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10 Top Tips for New Plot Holders From The National Allotment Society

15th August 2018

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Getting your own allotment plot is an exciting moment and it’s tempting to rush out and buy seeds and equipment and get planting. However, the more thought that you put in before you start work the more successful you will be. Be realistic about how much time you can devote to your new plot and read up on the variety of gardening methods to find one to suit you. Take a look at the National Allotment Society’s top 10 tips to get you started.

1. Plan Ahead
Plan your plot – check your tenancy agreement to see what elements you can include, if there are any restrictions and what crops you can grow.

2. Get Reading
Do some research about crop rotation, pests and disease, soil, composting and dealing with the elements. There is a lot of online advice as well as books available. You can visit the growing advice section on the National Allotment Society’s website for tips, click here.

3. Talk To Fellow Allotment Neighbours
Do not be afraid to ask other plot-holders for their advice, they will know what grows well on the site and may have spare seedlings, raspberry canes, rhubarb and more!

4. Have Reasonable Expectations
Do not try to do too much at once, cover the part of your plot you are not using and work gradually. Unless you know that the soil is completely free of weed roots do not use a rotavator!

5. Get Weeding
If you are clearing an overgrown plot try and be as thorough as you can. You can kill the weed waste off by starving them of sunlight in a black bag for a year or by drowning in a sealed tub and then add them to your compost heap. If the weed has seeded take them to your council composting facility.

6. Choose Veg You Love
Grow what you and your children enjoy eating, perhaps even give your kids a small bed of their own to grow easy crops like radish and spring onions.

7. Try And Try Again
Be prepared to accept a failure and learn from your mistakes. Try keeping an allotment journal to record what works and what does not.

8. Be Prepared With Tools
Try to have the right tools for the job and look after them, a basic kit would consist of spade, fork, trowel, hand-fork, hoe, watering can and secateurs. You may need shears or a strimmer if you have grass areas to keep tidy. As you get more experienced you can buy more specialised tools.

9. Go Natural
There are lots of organic methods to control pests and diseases so look into these before you reach for the chemical alternatives. If using pesticides and herbicides be responsible – don’t spray on flowering crops and trees to protect bees!

10. Enjoy Your Plot
Take a moment to sit back and relax on your plot, taking in all that you have achieved so far!

To find out more advice from The National Allotment Society, go to nsalg.org.uk

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