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I've decided to join a waiting list for an allotment locally to me, there are three other people on this waiting list, and currently - according to the website - three vacant plots... Hopefully this means I am next in line for a plot.
Is this a bad time to be acquiring an allotment? What can I expect, and will need to buy, besides the obvious - spade and fork and the such...
I'm very excited and can not wait to hear from the council, and hopefully in the none too distant future!
Fab time of year for getting an allotment, depends on how the plot has been left. We put our name down for one on a boozy night out with friends who had already got an allotment. Within weeks we had a brand new plot, which needed clearing of grass. That was around March/April 3 years ago and we haven't looked back. It's been fantastic and we enjoy time as a family down there (me, OH and 3 kids) and I often enjoy time on my own down there. Last autumn we took on the plot next door too and have had to clear it completely. Great place for relaxing, spending time together and obviously for growing fruit and veg! We bought a really cheap small shed (you could look for second hand) keep a few tools there. OH enjoys making raised beds from offcuts of wood etc. We did have the choice to fence ours off, which we did choose to do. You can spend as little or as much as you want. That's the fun. We have old wellies planted up with marigolds in the summer which the kids love doing, planting sunflowers etc.
Enjoy your little piece of 'the good life' when you get it.
I suppose I'll find that out when we get to see it! We only want a half size one, big enough to grow some veggies, potatoes, carrots, onions.
I'm going to be rather impatient now! Our own garden doesn't have any earth to plant things in, it's all in pots, I'm very much looking forward to digging to victory!
Fingers crossed you get your plot, you wont look back once you get it. Great time of year to get a plot because you will get results this year.
Try and find a supply of manure, great for enriching and improving soil structure. A wheel barrow is almost a must. Tools that I would suggest to start with are fork, spade, rake and hoe. A garden line is a good idea for sowing seeds in a straight line.
Loads of info and encouragement on here, depending on the condition of the plot dont try and do everything at once. Divide it into manageable chunks, do a section and plant it, that way you have accomplished something and gives motivation to tackle the rest.
Hope you get your plot SP93, where I used to live there was a 3 year waiting list for allotments. Some really good advice already. Digging can be very theraputic, it's a good feeling to see a patch of freshly dug ground with no weeds and so much potential, knowing that you're responsible for making it that way. And the long hot bath after is even better. Good luck.
@Lisa, I used to live in Birmingham, and directly opposite my house was a huuuuge allotment, it must have had 200+ plots, and the waiting list was something like 2 years too. My Dad had one for a couple of years, hardly waited at all, there seems to have been a massive boom in people taking them up.
I live in Worcester now and there's one a few minutes walk away, and another another couple of minutes away. There seems to be a lot in the city centre, which is great considering how many homes there are that are minus gardens!
I should add the one I'm waiting on, only has 60 plots. I was quite surprised to hear how short the waiting list is!
Very exciting news Sweet Pea. All very good advice given above. Also when you get your plot, if it is overgrown, just take it a little at a time and don't do too much and hurt your back - just small manageable chunks at a time. Let us know when you get your plot.
Got the email from the rep confirming me being on the waiting list...
I'm not so fond of waiting!
We got ours this week. I am very excited! Could anyone tell me what veg a good to start with? And what flowers to grow to attract bees? I grow tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuces in containers every year but I haven’t got much experience with growing in ground.
Our plot is quite big and I was wondering if anyone could suggest anything that would help us use all space. I am thinking pumpkins, gherkins and courgettes to make use of big space?
Any suggestions and advice welcome!! Thank you!
Hi Bunka, you still have time to plant potatoes, this has the bonus of breaking up the soil.
Runner and french beans are good crops giving a prolific harvest. Basically it depends on what you like to eat. You will soon find that it is easy to fill even the biggest plot.
One word of advise is to stagger the sowings of produce that does'nt store or freeze well so that you dont get a glut that you cant deal with.
One thing that might be worth considering is whether your Allotment has water laid on ? I don't think all do.
The likes of squashes and courgettes are thirsty beasts.
I'm assuming here that we may be in for a good summer
Depending on what you inherit from the previous occupant, to avoid getting discouraged early on you may wish to concentrate on improving the soil in a small area - starting at a square metre (Google square foot gardening). My friend inherited a challenging space and is taking it one step at a time and covering the rest with cardboard to deal with later. And listen to advice from people who's plots you admire. I hope it brings you a lot of pleasure.
Sweetpea, keeping everything crossed for you, I really hope you get your allotment and soon
Why not sow a couple of courgette seeds and outdoor toms, maybe a bit of broccoli, things you can pop on your windowsill now and put in the allotment when you get it. That is if course if it is useable, but I'm sure with your enthusiasm if it isn't it soon will be If the plot is unusable in the short term you could always grow them in pots.
FINGERS CROSSED xx
Hope you are not on the waiting list too long. I know the list is fairly short here. When we got our 3 years ago they had just set out 16 new allotments on a spare field behind the existing allotments. Rumour has it they were allotments around 50 years ago and then they went out of favour. Its great that home grown seems to be back in fashion now,
I'm particularly looking forward to making jam this year and perhaps trying chutneys. there's huge satisfaction from eating your own home grown produce. My parents have even set up a small raised bed and grown their own too.
We got our allotment yesterday, after a phonecall to the council and then to the site rep, and did a spot of digging this morning. It's a huge 25mx8m plot, but is in need of a LOT of work. Originally it was just a mess of brambles which defeated the previous occupants, and someone who has not one, not two, but three plots told us that other plot holders would just chuck their rubbish - rubble, slate, bricks, wood etc on it is it's right by the gate, and they could just reverse in, chuck it all down and leave... Which means we can only dig a few inches down before hitting rubble in some spots... it's backbreaking and not very nice currently. Lots of digging to be done over the next few months, and lots of weedkiller on the giant brambles.
We are so fortunate to have such a large plot in a 6 week time frame. I'm just hoping we can in time improve on how many rocks and pebbles there are!
Congratulations on getting the plot It's a bit grim that there's so much work to do, but pace yourself and do things bit at a time. Record what you do - take lots of photos - sometimes you're too close to something to see the improvement, but when you look back at photos you'll see how far you've come - and keep reporting in to us to let us know how things are going
Great news you got your plot Sweet Pea, as per normal advice just a piece at a time. Maybe some raised beds to start would help with the poor soil and give you some crops this year while you start to get the rest under control.
All the best and all the hard work will be worth it. One thing I would suggest is take a picture of it as a 'bomb site' now and then compare it in a few weeks time, it helps remind you how much can be achieved
Thats spooky Dove, almost the same post