SASKATOON -- Gardening season is just around the corner – but for many green thumbs, buying plants and flowers this year will be a different experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many local garden centres are considered an essential service, as they allow gardeners to grow their own food.

However, many Saskatoon green houses are keeping their doors closed and implementing delivery and curbside pickup.

“I think the biggest thing for us is trying to figure out ways to preserve our business so that we can be strong for our customers and our employees will then have a healthy business to come back to,” said Jill Vanduyvendyk, owner of Dutch Growers.

Saskatoon-based greenhouses such as Dutch Growers, Early's Farm and Garden Centre and Wilson's Lifestyle Centre are a few of the businesses implementing the changes.

In addition to the drive-through system, online ordering and delivery have been revamped.

“We already had our online store going, however it was in a small way, we only had one employee designated to it and overnight we went from having one employee to having eight employees working with our online system,” said Vanduyvendyk.

According to staff at Early's Farm and Garden Centre, the changes to buying plants have inspired a new generation of gardeners.

“I think with lots of people at home now they are thinking that it is something they can do to keep productive and also something they can enjoy, there is definitely a younger demographic coming in and asking to learn to garden,” said Audra Cooper, media manager for Early's Farm and Garden Centre.

Many owners are hopeful it will be safe to reopen their doors in the upcoming weeks.