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Hello all you experts out there, I'm in the very fortunate position of getting an allotment, but never having had one before I'd love some advice please!
Its been cleared and I'm raring to go!!
what to grow,
where to buy seed from,
what equipment would you consider essential?
all posts gratefully accepted!!
Congrats on getting an allotment.It's a great time to start with Spring on the way. First thing I would say is to take things one step at a time and not to try and grow everything in your first year or two. Pick the veg and fruit you love to eat and grow them first.
Its always nice to have veg throughout the year so grow some winter stuff such as parsnips, leeks etc.
The tools I would'nt be without are fork, spade, rake, hoe and trowel, a garden line to help get straight lines when sowing is a useful addition too.
Good luck and the taste of fresh veg makes all the work worth while.
Best bit of advice I was given when I got an allotment - never be afraid to ask
The other allotmenteers are full of information and experience of the soil and conditions that you have to work with - and most people are so flattered to be asked for advice
And one other tip - don't try to do it all at once - but remember that Nature abhors a vacuum so if you've got bare soil the weed seeds will find it, so read up a bit on green manures - different types for different times of the year - and don't be afraid to sprinkle a few green manure seeds on part of the allotment and keep that bare soil covered
my advice would be, adding to the great advice already offered: when you've had enough, give up. Never let it become a chore, a burden. When you're tired, GO HOME. If you can't manage the whole plot, cover some of it and leave it until next year. Remember, it's fun, not a chore. Nobody will think badly of you if you have a 1/2 allotment which is lovely , compared with a whole allotment which is a bit shabby.
Try to find lots of free pallets to make a compost heap.
Best tools for me a spade, hoe, hand held cultivator for weeding rake
Raised beds are good
http://www.youtube.com/user/rickvanman?feature=watch He makes good allotment videos bit by bit
as a allotment holder for many years I agrea with most things said ,but I do buy a lot from wilko and have found it ok.the main thing is go steady and do abit at a time ,when things don't grow just right or the slugs have gone to town and eaten a lot then just say there is always next year.dont grow to much of one thing, I now have 3 freezers at home.enjoy and good luck
Grow what you like to eat. Simple
Carol , when we got our first allotment the ground was a field,we cleared the top and had to import about 11 tons of top soil so you can understand we meant business,, the best 2 things we did were 1 got a shed 2 talked to everybody and anybody on the allotments,after seeing the hard work we put in, the most knowledgeable allotmenteers waited till we put the kettle on and came to say hello,from that cup o tea came loads of info and loads of " i got to many these have you got room for them on your allotment" ), spuds, rhubarb,you name it we were given it, now we do the same in return, dont forget you only make mistakes in a hurry Enjoy and good luck.
Set up a compost bay a good spade and fork hoe rake wheelbarrow plant borage comfray to aid in composting and be prepared for hard work and some disappointment and lots of rewards
ENJOY! I could not get an allotment when in England, but now have quite a good sized garden.
As said before, don't try to do too much too soon. I started with 2 raised beds, 8x4', a chicken pen that I turned into a raspberry cage,then 5, now 6 raised beds and some smaller ones just for veg. And lots of borders. My lawn shrinks every yr when I find something else to grow. Sometimes I can't wait for the kids to grow so I can steal thier play area! But then who would eat my veg?
Your allotment will naturally evolve. Who was it who said 'don't sweat it'?
If all is cleared, keep it covered until you need it. Green manures, carpet, cardboard, straw, polythene, anything that will keep those weeds down. Compost area essential. Tools to suit. Greenhouse or polytunnel if you are allowed one.
Well done on all your hard work.We expect pics, you know. A condition of asking advice