Our first bit of advice, don't believe you need every tool in the garden centre! The tools you need to get started at actually fairly basic and it would be better to invest in fewer, better-quality items as you begin your allotment journey and then add in other tools when it’s clear they would be beneficial.
You will find yourself being very resourceful and using a lot of the natural materials at hand for many of the thigs you find yourself needing...take a look at your neighbour’s allotment and polytunnel - what genius little hacks have they found using materials otherwise destined for the bin.
That said, here is our list of things we think you should work towards owning.
1) Spade - an essential for heavy digging and a quality spade will make the job significantly easier than a cheap one. If heavy digging isn't a worry and you are largely dealing with beds, a border spade is easier to handle.
2) Fork - Much like the spade a bigger version is perfect for larger plots or where there may be a lot of digging and turning over and a boarder version may be more suitable if working in smaller areas.
3) Hand Trowel / Fork - A perfect pairing and ones you will want to ensure are excellent quality. Usually used for making small holes and working in beds when planting out. Whether its work in the polytunnel, shed or the ground they are two pieces of kit you'll be using again and again.
4) Rake - my number one tip with a rake is check the handle length! try to go for at least 1.5m but give some a try so you can see what works with your back.
5) Secateurs - The work horse in the tool kit, they won't be far from your reach when on the plot so it’s absolutely worth getting the best pair you can and then taking care of them, they should last many years.
6) Gardening Gloves - Essential year-round to help protect and keep warm - choose ones that feel right and fit well.
7) Dutch Hoe - The design on the Dutch Hoe allows you to push and pull when weeding meaning you can slice off weeds below the surface due to the angled blade.
8) Polytunnel or Cold Frame - Depending on the size of your allotment, a polytunnel could be an especially useful addition. They can allow you to work earlier in the season by germinating and getting some plants growing well before hardening off. They also offer the best opportunity to grow more exotic varieties of vegetables that are not traditionally grown in the U.K, our polytunnels are perfect for gardens or allotment plots and can be filled with beds or you can simply plant straight into the ground.
We hope you have found our guide to allotment tools useful, we believe that its far simpler to get started that some blogs will have you believe and investing in a relatively small number of essential tools is better than buying lots that may not be used very much.
You can see our range of polytunnels here.