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A beginner's guide to starting an allotment

24/04/2017  |  News

If you are a nature lover and have a dream of growing your own produce but don’t know where to start, then you are probably like a lot of other women I know. I was lucky enough to be offered part of an allotment which I have taken on this Spring. It is in fact 4 beds of grass and weeds, but everyone likes a challenge!

The aim is to grow some of the flowers and herbs that inspire some of Eve of St. Agnes natural skincare and soaps, such as lavender.

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Our new allotment before we start work!

If you don’t live in the countryside, or you live in a flat in the city, it can be very difficult to live the country dream. The idea of pottering around a garden, picking your own herbs and vegetables is so appealing, yet so out of reach for a lot of people.

Have you ever thought about taking on an allotment? The idea may conjure up images of decrepit sheds and rows and rows of runner beans, but nowadays, an allotment allows you to get creative and have a real go at growing your own produce that could see you through an entire year.

Here are the pro’s and cons of taking on an allotment:

Pro’s:

  • You can have a large area of land to grow whatever vegetables, herbs and flowers you like.
  • It is very low cost, most allotments range from around £20 - £30 per year.
  • You can enjoy vegetables that are in season and you can’t get much fresher!
  • You can use organic fertiliser and seeds to ensure your produce is organic.
  • Save a fortune on fresh vegetables and herbs throughout the year.
  • It is fantastic exercise, depending on your weight, you can burn around 150 calories per half an hour of gardening.
  • Enjoy the fresh air, relaxation and time to yourself. It can be very beneficial to your health.
  • Some councils allow chickens and bees to be kept on an allotment.

Con’s:

  • Allotments can be hard to come by, there may be a waiting list in your area.
  • You do need to devote a bit of time to them, so they need a commitment from you.
  • The area may be too much for you to manage.

So as you can see, there seem to be more pro’s than cons, but let’s have a look at how we can deal with some of the cons.

Alltments can be hard to find, but here are some tips on how you can get your hands on one.

  1. Have a look at your local council website for allotment space. https://www.gov.uk/apply-allotment
  2. Look at http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/allotment-finder/ which is a forum for people advertising and searching for allotments.
  3. Don’t be afraid to go along to your local allotment and have a chat to some of the allotment owners there. Ask if they are willing to let you have a bit of their plot. Maybe there is someone there with a plot that is too much too manage. This will also be ideal for you if you don’t want to take on too much too soon.

We hope this blog has made you consider the possibility of taking on an allotment, or even part of an allotment. Even if you are a beginner gardener, it’s definitely worth a go. There is so much help and information available on line, we have started a Pinterest board with various hints and tips to create a beautiful allotment.

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Next week I will be writing about day one on the allotment – transforming a bed of weeds into something that vaguely resembles a vegetable plot!

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