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How much time does an allotment need?

(7 Posts)
HoundOfTheBasketballs Mon 15-May-17 18:59:51

I've been on the waiting list nearly ten years and today I got offered an allotment!
When I applied I had a partner and was only working part time.
Now I'm a single parent to one DS (who's very keen!) and I work full time.
I'm hopefully going to have a look at it this week. It will either be 125sqm or 250sqm.
How much time would I need to maintain it properly?
I'm so excited, but need to be realistic and adult about this! grin

tibni Mon 15-May-17 20:11:32

We took on an allotment a couple of weekends ago there is me dh and teen ds who has complex disability plus dd who is doing A levels and thinks it looks cute. Both dh and I work full time and do a lot of running around with ds.
Our plot 'needs work' so we have covered as much as possible and are tackling it section by section so ds has some fun tasks to do and weeds should at least be contained.
There are a couple of very elderly sisters with an immaculate plot and they tell me they spend couple of hours a week. Others seem to be every night. Our plot is chilled and supportive and have been clear they know it will take time.
My housework is suffering but I'm really enjoying it, although I ache today from a long stint yesterday.

bookbook Mon 15-May-17 22:08:29

Hound - in truth, you can spend as much time as you have available , but reality is it depends on what condition it is in. If its in a good condition, and been cultivated then its about keeping it that way. If it needs a lot of work to bring it up to growing things it can be a lot of intensive work to start with.
We have an allotment thread HERE so come and have a look and join in if you like , and ask what everyone does - we all have different size plots and veg patches and differing amounts of time available smile

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheTimeGoes Mon 15-May-17 22:41:54

It varies a lot, not just plot size and condition but time of year. I barely touch mine from when the clocks go back in autumn to when they go forward in spring as I tend to be an evening gardener but from about March onwards you need to be up there regularly for planting, weeding and watering. I also spend quite a lot of time chatting with other plotholders. You can get away with doing a lot one week and little the next to some extent but do need to be able to do at least short visits a couple of times a week in the growing season - is it close to your home? You can cut back on work by planting a lot of fruit bushes, strawberries etc.

dreamingofsun Tue 16-May-17 08:35:34

mine's 128 sq metres. i work 30 hours a week and have 3 kids and husband who works not quite single parent. as others have said, depends how much time you want to spend.

in winter i do maintenance, eg chippings on paths, empty compost bins. summer you need to keep on top of the weeds. i have low maintenance stuff - fruit, asparagus, squash, beans etc etc. cover things with membrane or cardboard. i do no dig - google and you will learn about this.

i'd be inclined to go for the smaller one - especially if its in good condition. that way you will enjoy it and want more space rather than being overwhelmed

its great

Eatingcheeseontoast Tue 16-May-17 14:50:03

MInes a full size one and the only reason its under control is because I initially shared it with a couple of friends. It took the three of us with occasional help from my DH to get it from nothing to productive.

That was 5 years ago and they can't help any more (health issues) so I manage it on my own with occasional DH help.

I'd say go for the smaller one if you get the choice.

Most importantly plant what you like to eat!

Some things are easier to look after than others - new potatoes are really tasty and their foliage shades out weeds.

Fruit trees and bushes are low maintenance.

I used raised beds as I found that the easiest way of keeping it under control.

There's a great book called the half hour allotment which shows how to manage on 1/2 an hour a day which I found really helpful.

I can keep it under control popping up for 30 mins every other day and a full morning on a SAt or Sun. But that's just under control!

I do spend longer than that up there - indeed time whenever I can - because I love it and it's good for my physical and mental health.

HoundOfTheBasketballs Tue 16-May-17 19:06:15

Thanks everyone. I'll have a look on the allotment thread. I'm going to need all the help I can get, I've never had even a garden before since I was a kid!
I'm waiting for the council to send me a key now so I can go down there and have a look. It's only a five minute walk from home and literally round the corner from DS school, so ideally situated. smile

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