How To Start An Allotment Plot For Beginners

Are you tired of paying exorbitant prices for fresh, organic produce at the supermarket? Do you long for the satisfaction of growing your food? Starting an allotment might be just what you need! Allotments are spaces where individuals can rent a plot of land to grow their own fruits, vegetables, and flowers. They're a great way to get outside, connect with nature, and reap the rewards of your hard work.
However, if you're new to gardening, the idea of starting an allotment may be daunting. Fear not! In this beginner's guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to get started on your journey to collecting baskets of fresh vegetables. From selecting the right plot to choosing what to grow and how to care for your plants, we'll take you step-by-step through the process of starting your own allotment. So grab your gardening gloves and let's get started!

So, you’ve been allocated an allotment plot, but what now?

It is likely that any plot you are allocated may have been unattended or left to overrun for some time. Your first job is going to be to clear the site to make it suitable for planting and growing. Ideally, the clearing of weeds and debris will take place in Autumn or Winter so you do not have to fight old and new growth as weeds start springing up as the temperatures rise. By taking the time to carefully strip back your new plot to its basic layout you will gain a good understanding of the factors that will help or hinder your growing vegetable crops; how much light does it get? Is there shade or do you notice strong winds regularly? Is the plot sloped and what type of soil is there?

Once you have completed this vital task you will be in a much better position to plan your plot and choose the best selection of crops for your environment.

Design Your Allotment Plot & Plan Your Beds

You may already have some ideas about the types of fruits and vegetables you want to grow but the planning stage is vital to make sure that you can manage the season without multiple crops interfering with each other whilst ensuring you have enough time to start the seedlings, harden them off, plant them out and then maintain them as they grow throughout summer.

It is really, really tempting to go wild and try to sow and grow a range of exciting crops, but slow and steady really do win the race. Choosing some cheap and easy-to-grow varieties will take the pressure off as you begin your growing journey. We think drawing your plot out on paper including some notes about how sunny and shady the areas are will help you to choose the right vegetables for a successful growing season, this can also help you decide on where to position some key equipment like water butts, storage sheds or a polytunnel.

If you are new to growing we recommend getting to know your neighbouring plot owners, they are likely to be friendly and knowledgeable! They may be able to save you a lot of time by telling you the strengths and weaknesses of the soil and which crops they find to suit the allotment and which ones they struggle to get going….they can be a great help at saving you both time and money!
You’ll find our list of vegetables that are perfect for growing as a beginner at the end of this blog!

Keeping Your Plants Well Fed & Watered

Once you’ve cleared and prepared your plot, taken the time to carefully plan your crops and are in a position to either sow directly out or transport and plant out developing plants you will need to factor in regular maintenance and care to keep your plot in check. Weeds can be relentless in Spring as the temperatures rise and rainfall is still plentiful, failing to keep on top of these will make the job feel more and more overwhelming whilst also thwarting the overall health of your plot. You should be aiming to check and act on weed growth regularly.

As important as this is ensuring that you are spending enough time at the plot to ensure your developing plants are getting enough water, it may be that mother nature takes care of this on some weeks but with increasingly long dry spells during our British Summer making sure there is a source of water on the plot for you to keep your plants hydrated is critical.

Watch Out For Pest

Keeping an eye out for harmful pests or infestations is going to be another skill you will need to learn, along with the obvious pest of snails, slugs and aphids there are a host of other bugs and insects that will want a piece of your plot. This is another area that your plot neighbour can help with as they can advise of any recurring or familiar infestations, they notice year on year. When designing and choosing the crops to plant you may want to make a note of the pest most likely to affect them so you can specifically keep an eye out for them.

So there you have it, folks! We hope this beginner's guide to starting an allotment has given you the confidence and knowledge to take the first steps towards getting started with your brand-new allotment plot. Remember, gardening is all about trial and error – don't be discouraged if things don't go perfectly at first. With time, patience, and a little bit of elbow grease, you'll soon be reaping the rewards of your hard work. So grab your seeds, roll up your sleeves, and let's get planting!

At Feel Good we have developed a range of polytunnels and cold frames that enhance your ability as a gardener by helping to protect and create the right environment for your veggies to get growing. A good polytunnel can ensure your season starts well ahead of everyone else's and last much longer, perfect for maximising as many hours outdoors as possible.

Our Top 10 Veg That Are Cheap & Easy To Grow

  1. Beetroot – Can be sown outdoors from Mid April and can be ready in as little as 7 weeks.
  2. Chillies - Perfect for pots or on sills if you have a greenhouse or cold frame on your allotment plot.
  3. Bush Tomatoes – These do not need quite as much attention as the cordon variety and can also be grown well in pots or baskets.
  4. Potatoes – One of the easiest crops to grow in either the ground or growing bags, we love growing smaller salad potatoes for a spring harvest.
  5. Peas – These are easy to grow from seed crops, they are a delicious crop during spring and early Summer before it gets too hot for them to grow good quality produce.
  6. Salad Leaves – Perfect for pots, make sure to keep them watered in hot spells but enjoy picking them every few days and remember to keep sowing seeds for an ongoing supply.
  7. Courgettes – Once the frost has passed these are great, quick-growing veg for beginners.
  8. Rocket – quick growing and easy to keep a continual supply of fresh leaves.
  9. Squash & Pumpkins – Growing winter squashes can give you a supply of stored veg over winter months, a good amount of space is needed for these crops though.
  10. Radishes – easy to grow with no thinning out needed, you can usually be eating them within a few weeks!

  • Wooden Cold Frame

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  • Raised Trough Planter

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  • Large Vegetable Planter

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