QUALICUM BEACH -- Garden suppliers across Vancouver Island say there has been a spike in residents looking to grow their own food since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

From soil and fruit trees to veggie starter plants and seed packets, anything used to grow your own food is in high-demand at garden centres.

“Can’t keep them on the shelves,” said Tim Donkersley of Ken-Dor Garden Centre in Qualicum Beach.

“I’ve never seen it like this before in the last 25 years.”

Donkersley says the high demand for food-growing supplies at his store has been going steady for approximately one month, and he believes it is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says that veggie starter plants are the most desired product and that his store is going through roughly 200 flats of inventory per week.

Every shipment he brings in is gone the next day, he says.

Fortunately, Donkersley says, “You can grow pretty well anything on the island.”

The veteran green thumb warns, however, that fruit trees take about two to three years before they begin to produce.