Usually ordering vegetable seeds in early March is not a problem. But this year I got more "Out of Stock" notices than usual. No Bragger Hybrid cucumber, no Bush Early Girl Tomato, and no eucalyptus seeds nor lemongrass seeds. Come to think of it, the usual "clearance seeds" section of the catalog was totally missing. Is the apocalypse still on?
Well, yes. Sort of. With the COVID19, people took to gardening in a big way in 2020. People without their daily commute and staying at home had the time to spend gardening. Also with disruptions in food supply, many started growing their own veggies to fill the food supply gap. Apparently the interest in home gardening continues in a big way in 2021.
The demand for vegetable seeds from home gardeners is high again this year. Producers increased their seed production for 2021 but seed packages have been selling fast and in some cases out. Don't worry too much. Yet. The bulk seeds are there. It's packing more envelopes with seeds that's causing the out-of-stock phenomenon.
So what's a home gardener to do? Wait for your seeds and hope they arrive before planting time. Pick another variety of your favorite vegetable. "Bragger" cucumber and "Sugar Cube" cantaloupe were out when I did my online seed shopping, but I was okay substituting "Lemon Heirloom" and "Aphrodite" instead. Option 2 is to shop smaller seed suppliers. I found lemongrass and Bush Early Girl Hybrid tomato seeds at True Leaf Market. You can always shop for seed at the local stores but they may not have the variety of the online stores.
Starting saved watermelon seeds in paper cups
And one more thing...
If you're planning on canning your produce, purchase your supplies early. Dome lids, bands, and jars were not to be found starting last July until the middle of February. My local grocery store is still a little sparse on the jars.
Canning lids, bands, and jars
So if you're putting in a garden this year and need to purchase seeds this spring, don't delay too long!