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Timer slow-down?

Gardening Info no longer blocks view

March 13, 2017

I’ve seen signs during the last several Double Garden Reward events that KI is slowing down the timers and this time feels more like it than ever.

I planted Couch Potatoes and Evil Magma Peas on Wednesday, early in the evening.  Normally both of those — with all likes — would have been at elder harvest Saturday.  Not only did they not make it but for most of them the progress bar didn’t move from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.  I even made time to check in this morning before the event got taken down and none of the Couch Potatoes made it to elder harvest.

A bunch of the CPs are close but didn’t make it and another batch is only about 3/4 complete.  Some of the EMPs finally made it by late Sunday night and the rest by this morning but that’s 1 to 1-1/2 days longer than usual.  And the CPs are at 2 days longer than usual and counting.

I’ve seen some comments on a Facebook group I’m in about the timers seeming to have slowed down at the last event and have run into people in the game who seem to be experiencing this slow-down too.  What’s your experience?  Do you think KI is slowing down the growth of plants during these events?

I’m finding the safest way to be assured of double elder harvests on crops you want is to get them there when there’s not a double rewards event happening and just leave them sitting at elder until one starts.  That way you’re assured of one double elder harvest.  After that it’s getting to be a crap shoot whether you can get any sort of plant–no matter how short the growing cycle–from seed to elder harvest while one of these events is happening.

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The view up here…

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I finally decided to try putting “likes” for plants in the air above them instead of nearby.  It’s just one of those fussy things people do that I haven’t had the patience or desire to do.  But I’ve been rotating crops more than I used to and I’ve gotten a bit tired of moving the “like” items around…

To accomplish it I stacked three crates right up next to the garden and then three more crates right behind.  I “stuck” a Large Watcher rug to a Tatami Mat (both available at Bazaar) and put the mat on top of the back stack of crates .  You have to have two sets of crates and place on the back one as the rugs will not stay if you just have one crate or one stack and for some reason they need to have another crate or stack of crates in front.  In the future I think I’m going to see if I can get four crates up, to leave the stuff a little higher.

I kind of dig it* so far but, for the moment, I’m having a funny side effect.  I’ve been leaving the rugs in place up there while I think through the plants that fit in the size of plots in each patch; I don’t want to take the rugs away until I get every like I might need up there.

With the rugs there, I run into the glitch that sends your character up to the top layer if you move into a layered patch.  Those patches have been planted and for some reason the plants ready for harvest don’t get picked up up there.  Man has it been a challenge to harvest all the plants.   I’m constantly hopping up and down off the rug and having to squeeze as close to the patch as I can on every side and every corner…  If I squeeze too close, up I go again…

When you have all the likes you want on the rug you can move away the crate the rugs are stuck on and then the other crates and the likes will stay up there floating; once the rug is gone, the leaping to the top phenomenon goes away.  And BTW, while the rug is there, if you’re looking up from the ground you can see the likes but not the rug — don’t know why…  But in the picture of the crates up there, the rug is actually in place even though you can’t see it and then you can see it under her when she hops to the top.

The views up there are quite fun!


*For those of you under something like 55 or 60, “dig it” dates me as an old hippie!

 

Mysterious timing: membership and Pink Dandelions

One PD on its own schedule

One PD on its own schedule

September 17, 2016  Well, today is the final day of my month of membership on the third account.  For events in the spiral, if they say it ends on September 17th, you have until the end of the day to do whatever it is [in fact they usually don’t actually turn events off until the next morning].  But it’s 6 p.m. and I just logged in so Alura N. could do the final dungeons of Celestia and my membership is already gone.

That’s better than it’s been on some other occasions when, for instance, my membership disappeared by 8 p.m. on the day BEFORE my expiration day.  I don’t practice law any more because I loathe it but for someone who likes to fight, if this occurs at the ends of most people’s memberships — losing your membership somewhere from hours to a day or more before it’s supposed to end — I’d say there’s a nice class action suit there.  Just sayin’.  Personally not interested.  But I’m surprised KI isn’t more careful about this programming.

Meanwhile I decided to see what’s going on with Pink Dandelions.  I’ve mentioned several times lately that for the last couple of Double Garden events I suddenly couldn’t get PDs to elder harvest in the time of the event.  The first couple of times it happened I then planted some PDs again and the time seemed to shorten if there was no double event.  This time, I planted PDs for several wizards within about a half hour period last Saturday evening–a day after the most recent event ended.

PDs are now just taking several days longer to reach elder harvest than previously with all likes on them.  But these kind-of varied even though all had all the same likes and were planted so close in time.  A couple of patches finished yesterday (6 days) and most of the rest finished today (7 days).  With the odd quirk shown in the photo above:  even though all  Savannah’s PDs were cared for with medium area spells covering the whole patch and all were reading all six likes (Red Barn Farm, pixie, blue ball of yarn, potted cattail, garden gnome, snapdragon), one PD is not at elder harvest…

I have no idea why PDs have been reprogrammed to take days longer than they used to, but this is at least the third round of them to take 6-7 days instead of 4-5.  So if you want a double elder harvest of PDs you need to plant them well before another event; since they hold them randomly, I’m getting stuff planted and through to elder harvest for a couple of wizards at time over the next few weeks.  Then I’ll wait to collect the elder harvests the next time there’s a Double Rewards occasion.

Now I’ve got a few free hours I won’t be spending on finishing Celestia; I’m thinking I’ll just take a pass on the game since I’m a little ticked at losing my membership early again and do something more productive instead 🙂

Birthday Wrap-up

crafted furniture telegraph box recipes

Furniture from B.O.X. recipes

Well, the annual Wizard101 birthday event wrapped up early this morning.  As usual, I enjoyed it but wasn’t able to enjoy as many things as I hoped.  Gardening was my main goal, then collecting sonic springs for crafting, and finally a bit of pet training.

GARDENING

The best way to major success on getting double rewards is to grow whatever crops you want to double well before there’s an event and leave them sitting at elder harvest until you get the news another Double Rewards event is happening.  That way it doesn’t matter how long the seeds take to complete their cycle, everything is already waiting to give you double seeds, double snacks, double reagents, etc.

Of course you miss all those double mature harvests, but since most of the plants with highly desirable crops take so long to reach elder harvest that you can’t get from seed to final harvest in one Double Rewards event, it’s the only way to guarantee a double elder harvest.  So I succeeded pretty well from the outset, because multiple gardeners on each account had plants ready to harvest the day it started.

There are more details about my success and lack thereof in the last post.  The final results continued to be slightly odd.  Most of the Pink Dandelions finally made it to elder harvest just within the deadline, which meant they took slightly more than seven days from seed to final harvest.  The odd one was a patch for the one lower level gardener who doesn’t have a Red Barn Farm.  Minus that one like, the PDs usually take about one day longer.  Hers are only about halfway there after eight days, even with every other like.

Sword Ferns lit up by pixies

Sword Ferns lit up by pixies

The two batches of Sword Ferns I planted gave me about four mature harvests each, meaning I got lots of extra TC blades.  Looks like Elder Harvest will be in the next day or two, so those went as expected.  Some King Parsley crops went on wildly different schedules even though all planted around the same time and with all the same likes.

All in all I’m pleased with the results, mainly because of the crops I had waiting at elder harvest at the beginning.

SONIC SPRINGS

KI introduced a bunch of crafting recipes for great housing items earlier this year.  I bought lots of recipes with much excitement.  Then I realized every recipe calls for a Sonic Spring.  It’s another head-scratcher for me.  I’d have thought they’d want to have people crafting the new stuff in great numbers so these fun pieces could start decorating the spiral.

Instead they’ve restricted the ability to craft them by requiring the Sonic Spring ingredient.  It’s only dropped by bosses in the Five B.O.X.E.S.  So you have no hope of getting any most of the year; only possible when there’s a Five B.O.X.E.S. event — maybe five or six times a year [they seem to do it a bit more often now than they did when I first started playing but I’ve never kept track].  They DID put up the boxes last year around Christmas and left them for about a month so best shot at getting more Sonic Springs may be then – if you can stand having to do the instances a few hundred times…

Even more puzzling is that they apparently didn’t raise the drop rate when they decided to add all these recipes with the SS required.  Between three wizards I’d say I completed the Wizard City box at least 40 times this week and got maybe 4 Sonic Springs at most, possibly only 3 (I forgot to check how many a couple of the wizards already had when I started).

I have way more recipes than I have Sonic Springs with which to make them.  I figure it might be a couple of years before I can manage to get enough to craft all the items I’d like (including some multiples).  My willingness to repeat the same instance over and over for one item is limited so my patience with the WC box was past the breaking point by the time I decided it wasn’t worth it to keep trying…

PETS

I’ve mentioned many times that I don’t care for pet training.   If I could choose which of the potential talents my pets get I’d be more willing, but the crap shoot they’ve created has left me disappointed and unwilling to spend much more time at it.  For most of my wizards at this point I have “good enough” pets so I rarely bother with pet training unless I can get Double Rewards and I don’t do much then.

My two Storm wizards still don’t have pets that are quite what I’d like, nor does my Fire wizard.  I chose to do a bit of training for the two Storm girls.  Then I had a pet from the Evergreen Bundle sitting around untrained and another from the Olympian Bundle, so I did some training on those.  The Spirit of the Forest pet did get “Gardening Pixie” (may cast a gardening pixie) but I haven’t remembered to equip it when I’m gardening, so don’t know if it will be helpful in the garden but the other talents so far are not anything I need; unless I make it part of my “energy set” I doubt I’ll use it.

Over all the training has been pretty much as usual.  A waste of time.

MISCELLENEOUS

The gardening took up so much time I really didn’t get to do very much of  the other stuff.  With the backpack and TC limits, the double harvests of these events involve a lot of stopping to go sell stuff, move stuff around in attics, vaults and the Shared Bank, etc. so gardening becomes even more time consuming than usual.   I kind of fit in a few rounds of the WC Box after gardening as I had time and I never got a single wizard to any of the Lost Pages quests.

I look forward to this event every year and overall I’d say I enjoyed it.  I’m always pleased to speed up some of my gardening goals and I did get a few Sonic Springs so a few more furniture items will be appearing.  I’m not too sorry to have missed out on the Lost Pages stuff as I’ve always found it’s a little harder and more time consuming than the rewards (both in drops and low XP for the quests) warrant.  Next up will be the Halloween fun which for me maybe ties with the birthday celebration as the most fun event.  Now I have a week left on the month of membership for my third account and it’s time to move Alura further through Celestia.

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Wonky Gardening Timers

Pixie

I’m not the most systematic person so I haven’t recorded dates of planting and harvesting for my crops.  At one time I did note that if I planted Evil Magma Peas, Pink Dandelions or Couch Potatoes on the first day of a 4-day Double Garden Rewards event I could collect a double elder harvest at the end of the event.

The last couple of events it has not been true of Pink Dandelions.  So this time I decided to plant PDs for several wizards and see what happened.  I also decided to plant a few things I knew would not reach elder harvest and see if I could collect a few double mature harvests.

So last Friday (9/2/16) I made a point of planting everything I wanted to work on this time for quite a few wizards spread across the three accounts.  I’d already collected double elder harvests for most gardening wizards because I’d planted crops and left them sitting at elder harvest, waiting for double rewards.  So the second round was just to see how things went with some plants and, for a few, hoping to get an elder harvest.

Medium spell ring around 18 PDs

Since PDs used to mature to elder harvest in four days (and seem to go back to a shorter time when these events are over–the next experiment will be checking that out), I figured with seven days for this event I’d SURELY be able to get some elder harvests and make up for the deprivations crafting Seed Vaults has made on my PD seed supply.  They’re all growing on Red Barn Farms and with all the other likes.  As of late Thursday night (9/8/16), not one group of them had reached elder harvest and by the looks of the progress bars, it’s uncertain they’ll get to elder harvest by the time the event ends.

I also had one wizard on each account grow a batch of King Parsley.  Again, all three were on Red Barn Farms and with all the other likes and all plants were picking up all likes.  KPs have usually taken me at least a week and, I’d have said, usually a little more, so I didn’t expect to get to elder harvest.  For two of the three they seem to be on about the schedule I assumed, but for one of them, they reached elder harvest on Wednesday — five days! — except one plant which is on the same schedule as the KPs on the other two accounts.

Two wizards planted a large batch of Silver Trumpet Vines.  Again, they’ve generally taken at least a week — my general impression would have been 7-8 days– so I didn’t expect to reach elder harvest.  Both batches got there by Wednesday.

I planted several batches of Evil Magma Peas and they reached elder harvest by late Monday/ early Tuesday, so pretty much on the timeline I expect.  I also started a couple of large patches of Sword Ferns.  At a guess I’d say they normally take 8-10 days so I just hoped for a couple of double mature harvests (i.e. lots of TC blades!).  They’re moving about as slowly as usual, so there have been two mature harvests and it looks like I may get a third, possibly a fourth.

In the meantime I’m scratching my head over the strange results.  Some plants moving faster than normal.  Some moving slower than normal.  Some of them, planted within an hour of one another and with all the same likes, taking different amounts of time from one another.  So are the timers going wonky because too many people are gardening for the event?  Is KI changing timers for the event?  Next phase, I’ll be planting some patches of these same plants all on the same day with the same likes and noting how long they all take to reach elder harvest when there is no double rewards event going on.

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Gardening: Working Your Whole Account

Picture 2014-05-04 00-45-20

I’ve mentioned before I don’t do the super mega gardening many wizards get into.  I’ve found two-layer gardens with more like 42 plots provide me with enough drops and let me plant and tend the garden within my energy limits.  For lower level wizards I create gardens for medium area plant spells with 12-18 plots and it keeps them well supplied in gold, snacks, reagents and treasure cards.

Part of my strategy for keeping my accounts stocked with all the various drops for which I grow gardens is to get all the wizards on the account gardening.  When I first got into gardening on my first account, I had all six wizards growing 12 Evil Magma Peas and 18 Pink Dandelions. Eventually the two highest level wizards added a large area garden with 24 Couch Potatoes.

Mid-level garden

I was able to stockpile plenty of mega snacks and reagents and suddenly they were all overflowing with gold from selling unwanted treasure cards, lower level snacks and extra reagents.  And this was before KI started offering Double Garden Rewards so nothing was ever doubled.

The big advantage to having all six wizards gardening was that I could get the big accumulations of drops without having to buy energy.  You can only quest with one wizard on an account at a time, so you can feed more of the drops to whichever one is questing if needed and otherwise build your shared bank stores.

Tatiana's mid level garden

Tatiana’s mid-level garden

I think it’s worth creating all six wizards, even if you’ll ultimately choose to delete some of them and start over.  Level them up enough to get the initial gardening training.  If you can pass some Pink Dandelions over, one crop of 4 or 5 of them will level up the gardening rank enough to buy the medium area spells in Krokotopia.  At that stage they’ll have enough energy to grow 18 PDs and 12 EMPs.  I put the two medium area groups close enough that I can use one pest spell to cover both.  You’ll be amazed what you can do for the one wizard you’re leveling up (if you’re just working on one) just by using all six slots for wizards and growing six small gardens.

Above you can see Tatiana at about level 40, in front of a garden with two sets of 12 medium plots and one set of 18 small plots.  By then she had the large area spells, which fit over that whole garden.  See post for more info on how that works.

More of the wizards now have large-area gardens with 44-52 plots (I started off with 52 but none of the wizards at the time had enough energy to plant 52 seeds at once so I started making it smaller — two layers of 22).  But I still use the medium-area 18 plot small plot gardens.

Now that I’ve got plenty of mega snacks and reagents in backpacks and the shared bank, I usually just have two wizards on one account at a time gardening, but when I need to maximize a drop, I go back to having more wizards growing things.

At this point, I’m gardening more strategically for certain things I need or anticipate needing.  Now that Morgan and Rylee have gotten high enough level to realize how much more Amber I’m going to need than I’ve collected, I’m regularly having one mid-level wizard grow a 44 plot garden of King Parsley.  I’ve been working on crafting two Seed Vaults per wizard and growing lots of Silver Trumpet Vines to get the Braided Vine drops, so one wizard on each account has been working on those.

Sword Ferns have been keeping my higher level wizards supplied with blades, especially Balance Blades and Dragonblades.  I’ve only purchased a few, a couple for each of the first two accounts and have been slowly expanding the seeds by doubling the seeds every time there’s a Double Garden Rewards event.  With just 12-24 plants going at a time I’ve been able to keep all three accounts well supplied with treasure card blades.  Blades drop at every harvest, not just elder harvest, so over the course of a number of mature harvests plus the elder harvest, you get a LOT of blades.

One wizard growing King Parsley, one growing Silver Trumpet Vines and one growing Sword Ferns.  Since each of them is often growing just one crop they all have some energy for pet training — on the rare occasions I decide to do any 🙂  I’m about to wind up the STVs as I’ve got two Seed Vaults per wizard.  Don’t figure I need to stockpile more seeds than that and I don’t want to have to keep track of what’s where for any more vaults than that.

Once you’ve decided your current gardening goals, having six wizards with gardens helps you create strategies for getting all the drops you need.  Since you can buy Crown Shop houses for gold, I’ve used the copious amounts of gold the gardening supplies to buy Red Barn Farms (a “like” for all plants) for all of them.  I spent a lot of time farming bosses and the bazaar for “likes” so most of my crops have six to seven “likes” speeding the process along (and recently plants started dropping housing items, including items they “like” so now they’re easy to get).  Six wizards, maximum likes…  and it all adds up to mega snacks, TCs, reagents and so much gold I’m constantly having to buy expensive gear just to get below the gold maximum!

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To cast a pest spell or not to cast…

Two medium area patches, one pest spell

Two medium area patches, one pest spell

Someone commented on an old post about using energy in gardening that you don’t have to cast pest spells every time, you can wait until elder harvest.  I decided to write a post instead of just answering because, although he’s correct, it’s more complicated than that.

Yes, pests don’t send your plants to “progress to death” the way unmet needs do, so if you don’t have enough energy you can skip the pest spell.  But any plant with a pest won’t give you any mature harvests until you cast the pest spell.  If you’re growing something only for what it drops at elder harvest, it may work for you to skip the pest spells until some of the plants get to elder harvest.

If you, like me, grow some crops also for the mature harvests, you need to clear the pests.  Initially in a garden of, say, 40 Evil Magma Peas, you might just have 4 or 5 of them with pests.  So you’ll get the mature harvest on 35 or so the first time.  But the next time there will probably be at least 4 or 5 more with pests, so now you’re collecting an elder harvest on only 30 or less of your crop.

EMPs have a mature harvest at least once a day for several days, sometimes two in a day.  I’ve never counted how many but I’d say generally something like 4 mature harvests per crop. If I’m not casting pest spells, I get fewer items with every mature harvest. At each of those harvests there are lots of treasure cards and reagents dropped, and, recently, some housing items.  I use some of the TCs and the reagents are partly how I keep my reagent stores in plentiful supply.

As for the rest, I keep not only my gardening wizards but all wizards on each account supplied with houses, mounts, plentiful gold and the best equipment I can, all from the garden drops I sell at the Bazaar.  Although the mega snacks I receive at elder harvest are the biggest reason I grow them, I don’t want to give up a bunch of other drops at mature harvests just to save energy.

In the case of Sword Ferns, the blade TCs they drop are the main reason I keep growing them.  Each one drops one or two blades with every harvest and I’ve been able to keep every wizard on all accounts supplied with appropriate blade TCs just by having one wizard on each of two accounts growing them (I trade them between accounts).  It’s another case where it’s worth it to me to keep casting pest spells so I don’t miss a single blade.

These are just a couple of examples, but in general I want to collect all the drops from every harvest of every type of plant I bother to grow.  For me there’s also a personal factor that the pest animations, which tend to be sort of frantic and swirling — drive me nuts so I cast the pest spell first to make it stop.  I realize that’s probably just me 🙂

I’ve found it perfectly doable to grow everything I need for abundant snack, reagent, treasure card and gold supplies and keep within my energy limits even when I cast a pest spell for each area every time I go in to care for plants.  If the account needs more than one wizard can take care of, I divide the gardening amongst two or more of them so each one can garden within her energy limits.

Again, if you’re growing something only for its elder harvest drops and you need to conserve energy, you can skip casting pest spells and all your plants will survive.  Nothing will die because you fail to cast pest spells.  But you can buy gardening TCs for pest spells that keep working for 48 or 96 hours and they use the same energy as the regular pest spells, so you can keep your plants free of pests on one cast and then collect all the drops.  Seems like a winning plan to me.

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Garden Reward Days: not so great results

Pixie

As I’ve mentioned previously, seven of my wizards planted crops for which I wanted to double something (seeds or snacks or …) a while back and the crops had been waiting at elder harvest for a Double Reward event, so I started off my getting doubles of everything, which was good.

But in the past I’ve been able to plant Pink Dandelions and Evil Magma Peas at the beginning of one of these events and, with all likes present,get to elder harvest.  Because of lots of things going on, I only managed to get those planted for a few wizards on Thursday, but I did get several crops planted early enough that I should have been able to collect a second round.  For others I didn’t get the gardens done until the next day and I knew it was unlikely they’d reach elder in time.

The growth cycle seemed to run much slower than usual, so when I carved out time to log on this morning before the event was taken away,  not only  were those crops not at elder harvest, they were not even close — I’d say it will be tomorrow at the earliest.  I did get several double mature harvests for all my wizards, but the hoped-for extra PD seeds and mega snacks did not materialize.

As soon as all these crops are harvested, I’m done with gardening for a while.  Looking forward to not HAVING to log in every day.

Double Pet Rewards… AGAIN

For the third time this year KI is offering Double Pet Rewards this weekend.  You get double XP for both playing games and feeding snacks.  I’ve gone pretty much “ho hum” about anything to do with bothering to train pets and I’m basking in the Marin County sun and beauty, so I doubt I’ll participate.

In the meantime, there’s only been one double garden rewards event this year so far and I could really use those double drops and seeds.

I did finally realize that the pet rewards pretty much just encourage people to buy energy and pay for mega snacks without causing KI to lose Crown sales opportunities.  Since the double garden days give you twice the seeds for even Crown seeds, KI may lose some profit (I know I’ve expanded my gardens with those extra seeds–though I’d have just farmed for seeds rather than buying them in the Crown Shop) even though doing extra gardening to maximize those doubled rewards often takes buying some energy elixir.  And a few times I bought some Crown seeds because of the event so I could try to double that number.  But the Pet events may make a bigger profit than the Garden ones…

Wonder how long we have to wait to get another Double Garden Rewards event???  In the meantime, if you still imagine you can gain something by spending time on pet training, enjoy this weekend!

Plant All Spell

Pixie

Morgan D. (level 84) and Rylee W. (level 83) finally made it through Avalon not long ago, and, along the way, got access to Roger the Shrubber and his pricey gardening spells.  Plant All costs 300,000 gold, so it pretty well wiped out Morgan’s supply and Rylee actually had to harvest a few more crops to have enough gold for it.

As far as I can tell, it either doesn’t exist as a TC or it’s almost never available at the Bazaar.  If it did (or does) I imagine the gardening level required to buy it would keep a lot of lower level wizards from using it.

So far I love it, though it’s been pretty glitchy for me. To cast it you first plant a seed of the type you want to use, then click on Plant All, then click on the seed you just planted.  Theoretically if you have enough energy and enough empty plots for all the seeds in your backpack of that type, it should then plant all the rest.

The first time I used it I had a small patch of 12 plots in which I wanted to plant 10 Silver Trumpet Vines.  I planted one (leaving nine still in backpack), clicked the spell and the seed and was asked if I wanted to plant “all two”.  I clicked yes and it planted two (leaving seven).  Then I clicked on a seed and the spell and a seed again and it asked me if I wanted to plant “all four”.  I clicked yes and it planted four more.  When I tried for the final round I was informed there weren’t enough plots — even though there were now only seven of twelve plots filled–so I had to plant the last three individually.

Since then I’ve mainly used it to plant about 44 Evil Magma Peas for both Morgan and Rylee.  In each of these cases, I plant one, I’m asked if I want to plant the other “42” and it then plants all but one of the 43 remaining seeds and I have to manually plant the last one.  With only one exception (when it counted the right number and planted all of them) that’s been true every time.  It registers one less seed than I have in my backpack and plants all but that one.  Sometimes it fails to register two.

Each time I’ve had more than enough energy to plant all the seeds (it won’t plant more than your energy supply can handle) so that wasn’t an issue.  It seems like just a glitch.

Still, compared to individually planting 44 seeds, it’s a blessing to plant one, cast the spell to plant 42 more at once and then manually plant the last one.  I’ve been wishing ever since I got that it would become available as a treasure card you can buy at the Bazaar so all my wizards could use it (most of mine have gardened enough to have a pretty high level; even quite low level wizards because I often just get them to level 12, start gardening and quit questing)!