Advice for the new allotment holder

Advice for the new allotment holder

This short post is all about string. The string-thing is aimed at new allotment plot holders. As they, like me, may be daunted by the large slab of ground they have just taken on annual rent from the local council.

Where to begin with plotting, sowing, portioning out the land for the various crops? How to stop hoofing all over prepared ground with clod heavy gardening boots?

The guru for vegetable gardening is still Joy Larkcom and her book : “Grow your Own Vegetables” is short on glossy pictures but long on sensible advice. Her recommendation is to keep beds to a width of 1.20 metres. Why? In order that you can work the ground from either side by reaching in, without (apart from actually sowing seeds) ever having to tread on it.

Advice for the new allotment holder

Divide your allotment into 1.2m wide beds for easy access

And so, if you are a little uncertain about how to begin tackling your plot, I recommend dividing it up into widths 1.20 with 30 cm paths between each bed. Mark out the beds with small canes and stretch twine between them. This makes allotment growing far less daunting and will keep the soil in good order.

You can read Catharine’s own blog here


Catharine Howard

Catharine Howard is a designer, garden coach and garden writer. Topics are anything to do with horticulture and the inspiration behind design. She lives and gardens in Suffolk.

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