemental strength back
Feeding Times: You should always feed on the day of the elemental ore you are trying to get. Plain and simple. This will add elemental strength to the plant so you next checks may need adjusting. Do not check your plants after feeding. I find this lessens the chance of getting ores.
Harvest time: Anxious as you may be wait for the right time!!!
Harvesting: This is the most exciting time for a Gardener. Also the time when most fail. You have to wait for that full moon or elemental day. If by chance you did not get a full moon timed properly, do not despair. You know they are ready to harvest when your plants start to glow. I find that there are different glowrates as well as do several other people. The one I find to be the best is when the plant is pulsing with light and several sprinkles are falling from the bud. This to me is the best time for a harvest. It may be hard to determine what it looks like but with time you will get the hang of it. I also find that if there was a weak plant (Low elemental strength per you log) to examine one More elemental day harvest in 1 game week, even if it means missing a full moon. An anxious gardener is a broke gardener.
Distant Gardening: (THIS IS THEORY TO ME) Some people believe that harvesting from another country helps your yield. I have not had any conclusive data that supports this, but they yields were still regular ones so if need be you can do so.
Ore Recipes: Tried them from pikkos pots & FFXI somepage.
Fire Ore: Porcelain/Brass__ Fire __Fire
Earth Ore: Earthen/Wooden__ Earth__ Earth
Wind Ore: Brass/Porcelain__ Wind__ Wind
Water Ore: Porcelain__ Water__Water
Ice Ore: Porcelain__ Ice__ Ice
Lightning Ore: Ceramic/Porcelain__ Lightning __ Lightning
Light Ore: Wooden__Light__Light
Dark Ore: Any pot__ Dark Crystal__Dark Crystal