Demand is at an all-time high.
The pandemic has stoked feverish interest in allotments. According to The Guardian,
“Applications for council-run allotments in England have soared during the coronavirus pandemic – despite 18-month waiting lists – as consumers seek to embrace “the good life” and grow their own fruit and vegetables.”
And that goes for young people too. The younger generations are picking up the rake at an ever-increasing pace. According to Airtasker, “2020 has seen unprecedented growth in gardening, with over 3.5 million taking up gardening for the first time.” Whether it is due to boredom, the push for green living or other factors, allotments are on the rise along with gardening in general. If you are considering taking up horticulture, now is a good time to plant an allotment; before they become too scarce.
What do you need to get started with an allotment?
At the bare minimum, you will want to purchase a digging fork, sharp hoe, digging spade and a wheelbarrow. If you have knee problems, a garden kneeler may be a godsend.
When preparing your allotment, the RHS recommends raised beds for those with reduced mobility, so you’ll need wood and fasteners too. According to their website, “Raised beds are a great way of growing a wide range of plants, and are particularly popular for growing fruit and vegetables. They are a good way of boosting drainage and can be used to introduce a different soil type to your garden."
Raised beds can reduce the need to keep bending down, thus make gardening more cmfortable for those with restricted mobility. Plan your beds with space for your shed, a greenhouse, water butts and compost.
What can I grow in my allotment in August?
You may be wondering what veg can I start growing in August? Well, there is no time like the present. For direct sowing, look to your cabbages and hardy lettuce. Add in some late spinach, kohlrabi, radishes, turnips and spring onions. If kept warm, you could enjoy a zesty salad on boxing day from your own garden.
If you are planting out seedlings grown earlier, cauliflowers, savoy cabbages and hardy kales will take in August. Remember, if you are going on holiday, you will need to arrange for someone to water your plants regularly. When planting, keep in mind the patterns of the sun, the houses around you and any shade from trees. You will want to take all these factors into account for the best results.
Want more information? The National Allotment Society operates a comprehensive website with planting, pest control and monthly maintenance tips that will help you hone your gardening skills. Just remember to take it slow and not try to do too much with your first patch. As you grow in confidence, the scale and scope of your allotment will naturally grow as well.