looking to the future

Looking to the Future: The Allotment versus a Garden.

Recently, me and Ailsa have been tentatively looking at moving house. We got married recently, and as our lives together have grown, so has the need for space. I love my little house, but we can’t swing the cat in it (just kidding, Hooves).

Plus we might need the extra room for the ‘B’ word.


(Just kidding, Ailsa)

Anyway, we did look at one house a couple of weeks ago, with a thin but very long garden. Unfortunately, the house wasn’t for us, but the garden was great. It backed on to fields and was very peaceful down the end. Perfect, I thought, for vegetable patches.

The Smallholding Dream
I’ve always dreamed of the archetypal kitchen garden, chickens, and pigs smallholding set up, but that’s some way off. However, it seems that veggies in the garden might not be.

In reality, we’re months (at least) off moving but I’ve been pondering what I’d do if suddenly I was presented with the space to grow vegetables a few steps away from my back door.

The Advantages of a Kitchen Garden
The advantages of this are obvious. Being so close to my patch allows me to wander out and potter whenever I like. With this season not being as successful as previous ones, I’ve regularly wondered whether having something in the garden would allow me to fit in more work on the plot. I think little and often is the key to keeping on top of things, and being able to balance running a plot with other interests.

After also hearing tales of whole allotments getting tomato blight, and my own leek rust traumas, the opportunity to have a plot out on its own, where I might not catch a disease from other allotments, and vice versa, is another big advantage.

And of course, my garden wouldn’t close at dusk like the allotments. No more planning ahead needed in the wintertime!

The Advantages of an Allotment
However, I’ve learned a lot while being an allotment holder. Advice and tips are readily available from fellow growers. Without this help, I’d still be growing crap parsnips and having my sweetcorn eaten by the badgers, for example.

I like my fellow growers too, and there is a sense of community that I’d not have stood on my own in my garden. You see it in the allotment shop too, which is something else I’d miss. There are some bargains to be had in there.

Perhaps most importantly, I’ve put a big investment in my plot, and I’d have to start all over again. I bought lots of raspberry canes, gooseberry bushes and strawberry plants that are now all settled and producing.

This may all be pie in the sky at the moment, but for me, it’s an interesting thing to consider, especially when nosing around houses. Growing veg in the garden would also be another challenge with different soil and more graft – but then that’s half the fun, isn’t it?

3 thoughts on “Looking to the Future: The Allotment versus a Garden.”

  1. My plot’s about a half-hour walk from my house, so I end up driving there most of the time, which seems a shame. I would cycle, but there’s too much theft to leave tools on-site, and I don’t fancy strapping them onto the side of my bike window cleaner-style. A house with growing space in the garden would be wonderful.

    “I’ve put a big investment in to my plot… I bought lots of raspberry canes, gooseberry bushes and strawberry plants.”

    You could keep the allotment while you’re getting growing in the garden, and take cuttings. Or you could just transplant them; we’ve moved raspberries and strawberries and they’ve done well in their new locations.

  2. Even though my (small) allotment is only 15mins drive away, nothing can beat having back and front gardens to grow in. This year, I’ve decided to dig up my flower bed and while keeping the odd rose and a much loved perennial or two, I’m going to plant the rest of the bed up with soft fruit and herbs so that I don’t waste any of these delicious fruits which sometimes spoil when I don’t make it to the allotment as much as I should do (shameful I know!)
    Would love to have a larger back garden to grow much more fruit and veg at home (currently 15ft x 45ft) and while I’m dreaming, a walled kitchen garden at that! As Tim says, fruit bushes and plants will transplant quite happily, so keep your eyes open for that big garden and good luck with the house hunting.

  3. Thanks for your comments Tim and Naomi,

    I like the idea of transplants and cuttings – have taken a couple of gooseberry ones. Almost like preparing for the future.

    The other option is to split it in half and grow the veg at home, as the fruit is all in one big bed.

    Would love to see some pics of your beds when they’re in full flow Naomi.

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