Lettuce shortage sparks grow-your-own rush

Packets of lettuce seeds are selling out at garden centres following shortages of the crop in stores due to the failure of Spanish crops this winter.

The poor weather in Spain caused a spike in prices of crops such as lettuce and courgette and garden centres have seen a run on lettuce seeds as a consequence.

Crocus, Wyevale, Wilko, Alleyn Park and Cardwell are among centres that have seen sales rise by up to 270 per cent compared to last year.

Cardwell Garden Centre, near Gourock, say they have been inundated with requests for advice on how to grow lettuce both indoors and in outside gardens with sales of lettuce seeds rocketing.

Cardwell horticulturist, Brian Hawthorn says the lettuce shortage is just the tip of the iceberg, as courgettes are also in short supply after unusually cold weather in normally warm Mediterranean countries devastated the harvest of these vegetables. 

He said: "In all my years working as a horticulturist I’ve never known so many people coming into the garden centre asking how they can grow their own lettuce and courgettes. 

"Normally, we have our regular clientele of gardening enthusiasts who grow their own veg. but this year we’ve seen lots of lapsed gardeners come back to start planting veg again. And there’s been a big increase in people who have never been interested in gardening before now wanting to find out if they can grow their own lettuce because they can’t buy the veg in the shops. 

"Our sales of all the different kind of lettuce seeds has almost doubled and we’ve had to order in extra supplies."

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