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What to look out for in an allotment

Branching out into the world of allotments can be both exciting and rewarding. To make sure you get the very best from your new plot, follow these simple guidelines for successful and productive gardening.

Size matters

A full size allotment is generally 300 square yards, but if you find this too much to manage, consider splitting it in half. You could either just prepare and cultivate half of your plot at a time, or you may want to let a friend or family member take over the other half and share the proceeds.

Check the facilities

Most sites will have access to water, but there are some that don’t, in which case you may have to look at collecting rainwater yourself. Also check if there are any other facilities, such as communal compost heaps, storage sheds or even toilets.

Look at your lease

Take a good look at your lease to see what limitations may be imposed. There could be restrictions on erecting greenhouses, polytunnels or sheds, whether you can keep chickens, or if fruit trees can be planted. If possible, also check whether there has been any recent cases of vandalism or theft.

Play the waiting game

Allocation of good plots can take time, but sometimes it’s far better to wait for an allotment that has been lovingly looked after on a well-organised and popular site, rather than accept the quick offer of an overgrown and weedy plot from a less well-run site.

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