Telling it like it is – Essential Reading for Allotment wannabees

Some tongue in cheek advice for Allotment Hopefuls before they apply for an allotment


So you’ve watched the gardening programs, heard the expert opinion and applied for an allotment.  After a long wait – your initial enthusiasm a bit dimmed but still alive – you have received the email or phone call. ”An allotment is available.”  Note the word ‘available’ NOT ‘ready’ you arrange to meet the warden and are shown to an overgrown area of land.  It’s nothing like the telly program!

Gender is irrelevant here!  Mr  Mrs  or Ms you are at the pit face.  No one has to get your land ready for you , you’re on your own.  You just can’t see how you’ll be able to do it.  You are surrounded by plots which are lovely; fruit and vegetables in neat rows; no really nasty weeds of the variety clearly evident on yours.

You decide to have a go. Here is some crucial starting advice from one who knows.  Understand immediately that you have taken an annual lease on an organic object.  This is completely different from leasing say – a beach hut or a caravan or a seat at Wimbledon.  These inert objects will wait for your presence without deterioration.  Your allotment will not.  It needs constant attention.  If you do not/cannot factor time for your allotment into your life style, then you are wasting your time.  Don’t even start.  You have programmed  in failure from the word ‘go’.  You will get little return either in food, exercise or satisfaction.

You will constantly be in the bad books of the site warden who will eventually report ‘underuse’ of the plot to the Committee ,The Secretary will write a series of letters culminating in the termination of your tenancy. Soon afterwards, someone exactly like you will be  looking at the same piece of land which will, by now, be in an even worse state.  The cycle begins again!

Good Luck .