Whatever your motivations for having an allotment, the benefits are undoubtedly many.
We take a look at the how’s, where’s and why’s of owning your own plot of perfection, during National Allotments Week.
Whether it’s because you love growing, cooking, eating or sharing your homegrown food – or perhaps it’s because you simply love the peace and tranquillity of having your own space – allotment life is treasured dear by many.
National Allotments Week started in 2002 as a way of raising awareness of allotments and the role they place in helping people live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships and bolster communities.
These days the interest in growing your own fruit and veg has never been stronger since the WW2 Grow for Victory campaign.
During National Allotments Week, August 12 – 18, the National Allotments Society (NAS) aims to protect, promote and preserve allotments around the UK.
Social capital– spending time outdoors encourage people to be sociable, even the act of going to a garden centre to buy the item required for planting requires social interaction and helps combat loneliness.
Mental well-being– many allotment holders say that gardening helps them feel calmer and more able to process their feelings.
Sense of achievement– there’s something special about eating food you’ve grown yourself. Not to mention how great it tastes.
You can find more benefits on the NAS website.
How to find an allotment
There are currently plots available in Shirehampton, but you can find a full list of where allotment sites are using their online guides.
South Glos council has a handy list of allotments that aren’t owned by the council and belong to private landlords that are available to rent.
- Beware of the rules – allotments are usually run by committees that strict rules that must be adhered to. If you don’t you may be asked to give up your plot.
- Plants – many plots also allow you to grow plants and flowers as well as fruit and veg.
- Price – allotment land is usually fairly cheap. You might pay as little as £20-£40 for the year for your space.
- Time management – an allotment is a regular commitment. You’ll need to ensure you have the time required to commit to gardening week in, week out.
- Plan ahead – have a plan for what you’d like to cultivate on your land over the next year, two years, three years etc.
- Other information – the Royal Horticultural Society has plenty of information on dealing with diseases, chemicals and pests.