Up and down the country, there are impressively long waiting lists for a prized patch on allotments. If you’ve been lucky enough to get one, where do you start? These sites will help you find and set up your allotment, even if you’re a novice, but are also a mine of advice if you want to have a vegetable plot in your garden.
NSALG The society is the national representative body in the UK and a good place to start. It is owned, managed and funded by its members to protect, promote and preserve allotments for future generations. If you need advice on creating a new plot, are a novice gardener, or would like help on how to form and run a gardening association, it’s all here. The Society also has a campaigning aspect and has helped to save several sites from development. Visit National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners.
DirectGov The DirectGov website is so dense that you can sometimes lose the will to live, but the Guide to Renting An Allotment is useful and straightforward, if a tad dull and official. It can help you apply for an allotment from your council or help you find private sites, and sets you straight about the different types of allotments, facilities, rights and responsibilities. It doesn’t give help on the horticultural side, but provides links to lots of organisations that do. Visit DirectGov Guide to Renting An Allotment.
RHS Grow Your Own This is by far the most attractive and comprehensive site, and offers masses of advice to get you started. You can find as much help as you need here, including planning your plot, choosing your crops, growing in small spaces, video tutorials and month-by-month jobs-to-do lists. The information in the vegetable and fruit A-Z is amazingly comprehensive: I looked up fig trees as an example and was bombarded with information about the plant, how to grow and harvest it, different varieties, as well as problems to anticipate. And it’s the same for virtually anything you could ever want to grow in your allotment. Wonderful. Visit The Royal Horticultural Society.
Allotments UK This is the UK’s largest allotment community and for many it is the go-to destination for articles, forums, videos and downloadable advice sheets. It’s not the most attractive or responsive of sites, but worth persevering with. Visit Allotments UK.
Allotment Vegetable Growing John Harrison started this site as an online diary to help other people growing vegetables on an allotment, and it is now the most popular allotment website in the UK. He has written several books on the subject (many of which are for sale in the shop section) and he knows what he’s talking about. He has put a lot of articles and images online, so this is not a hard-nosed exercise in getting you to buy his books. Instead, you’ll find month-by-month guides to what to do in your garden or allotment, advice on finding an allotment, vegetable growing guides, videos and recipes. And if you have ever fancied keeping hens, the poultry section is equally comprehensive. Visit Allotment Vegetable Growing.
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