MONTREAL -- Quebecers itching to get back into their gardens better start acting quickly, lest they be left green with envy as shops are already selling out of many supplies.

On Sunday, garden centre Les Serres Sylvain Cleroux was already bustling. Last year, the store saw a boom in sales as Quebecers took up new hobbies to keep occupied during a summer marred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I guess being stuck at home can do this to someone,” said co-owner Sandrine Gelinas.

With the pandemic ongoing, interest in gardening hasn't faded.

“We usually close from the beginning of January until Valentine's Day but this year we only closed for a week-and-a-half,” said Gelinas.

The centre is already running low on seeds and it's getting hard to find suppliers that still have stock.

“Soil is the same, planting pots are also getting sparse,” she said.

Nathalie Deschenes, deputy director of horticulture association Quebec Vert, said the interest in gardening and houseplants was on the rise in the province even before the pandemic. But that interest was supercharged last summer.

“Demand exploded in the stores, online, everywhere,” she said.

In a survey of 3 million Quebec households, roughly 40 per cent of Quebecers said they gardened more than in the previous year. Nearly half of those Quebecers said they were trying it for the first time.

“There's a lot of pleasure from playing with soil, from taking care of a living thing, plus all the benefits of growing and harvesting your own vegetables,” said Deschenes.

This year, Les Serres planned ahead by increasing production by 20 per cent in its 200 greenhouses. But come springtime, Gelinas warned that gardeners are going to need to plan ahead.

“It's a great objective to have a plant and make it grow bigger and make sure it strives through the year. That's something people are interested in right now,” she said.  

- With reporting from CTV Montreal's Angela Mackenzie