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10 Point Checklist for Choosing an Allotment Plot

You may be desperate to grow your own fruit and vegetables, and it’s quite likely that you’ve been on the waiting list since you were 14, but taking on the first plot that’s offered to you may not be the best idea you’ve ever had. In some cases, it may be Hobson’s Choice, but in any event it’s best to run through this snappy 10 point checklist – at least you’ll know what you’re in for…..

1. Is the plot the right size for you?

If you’re short of time or not particularly strong, or have kids that won’t eat fruit and veg, then a half size plot will be quite enough to get going with. Similarly, if you’re retired and vegetarian, with three grown up veggie kids still living at home, then don’t under do it – you’ll regret not taking the extra space.

2. How close is the water supply?

Can you use hose pipes as a general rule, or is it watering cans only? This is a highly relevant point if you have a bad back!

3. Is there a problem with invasive weeds?

Things like Horsetail can be soul destroying to have to deal with, particularly if you want to garden organically.

Allotment plot

Wouldn’t it be great if this was the only plot available?

4. How much work will you need to do to knock the plot into shape?

Is there a lot of rubbish that needs to be cleared? What state is the soil in?

5. Is there reasonable access for the car?

Many sites expect you to remove and tip all rubbish yourself so being miles from the road can be a problem, if not impossible, unless you’re big and strong.

6. Are trees overhanging the plot?

Do they shade it and equally important, are they full of hungry pigeons?!

8. What are the neighbours like?

Remember weeds don’t know the difference between plot 12A and 12B! On the other hand if they’re all pristine, you might feel a bit under pressure… Have you got kids? Would they be encouraging to them or tut tutting all the time?

9. Can you have sheds or greenhouses, or neither?

It’s nice to have somewhere to keep the tools, or shelter when it rains, or you might want to grow some things keen on warmer climes..

10. What’s the security on the site like?

There’s nothing worse than having your tools nicked or all your beautiful produce vandalized.

photo by: net_efekt