Well, it's been a while since I posted here, and I think with the latest update and new minigame, I'd give some suggestions on how to fix what I think is a broken concept.
The Garden minigame is good in the late game, but when played in early game like me(had to restart a new game), it feels more like its own separate game, and it's tedious.
The pay rates are hard to save up for when you're trying to buy up Buildings and Upgrades, so you can afford the more expensive seeds. And since the pay rates go based off your CPS, the more it rises, the more expensive the seeds become, and so it takes longer to save up. Plus, Golden Cookies and Wrath Cookies can make it more expensive or cheaper to buy seeds respectively, so getting a Clot is more favorable, even if it means losing cookies.
The Maturation and Decay rates differ so vastly on each plant, that when trying to make a new seed from a Mutation, you have to match them up just right, or end up shilling out more Cookies to try again when it fails. Some Decay almost instantly, while ones you pair those up with can take hours to Mature. To make Fool's bolete, you need a Green rot(M-4c,D-6c) and a Doughshroom(M-43c, D-50c). So, since Wood Chips is the best soil to make Mutations, that means I have to wait 3.5 hours for the Doughshroom to Mature, and then hope the first Green rot gives me the Mutation I want, and not have the Doughshroom just plop out another Doughshroom instead. Also, I just finally got the Drowsyfern. Its Maturation time is 25 HOURS. Plus, the time span is also sporadic, so I had to keep an eye on it, as it would pause and drop randomly. In fact, I had to wait almost 3 hours for it to go from 10 clicks(50 minutes), to Mature.
Then there's the Mutation rates. Some are such a pain in the butt to try and set up. Plus, some have a better chance of spawning when you already have the plant you're trying to get. Or, the plant you use to get the other plant is better at making copies of itself, or another plant you already have.
And finally, the special Upgrades- Wheat Slims, Elderwort Biscuits, Bakeberry Cookies, Fern Tea, Duketater Cookies, Green Yeast Digestives, and Ichor Syrup. Each of these are only dropped by certain plants, and only when Mature. Plus, the drop rates are very small. In my level 2 Garden, while waiting for the Drowsyfern to Mature, I planted Baker's wheat in the other 5 available plots. For a good 24 hours I did this, and not once did any of those plants dropped the Upgrade- Wheat Slims, which has a 0.1% chance of dropping. Now, Baker's Wheat is a cheaply priced and fast growing plant, but the fact that in a day's worth of play not once did the Upgrade drop means wasted Cookies and time. Now think of the Drowsyfern. That takes 25 hours to Mature, the time span is sporadic, and it only has a 1% chance of dropping the Upgrade- Fern Tea. Trying to get the Fern Tea will be a nightmare, even if I had a level 9 Garden.
Now the ways to fix it should be simple. First, slightly nerfing the pay rates so even in the very beginning of the game you can buy a few seeds would be good. Also, maybe not having Golden Cookies or Wrath Cookies effect the cost would be good too. Then, fixing the Maturation and Decay levels on plants, especially ones that breed together, so they don't take so long or die off too quick would be better. Also making the Mutation rates more favorable would help. Finally, if your plants are going to drop Upgrades, you need to change the drop rate or the way to get them. Maybe instead of a .01% or 1% chance, how about 10% or 25%? Maybe instead of dropping at random, maybe have so a certain amount of the specific plant has to be harvested, like 50 Baker's wheat to get Wheat Slims.
Sorry this is a long read, did my best to keep it short and to the point. Hopefully you agree with me on some of these, if not all.
Cartoons and Cookies? What an awesome combination!