Starting an allotment can be quite a daunting hobby to take on – but very rewarding at the same time. Here are top 10 things to do that will help you hit the ground running when you take on an allotment
1. Make space for a compost heap at your allotment
If your plot is overgrown, or just needs a good weed and a dig over – make a space in the corner, or wherever suits for all of the debris to go. In a years time or so, you can re-use this as a soil conditioner.
If you’re into no dig gardening, this is also essential.
2. Work out room for a shed
A little shed is a great place to keep a few bits and pieces secure, and somewhere to duck into when the heavens open.
3. Get into the habit of recycling as much as possible
You’ll be amazed at what you can recycle in your home to use at your allotment, plastic milk bottles, ice cream box containers, vegetable peelings, soft drink bottles, jars – the list goes on!
4. Create an Ebay account
Ebay, a great place to get hold of old tools, mowers’ and strimmers’ at the fraction of the price.
5. Locate your local pound shop
Poundshops are the allotmenteer’s friend, a good place to get cheap supplies like string, gloves, labels and pens – as well as seeds and potatoes. Each for the kingly sum of a pound.
6. Plant potatoes
Potatoes are a great thing to plant and the easiest when you’re starting off. When you come to harvest you’re also giving the ground a good dig over and you’ll inevitably dig out any tap roots and get rid of any other nasties in the process.
7. Take note of any trees on/near your plot
Trees bring great amounts of wildlife to your area, but they can also sap the ground of any water during the summer months, meaning some plants won’t grow to their full potential. Perhaps it’s a good place to set up a deck chair or two.
8. Use the first year as a test year
When starting a plot you have to take into account natural elements that are out of your control, for example where the sun rises and sets, where the wind blows and generally which areas are best suited for what crops.. Which takes me onto my next point…
9. Set your expectations low
The first year of starting an allotment is always trial and error, so don’t be put off if things don’t exactly go to plan – the point is, you’re giving it a go!
10. Have fun!
All said and done, having an allotment can be great fun. You’ll exercise, eat well and this will enhance your lifestyle immensely. Take things at your own pace and you’ll see great rewards.