Because grocery stores are continuing to restrict the sales of certain types of fresh produce, there has been a “skyrocketing” increase in the demand for vegetable seeds.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reports that February saw a 20% increase in seed sales at the organization’s retail locations compared to the same month last year.
Separately, Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds reported that their online purchases had increased by nearly half a percentage point during the previous month.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are being restricted in stores, but the Royal Horticultural Society reported that many potato producers have already sold out.
The recent spate of bad weather in Spain and North Africa, combined with complicated supply networks, has been blamed for supermarkets in the UK having empty shelves.
According to wholesalers and importers with whom the BBC has spoken, the United Kingdom may also be suffering because of reduced domestic production as well as a market that is sensitive to price.
George Eustice, who served as environment minister prior to this administration, predicted that the shortages would continue for three to four weeks, but some growers said supply difficulties could last until May.
Mike Burks, the managing director of the Gardens Group, which has stores in Dorset and Somerset, said that customers were instead flocking to them. “Sales of vegetable seeds have skyrocketed over the past couple of weeks,” he said.
“Potatoes, string beans, and green peas. Additionally, lettuce and other types of salad products, as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Brassica vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale have also performed exceptionally well. It applies to all aspects of life.”
Additionally, requests for tomato seedlings from staff members were made, but Mr. Burks stated that “it was way too early for that.”
Additionally, there had been double-digit growth in the sales of compost, seed containers, propagators, and pots. He went on to say that as people were opting for smaller gardens, an increasing number of people were growing their plants on patios and in window boxes.
Tim Upson, who is in charge of horticulture at the Royal Horticultural Society, said that people growing their own food has become a “big trend” since the start of the pandemic.
This is probably going to get worse as a result of the nationwide fruit and vegetable shortages and people looking for various ways to cut costs to keep up with living expenses, he said. With the rising cost of living, people are increasingly interested in finding methods to cut costs.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) made this forecast in light of sales data from the previous year and anticipated that chard, salad leaves, tomatoes, garlic, and zucchini would be among the most popular vegetables to cultivate in 2023.
Nicky Berry said that her attempt to cultivate vegetables while participating in Covid was “a bit of a disaster.”
The homeowner in Poole, Dorset, who is a mother of five, recently laid out $250 for gardening supplies, among which was a polytunnel, in order to start a vegetable garden in her backyard.
“After noticing that the supermarket was nearly empty, I made up my mind to stock up adequately this time,” she remarked. “As I walked through the store, I noticed that many of the shelves were empty.”
The mother, who is 44 years old, went out and purchased several different kinds of seedlings with the intention of planting them alongside her youngest son, who is 12 and suffers from both ADHD and autism.
“It’s a nice piece of bonding and it does taste better, so I see it as a bonus,” she added. “It’s a nice little bit of bonding and it does taste better.”