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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Essentials for growing your own allotment

With so many of us yearning to get back to the great outdoors having spent months locked away in our homes, there is bound to be an upshot in hobbyist gardeners investing in their own allotments. Allotments are pieces of land dedicated to the growing and tending of fruit and vegetables and were very popular in the earlier years of the 20th century, when many homes didn’t have their own gardens.

They have seen a resurgence in recent years, as more young people become interested in growing their own food. But what do you need to get started with your allotment and how much will it cost?

Image Source: Pexels

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the size of your allotment. What do you want to grow and how much can you practically afford to look after in terms of time and downpayment?  Generally speaking, a good starter size for an allotment is around 250 square metres, which should give you adequate room to grow enough food for the whole family.

Remember, running an allotment involves a lot of work. You don’t only have to remember to water your plants every day but keep paths clear and ensure that it doesn’t become wild and overgrown. As for what you’ll actually be allowed to achieve with your plot, that will depend on the landlord. You’ll strike top a tenancy agreement with them as you would when renting a house and that will deter what you can and can’t do.

How much you pay for your actual allotment plot will depend on the area and the size of the land and could range anywhere from £10 a year to £150 a year. However, there are also a number of allotment startup costs to consider. You’ll need tools, for example, and if you opt for  brand new tools you could end up spending as much as £100 on spades, forks, rakes and hoes.

You’d probably be better off exploring car boot sales or enquiring online. Then you’ll need the fruit buses and tress as well as the veg seeds and plants, which might set you back a pretty penny too. When you’re starting out, keep it simple. You can always expand later.

Polytunnels or greenhouses?
Once you’ve secured your piece of land and you have all the tools, seeds and gear you need to get cracking, you’re going to want to invest in a covered home for those plants that require greater protection. Here, your options are either glass greenhouses or plastic polytunnels.

The latter represents the more practical and affordable option as they can be found in a range of sizes and can be put up and taken down very easily. They also work in exactly the same way as a greenhouse, though they might be seen as less secure by some. Still, whatever allotment option you choose, it’s always worth having somewhere to retreat to if the rain starts to set in!

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