Transplant Shortage in Nova Scotia this Spring?
No doubt you have seen the press reports detailing the heavy damage Nova Scotia Greenhouse Growers have suffered from the ice storms this past winter.
Over a dozen greenhouse operators have seen significant damage including Avon Valley Greenhouses the provinces largest wholesaler of bedding plants who have lost 70% of their production space for the coming season.
These losses in production capacity have in turn affected the viability of retail operations. It has been reported in today’s Chronicle Herald that Farmer Clem’s have shuttered 3 of their 4 metro locations permanently, the 4th location (Hammonds Plains) will open late this year to sell off the remaining inventory.
Nova Scotia Greenhouse Growers play a significant role in Nova Scotia economy providing both permanent and seasonal employment and while they may be down they are certainly not out. If you can source locally produced transplants this year, please make every effort, they can use our support.
That being said it is likely to be a bit of scramble to find your favorite crops and varieties this year.
For many of our most popular crops there is no reason for concern, root crops such as potatoes , carrots, parsnips, radishes, beets etc. can all be direct sown in the garden. The same is true for salad varieties like lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, kale and arugula as well as the vine crops, cucumber, squash and pumpkins.
Some crops however require more time to reach maturity than direct seeding will allow in our short growing season and these are the ones that may be in limited supply.
Tomato, Peppers, Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts are four that come immediately come to mind. If you would rather not roll the dice on the availability of these favorites this spring try starting your own transplants at home, there are dozens of varieties to choose from.
Each of these crops require 6-8 weeks from time of seeding to reach transplant size ready for the garden so now is the time to get started.
Good Luck and Best Regards,