I have a front garden full of plants in pots. And a bench, and three empty compost daleks.
My parents are moving to Burnham-on-Crouch, the town where I live. True to her style, my mum is bringing with her more plants than furniture.
They’ll be just around the corner from us, and I’m delighted with their decision. Not because it’ll be great to pop round for a cup of tea, or great for Lewis to be able to walk to his gran and granddad’s whenever he chooses.
Oh no, the best thing about this is I’ll have my mum on hand to regularly work on my new allotment plot. 🙂
I jest of course, but there is a point here: one of the best tips I can give someone considering putting their name down for an allotment is try to find a partner to work the plot with you.
Even though mum previously lived 20 minutes away, we were always partners on the old plot. I initially took the plot on, but mum soon joined in and without her help I’d never have balanced an allotment with a full time job and life in general.
Splitting the Work is One of the Best Beginner Tips
Obviously you need to be able to get on with your plot partner, so if you’re lucky enough to have someone in mind, make doubly sure they’re the right person first! However, taking on a plot alone is tough and time consuming, and splitting the work is one of the best things a beginner can do.
You’ll be amazed how much two people can get done in a short space of time, so if you can find a suitable mate then you’re one step ahead already. It sounds obvious, but I can’t overstate how much easier the first year or so becomes when there is two of you to share the labour.
You can manage the whole thing together, or if you have different ideas as to how you want to run the plot, trying halving it off like my work friends David and Russell have done.
Saving Money and Enjoying Company
There are other benefits to plot sharing too, particularly financially. For example, buying tools and fruit bushes can be expensive, but dividing the cost between two is a great way of reducing the initial outlay.
Socially, running an allotment with someone else is a joyful experience. It’s a great way to catch up with a friend whilst enjoying the outdoors and getting some good exercise. A quiet allotment is also a wonderful place to put the world to rights or get something off your chest. I often found the environment highly therapeutic, and me and mum have mulled over many a problem during a morning’s weeding.
You don’t have to worry about coming back to a weedy jungle after a holiday either, especially during peak summer months when everything grows at hyper speed. Your plot partner can water in your absence too, so you plants keeling over from thirst needn’t be a concern.
So if you’re pondering allotmenteering for the first time, have a chat with your nearest and dearest. Are they up for sharing the challenge with you?
Good luck, and may all your graft be halved.