So you’re thinking of starting an allotment?
First of all – congratulations! That’s a great idea! It can be very fulfilling (and lets not forget tasty!) to grow your own produce.
When starting an allotment, you will need to consider a couple of things and also potentially buy some equipment if you don’t own any already!
If you don’t already have space to grow your produce (like a large garden or if you’re a lucky bugger who owns their own land!) then you will need to contact your local council to find out where the nearest allotments are to your house.
Choose somewhere within walking distance/a short drive
These points are just some to consider when choosing your allotment – if it is too far away from your home and takes you too long to get there, you’re going to lose interest! This is especially important if you want to keep chickens as you will need to go down twice a day to feed them and let them in/out of their coop and check for pests and predators.
Be prepared to wait!
Just because you apply for an allotment now, doesn’t mean you’re going to get one now! My husband and I sat on a waiting list for two years! Then when we finally got our allotment, found out that the site we’re on has had 40+ vacancies for 2 years. We were not impressed! But ultimately we’re just glad to have our plot now.
Check your mail!
When you’ve put your name on the waiting list for your allotment, keep an eye out in the mail. Sometimes they post you a letter to ask if you’re still interested. We missed our letter which meant we had to wait even longer.
Choose somewhere with easy acces to water!
Think how far you’re going to have to walk for water when you start watering your plants! My site has over 5 water tanks – but only one of them works and it’s right at the bottom of the enclosure! (I have to utilise my husband’s long legs to go fetch water)
Make sure you know who the contact is on site
The council usually owns the land, but often will delegate site representatives that you can get into contact with if you have any problems.
Test the ground for workability
Before you sign your life over to the plot – test the ground for workability with a little fork. The ground can differ greatly from site to site. Also check the developed plots around you for perenial weeds and general upkeep. If your neighbours plots are well kept, it should help limit the spread of weeds to your plot once you’re up and running (and it’s a lot more aesthetically pleasing!)
There are a couple of other things I’d look out for personally; like the accesibility and do you have access to toilets on/near the site?