Starting Your Own Allotment Is Easy With Our Hassle-Free Guide
Growing and eating your own vegetables and fruit can be a rewarding experience. We’ve got a step-by-step guide to get you off to a blooming good start
19:56 18 November 2020
Starting Your Own Allotment The Easy Way
There is an increasing awareness among health practitioners of the health-benefits associated with activities enjoyed in natural settings. A study conducted in 2015 in the U.K. found that urban gardening (allotment gardening) can significantly increase mental and psychological well-being, promote life-satisfaction, and even act as a catalyst for social inclusion and interaction.
But the benefits of gardening in allotments even extend all the way to food supply. Another more recent study – also conducted in the U.K. – estimates that a restoration of allotments recently lost or discontinued could potentially provide Britain’s population with the suggested “five-a-day” of fruits and veggies.
Clearing a portion of land and getting started on a new allotment can seem a daunting task to the beginner-gardener. Which is why we’ve compiled a concise step-by-step guide to get to started and well on your self-sustained way.
Step 1: Analyse What’s Available
Drawing up a basic plan before lunging straight into wildly digging and planting will prevent a lot of frustration later on. When analysing the allotment at your disposal, consider first of all, the actual space you’ve got available.
Exactly how much time and resources you’ll be spending on preparing your soil for planting will depend on whether the soil has been prepared for planting and growing at any point in the recent past. The more “looking after” enjoyed by the soil in recent years, the less digging and weeding and preparing will be required of you.
Also consider beforehand things like daily exposure to direct sunlight (plants need this!), the amount of time you’re likely to have at your disposal for devoting to your new garden in future, the amount of money you’re able to spend on your new endeavour, etc.
Step 2: Plan Your Layout
Your layout design should include a number of key considerations:
- Decide on your preferred style of vegetable bed – for example raised, elongated, shorter but squared, etc.
- Decide on your preferred size of vegetable bed.
- Decide where you’ll be positioning compost heaps or bins, irrigation systems, possibly even a small shed for storage, etc.
Step 3: Consider Your Tools
A well-planned collection of tools will make the difference between a successful harvest and you giving it all up as a bad job before too much time has passed. The right tools will make your allotment adventure a joy and possibly even a passion.
These are our suggested must-haves:
- A digging fork.
- A digging spade.
- A sharp hoe for making light work of weeding.
- A pair or two of garden gloves.
- A pair of pruning clippers/shears.
- A wheelbarrow.
Step 4: Getting Down To Business
In this case, by “business” we mean clearing your allocated allotment space of ground covering, grass, weeds, etc., before feeding your soil with the necessary organic matter and supplements. Get your kids to help you if needs be, and turn it into a fun activity. A recommended soil mix for general-purpose growing would be a combination of 3 parts organic matter, 2 parts sharp sand, and 7 parts topsoil.
Once you’ve cleared your allotment and prepared your soil, be sure to allow your beds to settle (rest) for at least two weeks before planting.
Step 5: Growing
Like a mobile casino is the perfect companion for a busy lifestyle, the seasons are the allotment gardener’s best friends. There’s something to be grown in every season – meaning you’ll never have to hang about waiting for “next season” before getting started.