Hi, my name is Michelle and I was a contestant on BBC2 big allotment challenge 2014, and also BBC1 allotment wars. I have my own allotment and have done for 5 years now, the lovelies at Thompson & Morgan have asked if I would like to write an allotment blog, so I thought we would start right back at the beginning.
When applying for an allotment you need to contact your local council offices parks and gardens department. They will inform you of your nearest allotment site and availability. You can choose whether to apply online or they will send you a form in the post. Waiting times vary from site to site, I was really lucky I only waited for 4 weeks for my allotment but unfortunately for some sites people can wait for years. Sizes of plots vary massively. The traditional method of measuring an allotment is in rods, perches and poles an old measurements dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. Ten poles is the accepted size of an allotment that’s the equivalent of 250 square meters. A rod was used to control a team of oxen when working the land and measures 5.5 yards.
This translated into more modern terms as 10×5 x 5×5 as an area required to produce enough vegetables to feed a family of 4 for a year, obviously a rough guide as every site is different. I measure my allotment in ft. it works out at 120ft long and 30ft wide all this measuring fuddles my brain! Whatever space you end up with finally you always learn to maximise. When you’re weeding and digging your allotment, it always feel like you have too much space. But when you’re planting, it feels like you don’t have enough. I still remember the over excitement of receiving my letter to say plot 4b had been allocated to me, I was to meet the site rep and he will show me round. Of course I arrived on site trying to keep excitement in check. To start with I only had half a plot which is 50ft x 30ft covered in bramble 6ft high in some spots, and couch grass (a gardeners nightmare), none of that mattered to me and I couldn’t wait to get started. After much preparation I was fully equipped with a spade, fork, rake, sheers, gloves and wellies. I was ready to go to war with my plot.
This is a very small part of my allotment now, in my next post I will tell you how I went from bramble and mess to a fully productive plot.
Hi my name is Michelle, I was a contestant on BBC2 big allotment challenge 2014, and also BBC1 allotment wars. I have my own allotment and have done for 5 years now, so I will be discussing all things allotments from locating to preparing with you.