I wanted to make a comment or two about production that one can expect from different sized transplants. A few days ago I posted pictures of starter plants and quick starts. There is a huge difference in size, right? What does this mean for production.
Obviously, if you transplanted a starter plant and a quick start on the same day there would be a big difference in production. The starter plant likely has 1-2 more months before it will produce the first flower. Sometimes, later in the spring season, starter plants are starting to flower. But, a starter plant doesn’t have enough of a base, roots, and plant size to support much fruit.
Quick Starts are usually in bloom or have bloomed already when they are shipped. By have bloomed I mean that quick starts shipped in the fall and winter were blooming the past fall. Once they start growing again they will flower fairly quickly.
So, how much production can one expect from the two sizes. I have “eyeballed” some of the trials I have conducted over the last several years and will make some VERY general observations. If both sizes are planted in the spring, the Quick Start will produce more than twice the number of fruit that the starter plant will produce. And, the size of the fruit from the Quick Start will be substantially larger.
Starter plants are an economical way to get started growing alpines. You will get fruit the first season. If you live in a northern area with a short growing season you won’t get a lot of fruit. Farther south with a longer growing season and the possibility of getting a fall crop, you will get more fruit.
Quick Starts planted in the spring will be in a position the following year to produce nearly a full crop. If planted in the fall, quick starts can produce a fairly decent crop the next spring.
I’m sorry that this is not more clear, but that’s what happens when one is generalizing. Make comments if you need further explanation.