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Allotment Size - How big is a rod?!


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  • Allotment Size - How big is a rod?!

    I have been offered an allotment that is 10 rods and am going to see it on Sunday.

    Can anyone tell me how the size of a rod? I have no idea of the measurements and am wondering what I have got myself into! Is it a field or a patch!?

    Please help!

  • #2
    Land Measurement Conversion - there you go!


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply.

      mmm so 1 rod is about 16.5 feet? So the plot is 165 feet?

      This does not seem right? Does anyone have an easier answer?!
      Last edited by pineandpear; 08-05-2008, 10:48 PM. Reason: question added


      • #4
        The 165 feet is the total of two sides I think you'll find. So dependant on the width lets say 55 feet, then the length of the plot would be 110 feet.

        My plots came ready marked out and I have never really measured them properly but the above sounds about right. Mine have got to be each approx 12 meters wide and with three side by side it is almost square, so they have to be 30+ meters long
        I am certain that the day my boat comes in, I'll be at the airport.


        • #5
          As i understand it a Rod is aprox 5 1/2 yards so if you square it which is how they measure land a simple work out a square Rod is about 30 yards and then multiply by 10 equals 300 square yards a normal plot size hope this helps jacob
          What lies behind us,And what lies before us,Are tiny matters compared to what lies Within us ...
          Ralph Waide Emmerson


          • #6
            Now Now lets have this right. (Jacob's there really)

            1 rod/pole/perch = 5.5 yards (reputedly the distance from the back of the plough to the nose of the oxen!!!). Therefore a square rod (in which allotments are measured is 30.25 sq yards) thus a standard 10 rod plot is 302.5 sq yards = 2722.5 sq ft (that's approximately 250 square metres to the froggies)

            It is about the size of the penalty area on a football pitch/a tennis court.... or you would fit 16 in an acre if that gives you a better estimate....or maybe 10,400 in a square mile helps!
            Last edited by Paulottie; 09-05-2008, 11:05 AM.


            • #7
              Thank you so much everyone who took the time to answer this one!

              I went down to view the 10 rod plot this morning and it is BIG and overgrown, but I took it and am very pleased and excited : )

              What a lovely day for gardening!


              • #8
                Our plot is only about 30 metres x about 4 metres - does that mean that it is technically only half a plot? They are all this size on our site...........


                • #9
                  Originally posted by spud57 View Post
                  Our plot is only about 30 metres x about 4 metres - does that mean that it is technically only half a plot? They are all this size on our site...........
                  Our site has 5 rod and 10 rod plots, depending on what you can manage and what is on offer at the time...


                  • #10
                    Yeah, I was confused by rods as well when I first got my plot. I have to say that 10 rods is a lot to take on for a newcomer, especially if it's overgrown. I got a 5 rod plot last spring and am still only using slightly over half of that now. The weeds are tough to get on top of. Hope you do well with it PineandPear!


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the messages.

                      It does seem a big task, but hopefully as the last plot holder divided the area up into sections, my partner and I can take control of a bit each and will hopefully manage it!

                      If we have too much this year, we may well give up half next year...


                      • #12
                        I currently have about 22 rods! that's a fair amount of digging. You will be surprised just how much land you can use, especially if you grow permanent crops. ( I'm a very committed and slightly insane though and was well on top of the first plot before I persuaded Mrs P and allowed to attempt a second)

                        There is no point in taking on more than you can manage. A 1/2 plot can be surprisingly productive especially if you go for the raised bed method. Paths and shed and so on do take a lot of space if you choose this method. I suggest that you spend time and money to make sure you sort out your paths properly as you want to spend future time growing veg- not weeding paths.

                        I prefer using mainly traditional rows though and I use Mypex initially to suppress the weeds; for paths; and both for growing through and covering unused land. Also I tend to plant stuff that has been raised in modules or pots. In general once you are over the initial mountain and into the rhythm, the majority of the prep work is done in the Autumn and then the propagation in early spring. If you don't win in the spring it is impossible to catch up with the weeds in the summer. Grow spuds, runners and squashes (Big and help suppress weeds) this year -rather than carrots and onions etc. Also wait till next year and you've cleaned out the land before putting in raspberries, currants or asparagus etc that will be a nightmare if infested with weeds.

                        I think you have the right idea, to start with divide it up just take small bites each time, do them well and mulch. I have seen to many people break their backs digging it all in May then throwing a lot of seed around and giving up as they see the weeds are back before their seeds are up. LITTLE AND OFTEN is the key and you will soon win.

                        Good luck with it.


                        • #13
                          Thank you for your encouragement. My partner and I went down to the allotment today and spent about 3 hours, laughing and tutting (must of been the excitement because we worked really hard!) at the mess whilst clearing nearly half the plot!

                          Well techically speaking we spent 3 hours clearing up the stuff cut down (and around) by two friendly fellow plot holders who offered (for a sum) to help us tackle the state of the plot. We now have a huge pile about 6 foot high of cut down and cleared green stuff that we racked up and a huge pile of skip stuff, including about 30 wooden windows, lashings of dubious mixtures in bottles, glass and more glass, ali framed windows, rusty old stuff, loads of shoes (?), etc, you get the picture!

                          The previous owner had divided the plot into beds with grass pathways between each area, with metal 'fence' dividers everywhere. I have dibbed the two near the end and will have the greenhouse, shed and my raised beds there as I want an area that I can potter about in that looks more like a jardin potager than a field (is this PC on an allotment?) and maybe, just maybe hang a hammock or sip Pimms every once in a while! Whereas my other half has already started digging over the other cleared area to sow directly into the earth in traditional farming rows. So hopefully we will have the Best of both worlds!

                          I had a very exciting find today, when we got the the plot you literally could not see the earth for all the rubbish and overgrowth everywhere. But after we started clearing it we not only had the pleasure of reaching soil but in the process we also discovered a pile of scaffold boards that I can make my highly anticipated raised beds out of! Hurrah! Plus two dead wheelbarrows and two servicable, but rusty ones that helped loads with carrying all the unwanted mess away! God is good!

                          Going back tomorrow evening to do some more hard labour, hopefully we will find it as amusing and exciting to keep the pace going!
                          Last edited by pineandpear; 16-05-2008, 01:04 AM.


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