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Tackling a New Allotment!

It’s no secret that tackling a new allotment can be not only daunting but completely overwhelming. Difficult to know where to start, and if you pick one up in a particularly bad state, after you have cleared it, what do you do next? In other words, you can’t see the wood for the trees! Pun intended!

So here are my top 3 tasks to complete to make your allotment functional, and then the rest should fall into place…

1.        Composting – this is crucial. It will save you so much time, energy and give you a controlled space while you are clearing. You can create your own compost from waste on your site and when you get this really working it will save you a small fortune in mulch for the next season.

Create a system of bays – using wooden pallets is usually a great way to do this. Don’t skimp on the bays or space. You can literally never have enough compost. If you have a large site, think about creating more than one composting area to save time during busy periods.


2.        Water – saving water will be another crucial element. Especially if your site doesn’t have any access to mains water. During the summer months you will obviously need to give your crops extra for them to survive. The past two years have also seen some of the driest springs in the UK on record, meaning earlier seedlings and smaller plants have struggled to perform as well as usual.

Again, this is something you can’t really have too many or much of! You can get creative with this finding as many ways to save water as possible and look forward to a luscious, green patch!


3.        Beds System – Your beds system is something which you can really have fun with on your plot but there are some functional aspects to keep in mind while you are designing. Don’t make your beds too wide. Access without standing and compacting your soil will be important.

Think about how you will define them, is your soil in good condition already to put them straight in the ground or will you invest in some raised beds?

What is your drainage like? Are there any times of year that your plot has standing water that you will need to avoid?

Think about the functionality and then let your imagination and creativity run as wild as it can!

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