Finding an allotment and readying it for cultivation can seem a daunting task, but with these simple steps, a productive plot is easier than you might think.
While it is exciting taking on a new allotment, it can also be very daunting, especially if you inherit a neglected, overgrown plot. Before you take on a plot, check out the following factors:
- A full allotment plot is 10 rods (approximately 250 sq m/300 sq yd), but half plots are usually available if this is too much to manage
- Most, but not all, sites have water; but check what other facilities are available, such as storage sheds, compost and toilets
- Check also if there are any limitations in the lease which, for instance, prevents fruit tree planting or the erection of structures such as greenhouses, polytunnels or sheds, and if there are problems such as theft and vandalism
- Popular sites may have a waiting list, but sometimes it is better to be on a waiting list for a good, well-tended plot than inherit a weedy, overgrown plot on another site
If cleared by early spring, in time for early planting and sowing, a plot can give its full potential from the outset.
In cases of severe neglect, this won’t be possible. If this is the case, make a realistic plan of what you can achieve in year one, year two and so on. It might be better to clear half the plot in the first year, then at least you can start growing.