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choosing an allotment

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JodyBPM
JodyBPM Posts: 1,404 Forumite
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I'm off to choose my allotment tomorrow!

It's a brand new site, so none of the allotments will have anything in them, no sheds, fencing etc.

So how do I choose a "good" plot? I'm guessing I want to be fairly close to the water source, and obviously scan the ground for any persistant weeds, but is there anything else that I need to consider?

I guess in the middle of the site rather than around the edges would probably get more sun?

I'm very excited! My first allotment!

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  • Lotus-eater
    Lotus-eater Posts: 10,789 Forumite
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    What I'd look for are.

    Any boggy areas, stay clear. Also higher ground may be better if there is a chance of flooding.
    Look at what is growing, nettles are a sign of good fertility, some other stuff isn't.
    Somewhere sheltered, which way does the wind come in most often.
    Stay away from big trees, unless they are fruit trees.

    I'd take a small trowl and be digging bits up to look at the soil. How dark is it (shows how much humus in it) how clayey or sandy is it?
    Final note, how close to the entrance do you want it, do you want to be able to drive up close, or do you want somewhere a bit quieter.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,828 Forumite
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    Does the site face south, east west or north, any slope?

    You want a gentle south facing slope near water-taps and with good access if you can get one. Dig a hole to assess the ground.

    One pointer fron our site; we get some intruders. They tend to trash stuff close to the main path and ignore stuff a half plot away. Plots on the edge of the site may be south facing and sheltered from the wind. As long as they are not too near gates and there is a decent fence, they are good.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • savemoney
    savemoney Posts: 18,127 Forumite
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    I wish I could get one on waiting list 18 months now and no sign for donkeys years

    How long did you wait?
  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 13,339 Forumite
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    Agree witjh RAS, keep away from near gate or main paths regarding theft / vandals
    Eight out of ten owners who expressed a preference said their cats preferred other peoples gardens
  • Linda32
    Linda32 Posts: 4,385 Forumite
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    Its already been said, but I agree, if you see nettles growing thats a very good sign. Make sure you keep a patch as well, don't cut them down.
    Higher ground is good as well, again it has been said.

    Good Luck
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,828 Forumite
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    If it is a new site, it may well have been ploughed or rotavated.

    If so, look out for ground that has a lot of white roots chopped up - thistle? bIND WEED? Couch grass? All a pain to get rid off.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • JodyBPM
    JodyBPM Posts: 1,404 Forumite
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    savemoney wrote: »
    I wish I could get one on waiting list 18 months now and no sign for donkeys years

    How long did you wait?

    I joined the waiting list last summer, so only six months or so. Think I've been lucky because the new site has opened up, they generally quote the waiting list as a year plus on the council website.

    To give credit to my council (Reigate and Banstead) they do seem to be responding to demand by finding new sites to open, and they only give out half plots now (125sqm) so more people get the chance to get one! It's nice to have something good to say about the council!

    Thank you all for your advice. I will take a compass and try to get a plot that is south facing. I'm fairly sure the site is flat, so I'm not sure I've got much chance of getting a slope, and I will keep my eye open for nettles!

    Its in quite a pleasant residental area, so I'm hoping vandalism won't be an issue, but we'll have to see!
  • savemoney
    savemoney Posts: 18,127 Forumite
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    Op you might find orientation using google maps
  • Aberdeenplotter
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    As with everything, you need to weigh up the pros and cons. If you are close to the haulage ways, it will be easy to take deliveries of bulky materials, - farmyard manure and such like, you may even be able to get this tipped directly on to your plot. If on the other hand there is some distance to transport the stuff, it will be a major exercise and very hard work. Close to haulageways, is also close to those who may wish to maraud around the allotment site causing mayhem. A shed that is easily accessible to vandals is easier for them to torch.

    You are really lucky though that you have been allowed to choose your plot. Most of us have had to accept what was available.

    Good luck with it. It is a super hobby that not only benefits you but your whole community.
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