New Allotmenteer!

Good evening,

I am 24 years old and have just kindly had an allotment handed over to me from a guy in my village. I have grown some veggies such as tomatoes, carrots and spring onions in the back garden before although, I am completely new to Allotments!!

Any tips, tricks or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks, Leanne!! x

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Welcome Leanne!

Lucky you!!! I think this is a great time to take stock of your new plot and figure out what is already there and what you want to grow - a blank slate can be daunting but also lots of fun.

Although I don’t have an allotment (my house came with large overgrown garden), I think starting off with smaller goals is the same for both; it is easy to get overwhelmed trying to sort the whole thing at once. Also, talk to your fellow allotment holders - they have a wealth of information and experience about what grows best on your plot/area and any policies/restrictions you need to be aware of.

Come on allotment people - any suggestions for Leanne?

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Don’t let it make you feel guilty. I really hope you enjoy every minute of having the allotment, very good luck to you. I was too lazy to get mine going but I do admire people who do. Julie

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Hello Leanne - how exciting for you… I got an allotment 4 years ago, and I’d never grown any veg before other than tomatoes in a grow bag in my back garden.

Here are some tips:

Start on just one part of it, rather than trying to grow things all over.
Talk to other plot holders - they’ll be happy to give you advice / seedlings / details of seed swaps etc.
Think about ‘no dig’ - check out Charles Dowding’s videos - even if you don’t do no dig he has loads of brilliant advice from sowing seeds to making compost and everything in between
Having good soil is the key - so this autumn put loads of manure on your plot - or part of it! That way things will grow really well next year
Buy a book on growing veg on allotments - loads around incl. second hand… they’re good for getting an idea of what to plant when, different varieties of veg, pests, etc. etc.
Do you like growing things from seed? Some people do (I love it) others don’t, and so buy seedlings… research where you can get seedlings if you don’t want to grow from seed - sometimes easier to start off
Don’t worry too much about rotating crops
Plant what you like to eat (might sound obvious, but you might be tempted to grow, say, beetroot, because everyone else is, even though you don’t like the stuff
After a bit you’ll work out both what you can grow, and what you like to grow e.g. I can’t grow carrots for some reason, and don’t bother with onions, but grow loads of chard, potatoes, rocket, kale, beans, leeks - amongst many other things
Things you can plant in the late summer / autumn include garlic, broad beans, lettuce, kale, chard… so it’s not to late to get stuff in the ground.

Good luck!
Ruth

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Welcome to the gang Leanne, my top tip is to start in one area to perfect that and then keep adding a little more at a time rather than trying to do the whole plot at once. And be prepared for weeds to constantly grow back, it can be disheartening at first but soon becomes part of the routine :slight_smile:

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Hi Leanne! :wave:t5: Some pretty darned good advice here. I think tackling one section at a time is essential, rather than try to do everything at once. Use a temporary green manure on the parts you aren’t ready to tackle yet.

Also, do think about using perennials. This can be perennial fruit bushes, perennial veg and possibly even trees (though this depends very much\on the rules of the allotment, do check!)

There’s an amazing range of soft fruit that you can grow: Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Gooseberry, Loganberry, Chilean Guava, Gaultheria Shallon etc. And there’s small shrubs that you can grow for edible fruit too, eg Japanese Quince.

If you are allowed and planning to plant trees, then do consider the rootstock that you’re using, as this determines the size of the tree.

And finally, perennial vegetables! There are lots out there, some good alternatives to annual vegetables eg Turkish Rocket for broccoli, Potato Onions for onions, Sea Kale or perenial kale for cabbage, Good King Henry for spinach etc. Two really good suppliers of perennial vegetables are Alison at Backyard Larder and Mandy at Incredible Vegetables.

Hope that’s not too overwhelming! Good luck :slight_smile:

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