Future Shortages Due to Coronavirus

Shortages now due to the pandemic are to be expected. Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, plexi glass, etc. have all been out for days on end at some point or another. With some states closing down nurseries, not allowing the sale of garden items such as seeds and soil at Wal-mart, Target, gardeners this year have had various supply shortages to contend with.

But what about shortages for the next planting season? How are ya'll prepping for local/national shortages of seeds, plants, etc. Have local garden circles been concerned over this? I would love to hear ya'lls ideas on how next year's outlook may be.



  • Bryce Langebartels
    Bryce Langebartels Posts: 47 ✭✭✭

    @etherealearthhomestead I would love to hear some thoughts about this as well! We are going to be saving seeds for next year as well as trying to store up as many canned and frozen garden items we can!

  • MartiinCentral Oregon
    MartiinCentral Oregon Posts: 27 ✭✭✭

    I was getting a new greenhouse anyway, but am now very glad to have it. Hope to grow most of the year. It is also a good thing that seeds last more than the year they are sold. I have always been a member of the "He who dies with the most seeds....." club so have a pretty good stock....but will still try to save any heirloom seeds I can grow.

  • Ethereal Earth
    Ethereal Earth Posts: 142 ✭✭✭

    @Bryce Langebartels We were not really hit with any shortages here in Vegas. Have not seen many places out of seeds, plants, soil. I will be relocating this winter so I am interested in how the pandemic has impacted other locations. I have ordered extra seeds and am trying to save seeds from everything I grow, but still an interesting topic.

    @MartiinCentral Oregon Lucky you with the greenhouse! I am still apartment living but I am trying to grow heirloom varieties as much as I can so I can save seeds.

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    I have been growing from the same seeds and onion/potato sets for about five years now. I picked a good variety of items that I (and my family) consume to start with and every year a portion of my crop is designated for seed/set saving. This cycle of growing and saving has worked well for me so far. I was concerned one year about the onions and potatoes but I just made it by starting them inside with grow lights until the last frost date. I grow my potatoes in burlap sacks so now I make sure to have enough soil in them ready just in case. I don't need to purchase soil, compost or mulch as I save my food scraps and yard debris to feed my soil. The only thing I need to occasionally purchase is fencing material as it deteriorates with time/weather. I would love to have a green house to grow a longer season, but it's not possible in the foreseeable future for me right now.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I need to stock up on some seeds. I already save quite a few. I regrow whatever I can. Getting soil is not a big problem for me. My horse is boarded in a 15 horse barn and the owner has 4 large piles of manure in varying ages out back by the wood line.

    We have a south facing window in our utility room that I use as a greenhouse.

    @desireet02 I recycle the heavy plastic feedbags from the barn for grow bags

  • Lynne
    Lynne Posts: 9 ✭✭✭

    in the state of Md we’ve been Fairly lucky this season. Been stocking up whenever I see something I know I will use. I have decided to try a harder To save my own Seeds which is something I had not always put much effort into. Yard sales are also starting so I am checking out what I might be able to use from anyone that has given up on their garden plans for whatever Reason

  • tammyrichardsmt9
    tammyrichardsmt9 Posts: 109 ✭✭✭

    I need to stock up on some seeds again. Our nurseries remain open (my oldest son works at one) and they have been busier than ever. When I ordered seeds this spring I only ordered what I needed this season. Now I need to order a bunch to have on hand.

  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭

    I've ordered more seeds this year than most.. but I've also dumped more seeds than most years because they were OLD (like 10-15yrs in some cases).

  • KimWilson
    KimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭

    I have already been frustrated this year due to corona virus shortages and the difficulties associated with getting supplies. I live in a very small rural town with Ace and Walmart being our only option here for bedding plants etc. Walmart has shut off its garden center access forcing its customers to walk through the entire store to get to the garden center. Since I am high risk and live in a virus hotspot, I have not felt able to do that leaving only Ace as a supplier for seeds and all other garden needs. I have actually had to go with several new suppliers for seeds. It seems that everyone was out of seeds quite early this year.

  • Nancy A.Maurelli
    Nancy A.Maurelli Posts: 44 ✭✭✭

    I will definitely increase my seed inventory, and get as many perennials planted as possible (I have several started from cuttings/divisions waiting!). ALSO intend to invest in hand tools, extra compost, floating row cover and other basics for season extension.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2020

    Going gluten free reduced our toilet paper consumption by 50-75%. Would like to get one of those sprayers that attaches to the toilet to use instead of paper, but I'm keeping some for cold winter mornings.

    Walking into retirement, we knew that the healthier we were, the less expensive overall healthcare would be, so we worked on addressing all of the known issues and tried to prevent new ones - no climbing on high ladders, walking on the ice, or eating things that caused negative reactions no matter how much they called to you. Retirement arrived with CoVid so we have stayed active, eaten well, try and sleep. So far, so good.

    We did stock up on homeopathic remedies last year and some herbs, especially those for known acute family problems or accidents like migraines, trauma, food poisoning, kidney stones, anxiety, etc. Searching out the spiritual relationship to injuries/issues has been powerful and mind calming.

    Learning alternative food sources has been enlightening, fun and yummy - edible flowers, trees and of course the weeds. The more perennials we nurture, the less that has to be stored by us as they are tucked away naturally.

    Retiring meant we were finally able to devote ourselves full time to the plants that were going to help support our efforts, concerns and needs, even if it did happen during the pandemic. We are continually blessed wherever we go and run into a plant that we didn't know we needed.....and it's on sale or free. Likewise, we honor and let go of those plants that we brought into our lives, not knowing that they had their own agenda - their sole purpose was to teach us what we didn't need.

  • Ethereal Earth
    Ethereal Earth Posts: 142 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020

    For me I use conventional medicine as an alternative to herbal remedies (I am studying to be a clinical herbalist). But that is a very good point that I had not thought of. I did just read an article sent via the American Botanical Council on how Elderberry products had seen an increase in adulteration or outright faked products due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Ethereal Earth
    Ethereal Earth Posts: 142 ✭✭✭

    @desireet02 Have you considered doing smaller cold frames out of pallets and old windows? I'm sure nearby construction or craigslist/offerup/facebook market would have the supplies at low cost or even free

    @Nancy A.Maurelli Hand tools/power tools were almost nonexistent when I went to Lowe's last. They were all out of certain types of small saws, almost out of plexi glass. Not sure if these will be a long term low inventory worry though. Once you have a certain saw you don't need another one for some time.

    @KimWilson That is definitely tough. Can you order online or from a catalog? Any landscaping companies nearby that you could call for soil? How about local farmers with a surplus of manure/bedding that you can turn into existing dirt?

    I think CSA/Seed Exchanges/Food Exchanges are going to start becoming much more prevalent due to this.

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    @MartiinCentral Oregon Oh gosh! I am a member of that club too. Three years ago we moved and I misplaced all my seeds. They were all OP and I haven't been able to replace some of them yet.

    @stephanie447 the famotidine shortage may have been related to ranitidine (Zantac) being finally being pulled off the market after months of specific brands of it being recalled.

    I have noticed lately that there's an ample supply of Seeds of Change seeds in Tractor Supply and Orscheln Farm and Home in our area. It's kinda strange, usually there are no garden seeds in stores this late in the year in our area.

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    When the virus took off I decided to order seeds, plants, seed potatoes, sweet potato slips; things I couldn’t get in the shelf at the market. Most places said, “out of stock “ for soooo many items. @Ethereal Earth intoo see Seeds of Change packets still available at the tractor supply store but Home Depot sent ALL of their seed displays back. As I go into stores ive been checking the racks and grabbing anything I eat or will be able to grow. Also trying my best to seed save this year; last year we kept onion n oregano seeds. All of the earlier crops I kept seed And have some more going to seed now. Seeds for Generations has a lot of heirloom seeds available as well as some sales going on.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    If there is a shortage of famotidine or ranitidine on the market, that might encourage people to use other means to reset their digestive system. Both of these pharmaceutical products actually stop proper digestion. They encourage fermentation of food in your stomach because they have eliminated the bile acids that are meant to digest food. Which increases gas, beltching and acid reflux. Then you need Nexium to take care of the acid reflux. Nexium can cause kidney failure.

    I personally think that these drugs should not be sold as OTC, only as prescription, because they do so much damage over the long term. I am speaking from experience on this one!

    Switch now to a proper diet, use bitters and digestive enzymes. Get off that stomach med train that has no scheduled stops. If there is something that needs addressing with pharmaceuticals, by all means, see a doc and take your meds as prescribed. But preferably, see a naturopath, herbalist or other natural health practitioner to get the best advice on how to correct your stomach issues without the need for pharmaceuticals that can become very dangerous.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm ramping up my seed saving. I saved garlic last year, will be saving potatoes, shallots, potato onions, and peas this year, and plan to start saving beans next year.

    Potatoes feel scary because of the obsession with starting from special virus-free seed, but I think it will work out fine.

    I am growing seven different kinds of beans in close proximity this year, so I will probably not save them, or perhaps save a few that may have crossed just in case. The plan is to pick the varieties that do best on productivity and taste this year, grow only a few of those next year, and then save their seeds.

    I'm planning to drop to only a couple of kinds of lettuce next year, and may try to let it seed.

    I'm moving from regular bulbing onions to multiplier onions, which are easier to grow and propagate themselves.

    But for some vegetables, particularly tomatoes, I've given up on starting them from seed. It takes too much time and effort, and the results are poor compared with buying tomato plants from a local nursery.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Also, if you need parts to build beds, get them now. I had planned to build three more beds last spring, but the lumberyard closed and it was impossible to get wood for a month or so.

    Get your wood, screws, nails, tools, etc. even if you aren't going to use them right away.

  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭

    we have been very fortunate not to have this issue near us. Granted, we were mostly going to the big box hardware store, but no problems with that.

  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭

    Seed starting is my steepest learning curve, but I think i'm starting to understand. The downside of nursery tomato starts is that you are limited to the (mostly hybrid) varieties that they sell. We invested this year in Ladbrooke soil block makers, and mixed up some actual good potting soil mix, and so far, things are doing better than I've managed before.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Paradox "The downside of nursery tomato starts is that you are limited to the (mostly hybrid) varieties that they sell."

    Yes, that's why I tried for several years to do some of my own tomato starts. But my success has always been marginal. They germinate well, but I lose many due to either under-watering or damping off, they don't have enough light and grow leggy despite being repotted several times, and after fiddling for months I wind up with may two or three small plants I can set out.

    In a warmer climate I would just plant the seeds outside and let them go, but in zone 4 with about 120 growing days, it's just not enough.

    One rule of gardening for serious food production (vs. just having fun) -- focus on the things that grow well in your climate. They will be easy and more productive.

    Even here in what most people would call a cold climate, it's very easy to grow lettuce, spinach, mustard, peas, beans, potatoes, garlic, apples, and strawberries. It's not hard to produce a lot of food, but the effort required to produce things like tomatoes is out of all proportion to the calories and nutrients produced.

    If you live in a warmer climate, you may have trouble with crops that demand cooler weather but will find it easy to grow tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and other hot-weather crops.

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    We have been saving many of our seeds for a few years now, but I still have quite a stash of ones that I have purchased in previous years. If I am honest with myself, a season that forces me to use up what I have instead of looking for something new might be beneficial. I am always looking for different varieties will outperform varieties that I currently grow that could be doing better. Once I find something that works well, I focus on saving the seed from that point forth so it just gets more acclimated to my gardens environment. This does leave me with odds and ends seeds though that didn't make the cut - don't worry - I have been sharing them with others around me who have been having a tougher time finding seeds... :) Some things I know I will have to purchase next year though, which is a concern - namely onion sets (I have still not been able to do these successfully from seed no matter what I try, and I can't afford to have a total crop loss with everything going on....), and seed potatoes. I plan to hit my local garden center next spring as soon as these items become available (this year, that was early march), so that I get what I need. One thing I would like to share is that seed potatoes will last a lot longer than most people may realize. I bought them in early March, like I mentioned, but did not plant out my first crop until late april, and I still have some stored (in a paper bag in a dark and cool cupboard) that I will not plant out until mid July - I did the same thing last year and they were just fine - a bit leggy, but I still got an awesome autumn crop. Just something worth mentioning :)

  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭

    My apologies if my post came across judgmental. Not intended.

    I've had similar issues over the years, including this year! We did finally invest in a 10-pack of LED lights that my hubby put on the underside of the shelves on a shelf set.

    But absolutely, you do what you can! :)

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Paradox "My apologies if my post came across judgmental. Not intended."

    Not at all. What you wrote is absolutely true, and I didn't take it as criticism.

    I was pointing out the issue that keeps more gardeners from starting their own tomato transplants so that other people reading would understand the trade-offs.

  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭

    Yes, agree, although some people are using the famotidine as an H2 blocker to calm down histamine production for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Certainly there's a lot going on there that can be approached with herbs and diet, but for some MCAS sufferers the reactions are so bad that some drugs are necessary to avoid an ER visit. And it's hard to find practitioners who can deal with these issues naturally...much less ones who know what MCAS is! :-)

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    @stephanie447 I am not suggesting that all patients should switch from their medication to natural medicines. As with everything, there is a time and place for pharmaceuticals. If famotidine wasn't so readily available as an OTC medication, then perhaps there would be more of it available for those who really do need it. I was speaking more of it being used constantly by individuals who could correct their digestive issues with the proper diet, digestive enzymes, bitters and herbs but choose to just mask the issue with antacids H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors. I know people who eat Pepcid and Zantac as if it were candy. .

    A good naturopath should be able to have some effective treatments for MCSA. Homeopathy might also be a good choice to get to the root of the issue.

  • Ethereal Earth
    Ethereal Earth Posts: 142 ✭✭✭

    @dottile46 Maybe they have the seeds out longer to sell off stock due to COVID? They could also have seen an increase in purchases for the same reason and are leaving them out longer to take advantage of that. Who knows, but I would take advantage of it.

    @chimboodle04 That is great to know about seed potatoes lasting that long. I wonder if they were stored in an actual root cellar how long they would last. Also, what is the difference between a seed potato and one for eating?

    @stephanie447 one of my close friends has MCAS, POTS, hEDS, hyperthyrodism...I think that is it. But she complains the most about her mast cell issues, lives off Benadryl and lately has been going through a ton of prednisone. I don't know if she has looked into famotidine to help or not.

    @torey I have had a plethora of digestive issues and am now on Nexium (never given an end date) and Colace (for life). All they found after multiple procedures was some acid erosion in my throat (I eat a heavily acidic diet due to loving citrus fruits and marinara sauces). I was unaware of the risks on Nexium so I am glad that I decided to stop that (the acid was never really an issue). Colace on the other hand is necessary but makes me feel super sick when I take it. I will be looking at various herbs once I have more income to help with that.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,498 admin

    We still have empty grocery store shelves in NC... not as much, but plenty of stuff has been sold out since March. The supply chain has broken.