Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Allotments – good for you

by Diane - March 9th, 2012.
Filed under: allotment.

Why you should have an allotment: reasons why allotmenting is so popular.

The immediate benefit is being able to grow your own food. This is very appealing to people, especially as inflation has pushed the price of food up. You can grow and harvest food and get it on your plate in a really short time. This means you can enjoy the freshest vegetables ever. You will find that home grown new potatoes are just amazing, and that home grown tomatoes are the best in the world.
You can also grow organically which adds an extra premium value to the food you grow.
As you get more experience you’ll learn what to grow so you always have something to eat from your plot.

You can save money by growing your own fruit and vegetables too. Soft fruit is easy to grow and is very expensive to buy so makes an ideal thing to get on your allotment. A few raspberry canes will provide you with plenty of fresh fruit. Careful planting with cloches can extend the season at either end too enabling you to grow more than you’d think.

You help the environment by cutting down the food miles your food travels. Try not to use the car to drive to the allotment though. Get a push bike if it’s too far to walk.

You can recycle your vegetable peelings too in a useful way. Making your own compost is a great idea and so easy to do.
It’s a bit of space where you can find peace. Many people love the social aspect of being a plot holder, but it’s easy to go and get absorbed in the digging or weeding on the plot and enjoy the tranquillity.

You’ll see tons of wildlife. Even if your plot is in a town you’ll spot lots of wildlife. There are foxes that visit our allotment and whilst the cubs bouncing on plants are a nuisance they’re very cute to watch. You’ll see butterflies and bees and all sorts of insects. You can encourage them with a small pond on your plot too. You’ll appreciate the important job bees do in pollinating our fruit and vegetables too – so remember to grow a few flowers especially for them.

An allotment is great exercise. The regular activity even if it’s not strenuous is good for you. If you have low fitness levels then you can do things at your own pace and get fitter and healthier. It’s great being outside too in the sunshine soaking up vitamin D.
Think of an allotment as a gym. Some people pay £30 plus a month to have access to the facilities at a gym. An allotment can be a full body workout – just remember to warm up and stretch your muscles gently before digging, and don’t overdo it! It is best not to dig loads the first time as you’ll really suffer the next day.
In summer there’s more weeding to do, and hopefully the weather is better during the summer months.

Allotments are often social places. Some have busy social calendars and some don’t, but most gardeners will be happy to chat about plants and their plot. You’ll almost always find someone with advice for you if you get stuck. You can take friends with you if they want to get stuck in to some serious digging too.

It’s a relaxing hobby that is great for you. Being outside, gently exercising, growing good food has to be one of the more chilled out hobbies available. It can be lots of fun growing things, although frustrating battling the slugs and weeds sometimes but if you stick at it the rewards taste delicious!

So get your name on the local waiting list at the nearest allotment to you. Go and see them fairly often too – offer to get stuck in helping anyone who needs a hand.