Obviously we think having an allotment is a great idea, however, here are a few things to consider to avoid taking on a plot and then becoming disallusioned and giving it up 12 months later.
How much time do I need to spend on my plot?
If you have a full size plot you will probably need to spend an average of 5 hours per week on your plot. The best advice is little and often. The amount of time varies according to the month. May is a busy month with lots of things to get in the ground but the winter months can be quieter unless you have covered growing space. If you are not sure how much time you have most sites allow you to take on a half-plot or something smaller whilst you get used to things. Some sites may even insist you start with a smaller plot.
How much will it cost?
Birmingham charges for plots based on size: Click here for details Some sites also collect money for an association fund and charge a deposit for the site entrance key.
What tools do I need?
That really depends on how you are going to look after your plot. Years ago people would dig and/or rotivate their plots but raised beds and “no-dig” is becoming increasingly popular. Some sites have larger items of equipment such as strimmers, lawn mowers and rotavators available for hire.,
What are allotment sites like?
All sites are different. Although the council is the landlord to whom you pay your rent sites are managed by a committee and officers who the plot holders elect at an Annual General Meeting. Some are large and have social committees and organise events whilst others are small and quieter. Generally, they are friendly places where people will offer you advice and guidance if you are new to gardening.
How long will I have to wait?
Once again this depends on the site. Some sites have waiting list of over 3 years whilst others have vacant plots immediately available. Some of these vacant plots may require a lot of hard work initially but it is surprising how quickly brambles can be cleared and weeds removed. So don’t be put off.
Once you have decided you definitely decided an allotment is for you click here.
Most allotment sites are open on a Saturday morning or the Secretary can be contacted if you would like a visit. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.