Are garden prices growing? Depends who you ask as retailers deal with supply woes

·2 min read
Colin Atter at Plantation Garden Centre in northwest Calgary says the global pandemic has tightened supply, pushing up prices a little bit this spring. (CBC - image credit)
Colin Atter at Plantation Garden Centre in northwest Calgary says the global pandemic has tightened supply, pushing up prices a little bit this spring. (CBC - image credit)

As garden centres around Calgary gear up for the spring planting season, Calgary green thumbs might notice the shelves aren't as full as they normally would be due to the worldwide pandemic.

Colin Atter, who owns the Plantation Garden Centre in Mount Pleasant, says his customers seem to be shopping early this year, remembering that supplies dried up quickly last spring as Calgarians stuck at home took a renewed interest in their yards.

  • WATCH | See some tips for how to prepare to shop for your garden goods in the video above

"Supply remains short, demand is still high," he said.

"I brought in more than I would ever bring in at this time of year, just so that some of the regular customers would have a chance to grab it."

Colin Atter at Plantation Garden Centre in northwest Calgary says the global pandemic has tightened supply, pushing up prices a little bit this spring.
Colin Atter at Plantation Garden Centre in northwest Calgary says the global pandemic has tightened supply, pushing up prices a little bit this spring.(CBC)

Atter says the pandemic has put some upward pressure on prices, but as with most sectors of the economy, garden supplies haven't been hit too hard.

"Honestly, our prices have barely gone up. And in many categories, they haven't gone up at all," he said.

"They always creep up, but in our industry it's like a few cents, a dollar. So it's not really big increases like that, so maybe on a few things."

'Big stores have raised their prices,' says expert

Atter has had to adjust the way he sources his products.

"We've actually had to go local this year more than ever before, because of the increase in freight prices," he said.

"We're dealing less with B.C. than we ever did, and a lot more on our local suppliers. And I think it's going to be a great system."

Kath Smyth with the Calgary Horticultural Society told the Calgary Eyeopener that she has noticed somewhat higher prices this year on many products, including soil, plants and pots.

"The big stores have raised their prices, at least $1 on every product, and on some of them I've noticed $2 increases," she said.

Smith says one way to cut down on the cost of gardening is to start some plants from seeds planted early in the year inside the home.

  • WATCH | Kath Smyth walks us through when to pull and when not to pull in the video below