Being an allotment holder requires effort!

allotmentsWalking past a well-tended allotment garden often raises feelings of respect for work done and pleasure in the achievements of the gardener working on the plot.

Sometimes it plants the idea of having a plot of your own.

But before rushing down to the Prudhoe Gardeners’ Association Hut to apply for one, make certain that you are not just attracted to the IDEA of having a well-tended allotment garden. Be realistic, look at your motives and consider what is involved.

An allotment garden is, as the name suggests, a place where you ‘garden’. It is not a place to store unwanted junk. It is not a wild life reserve. It is not a reforestation area. It is a garden that needs regular cultivating, where the soil needs caring for, where crops need planting and tending, where weeds need to be removed. Pests and diseases need to be controlled.

All of this takes knowledge, physical effort, time and some expense. It isn’t something you can do when you have a spare moment from an otherwise busy life. Success is not instant – even the simple radish needs watering and time to grow.

Your crops won’t come clean and washed like out of the supermarket. You will have to plan your crops to match what your family likes to eat and understand that things are seasonal – you won’t have strawberries and raspberries off your allotment for Christmas or courgettes in February. In other words, you need your family to be on your side and to be willing to give a hand on the allotment sometimes even.

It’s harder than just mowing the lawn at home.

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