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Allotment newbie

Hey folks,

Some of you fine people were great helping me with my tomato growing antics last summer - I still have a healthy crop of them in the freezer :)

My partner and I were thrilled to be offered an allotment just up the road from our house just after Christmas and the time has come to face the fact we need to go and get it ready to be of some use.

The previous tenant of the plot was planting things there up until last Spring and it's not terribly overgrown but we do have some work to do before we plant.

The question is... what work...

From a cursory read of articles on the internet it sounds like we should be digging the beds over, removing any remaining plants and doing something to fertilise before planting new crops?

Can anyone give me a bit more of a clue what we should start out with? 
We're heading up there on Saturday and wondering if I need to just take some spades or if I should be sourcing manure / fertilisers / something else...

Sorry for the vague question but hopefully makes enough sense to get some pointers...

Thanks :) 



  • First it depends on whether the soil is dry enough, such a bad winter.
    Then are there many weeds/unwanted plants to remove, fork/spade/trowel needed.
    Then now is a good time to look at the plot to decide what will be planted where, is there a damp patch, where will get most sun . 
    Next for those areas with things like potatoes manure spreading, but not on areas to have roots like carrots, they will need loose soil so maybe added grit/sand will be needed.
    Possibly will need covering to stop weeds regrowing.
    It very much depends on what kind of soil you have.
    Sounds alot but once you get going it will soon be productive. 🙂
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,723
    First have a look at it, find any berry bushes or rhubarb and any "hard" landscaping. If there are established paths are they where you want them? Is there a shed/greenhouse? Is it in good repair? If there are any other people up there ask them if they know anything about the plot, they may be able to point out any things of interest, like asparagus which you have no chance of finding at this time of year. I'm sure there will be plenty of large weeds for you to busy yourself for a few hours while you contemplate your new plot.
  • Hello Steve

    Good news on your allotment. You will be excited and wanting to get on with things but how you prepare the ground will reap benifits later in the season.most importantly given the weather we have had make sure you give the plot a good digging over.Best start with a fork as the soil will be quite compacted and also will allow you to give it a good aeriating.This will allow the air to get into the soil to help dry it out.If the grounds too wet some plantings of veg can result in them rotting. Let it air for a week then you can add compost to my view if you add compost now a(lthough good in summer for water retention) you will keep in any possible desease spores that would other wise dry out and may cause problems later.Dont forget most important rule take a flask of tea with you and enjoy yourself

    Jolly Gary
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