Alluring Allotments

  • Added:
    Sep 27, 2013
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Alluring Allotments Photo by John Nicholson

If you live in a busy suburban area then an allotment might be just the space you need to wind down and relax. Follow these handy hints and tips to get the most out of your chosen plot:

Firstly you need to find out where your closest allotments are. Then contact your local council to put your name on the waiting list. Some sites will have their own manager and others will be managed by a committee. If you are lucky you may be offered a plot straight away, or you may just have to wait a while. You will be offered a tenancy agreement which you must adhere to.

Once you have secured your place, you should plan ahead and decide what you are going to do in the first few months. You could dig several large beds to start with and keep the rest of the plot mown and tidy. A book on gardening would be a useful aid to identifying weeds and helping you with monthly tasks. Find out if there is an allotment association where you could hire tools from rather than having to outlay cash initially. If you are really keen you could attend gardening courses or weekend workshops.

It is important to remember that you need to be considerate to your plot neighbours and that you are responsible for supervising any visitors to your site. If you take a pet you must keep it under control. You will be expected to care for your garden and keep weeds under control. All fences around your plot will be your responsibility. You need to ask permission to put up a shed or greenhouse, or to keep livestock. You should try to grow an assortment of fruit, flowers and vegetables.

It is important that you do learn how to deal with weeds as they are really not allowed! Annual weeds will need hoeing to kill them, but perennials such as dandelions and bindweed will need to be forked out. Regular hoeing will keep weeds at bay. The weeds can be composted to feed the soil, or you can dispose of them in the skips on the site. Mulching weakens weeds so that they can be dug out easily. Suitable mulches are straw, woodchips or black plastic.

If you spot any dangers whilst you are working on your allotment you should contact the Allotments Officer. Always lock away any potential hazards in the way of chemicals that you may be using. Keeping your site tidy and attractive is one of the best ways of deterring vandalism. Try and leave any valuable equipment at home. Use a strong padlock to secure your shed. Keep hedges trimmed so that a clear view is available across the plots. If you need any help with your fences or hedges you should contact a reputable landscaping company who will happily advise on your repair or building needs.

If you experience any acts of vandalism or theft you should report to the police. Happy gardening!

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