The answer to this question is “it depends”. Vague enough for you?
Let’s start by saying that under ideal conditions alpine strawberries will produce their first fruit 4 months from seeding. I say ideal here to mean that:
- the seeds are germinated in conditions that will give fairly quick germination rather than germination that drags out over a period of many weeks.
- the plants are given adequate space to grow. Plants in tiny cells won’t live up to their true potential and may be held back if restricted.
- the media/soil pH is in the desired range
- the seeds/plants have adequate nutrition.
That being said, here we start seeding the first week of January for spring shipments of starter plants. To grow larger plants it is necessary to start earlier. We have chosen to seed in summer for plants that will be shipped in the fall and the following spring. The main reason for this is that germinating seeds in the winter is more expensive because bottom heat and lights are required.