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The rise in popularity of the allotment garden has been steady for the last decade or so but dramatically increased, especially since so many people have given greater consideration to the benefits that gardening has in general.  Allotments are a simple extension of that, or an opportunity in their own right if you don't have a garden at all of course.  Applying for an allotment couldn't be easier. They are usually managed by the town or city council and you can search here to help you.  If there are no allotments, no problem,  you can grow veg in your neighbours garden with brilliant sharing schemes all over the UK.


There are numerous benefits to having an allotment and one of them is a sense of community.  Allotments, as most of us know, are grouped together on land owned by the local authority.  If you're new to a place or find yourself craving more company together with doing something that is good for your health and will provide you with some produce that you'll treasure and enjoy more than anything you can have delivered to your door or lift from a supermarket shelf.  From exchanging advice and tips to generally making friends or organising group activities, allotments are far from lonely places.

While informal and relaxed,  they do have a simple yet formal organisation with a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.  This is simply in order to make sure that the site is run well and that annual fees (usually very low indeed and clearly specified) are paid and used as they should be.   You can even join the National Allotment Society a national body, it is

Shared Sense of Purpose

Everyone has an allotment for the same reason - to grow healthy vegetables and fruit for the household! This kind of produce is far better than that which you can buy in the shops as they are usually grown without chemicals and reach your kitchen and table far quicker - super fresh!  Some people start with plants that are simple to grow such as French beans, peas and strawberries, carrots and beetroot, and, as their confidence grows progress to greater challenges.  Certainly, it proven that having an allotment is good for your well-being. So, in essence,  you grow as you grow as it were!

WAIT! Weigh-Up the Situation

A weed is just a flower in the wrong place? Okay, but not from an allotment perspective! There might be a lot to do when you get started but stay positive.

We're pretty sure you'll be eager to get cracking but it will really pay dividends if you pause for thought.  You'll want to hack and attack the likely abundant over-growth but firstly consider that you may already have some interesting treasures - check to see what's among that over-growth.  From fruit bushes (such as blackcurrants, gooseberries and raspberry canes).  before you go steaming in with a fork or tiller - see what signs are in the soil - you may have root crops in place from the humble spud to the much prized asparagus.  It is certainly worth checking and if it's an old allotment that has simply had time to over grow it's certainly highly have something there for you.

Spend some time there observing the way that the light moves across your plot - how the sun tracks across your plot .  This will help determine where you put certain crops as some need shade and others full light, certainly giving consideration to this will increase your rate of success.

Simple Equipment

Simple tools are all that is required to get started - the obvious such as a fork, spade, rake and hoe.  However you may find that clearing you plot initial may entail some hard work.  The ParkerBrand PGBC-5200 Brushcutter is a genuine investment for initial clearing, but crucially to also keep the borders of your allotment in check - be that a grassy path or growth from that of neighbouring plots.  In keeping with the sense of community it could be that you could share the cost with a neighbour or even pool several tools and have a kind of co-operative or 'machinery library' - borrowing it when you need it just like a book? It could be a great way of keeping the costs down and really working together with others - in the end you could have quite an array of useful equipment.

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