COLORADO SPRINGS — Has this pandemic made you re-think the way you shop for your food - or even made you consider growing your own?
Well, you wouldn't be alone in testing your gardening skills right now.
Mike Spencer, co-owner of Spencer's Produce and Lawn Garden Centers, says his staff is seeing a surge in customers wanting to learn how to plant their own veggies, and they're busier than ever,
It's a trend Spencer attributes to this pandemic, but he thinks it'll create a lasting change, too.
SEEDS SELLING QUICKLY
Currently, he says seeds are flying off the shelves. His staff has been selling vegetable seeds including squash, beans and tomatoes.
Those are all warm-season crops, so they can be planted by May 10. Other things like onions and potatoes can go out now.
But since new customers are buying so many different kinds of seeds they're not familiar with, Spencer has had to step in and let them know which ones to hold off planting for now.
"I have never seen anything like this in the gardening industry," he said.
"People are doing more vegetable gardening, especially. And part of the reason they're doing that is they want to know where their food is coming from and who's touched their food."
Many customers are even using this as a learning opportunity their kids can benefit from.
"Parents that are home with their children have incorporated gardening, starting seeds inside, planting," he noted.
Spencer believes even after this is over, more people will realize how simple - and accessible - gardening can be.
"It's so rewarding to go out and pull radishes out of your garden," he described. "And cut a little spinach to eat that night."
GARDENING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
If you've never gardened before and don't know where to start, Spencer says independent gardening centers can point you in the right direction.
His tip to have a successful garden is to prepare your soil first - and then get the right type of seed.
But, the important thing is to find a knowledgeable place to shop from where you can chat with someone who has experience and can answer your questions.
VEGGIES YOU CAN PLANT NOW
Here is a list of some veggies you can plant right now: