To celebrate National Allotment Week 2011, I’ve decided to profile some of my favourite allotment holders.
Where is your allotment and how long have you rented it?
I’ve had an allotment since I was 15. My current allotment is in Crystal Palace and I took possession in October 2008
What is your favourite thing about having an allotment?
Having a place to relax and switch off for a few hours. I find the best period to be on my plot, during the summer, is from 4:30 am until 9 am. It’s very peaceful and it’s just you and the sounds of nature.
What is your least favourite thing about having an allotment?
You can’t choose your neighbours!
What is the best veg growing tip you’ve picked up and where did it come from?
Sow Rocket before July for flowers and after July for leaves.
What is your favourite fruit or veg to grow on the allotment?
Favourite fruit has to be raspberries and favourite veg to grow is runner beans. I love them at the start but then hate them by the end of the season!
Got a tasty allotment recipe to share?
Am pretty boring in the kitchen. I tend to use my veg for the Sunday lunch, yum.
What one item or tool could you not do without on the plot?
My radio. Nothing better than pottering around and listening to either some music or The Archers.
What was your biggest or most embarrassing allotment hiccup?
With my first allotment, I sprayed the whole area with chemicals, only to discover that the wind had blown it across the allotment site and everyone turned up a few days later to find their vegetables and flowers all dead!
If you had one piece of advice for an allotment beginner, what would it be?
Before sending off for any plants or growing seeds make sure that the ground is ready for that plant. I used to order plants through the post and not have the ground ready – you end up wasting a lot of plants and money that way.
I think that more people should plant scented and colourful flowers on plots. The majority of allotment sites are just a mass of green and adding scented colourful flowers would make a lot of sites more attractive to look at.