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General Allotment Advice / Getting started

An allotment
If you are new to allotment gardening here are some tips you may find useful.

On your first visit to your plot, decide what work you need to do to bring it back into cultivation. If the previous gardener looked after the plot well, you can probably use a fork and spade to hand-dig the soil. Digging loosens the earth, letting air and moisture in and breaking up hard compacted earth. Plant roots and seedlings can then grow through the soil easily, quickly making vigorous healthy plants. Fork in compost and soil improver to stop the soil compacting down again, to feed the plants and to help moisture where plant roots can reach it easily. Then level the soil using a rake.

 

Don't try to clear the whole plot straight away. Work on a section at a time clearing and planting it, before moving on to clear the next patch. This way you will be sure to have something to harvest in your first year.

 

The best time for digging is Autumn or early Winter if you want to be ready for seed sowing in Spring. Choose a dry spell and remember, if the soil sticks to your boots, it is probably too wet for digging.


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