Allotment Waiting Lists

08 May

How are you all getting on out there with all this rain? Depending on where you live l suppose it makes for some excellent growing conditions. After all, the season started really well and there was no reason not to have the ground prepared for sowing. Or was there?

I have just been to my local Council Offices and registered my interest in renting an allotment. ‘Which one would you like?’ asked the Receptionist. My heart leapt at the thought l was going to be offered one there and then. ‘I don’t mind’ l said ‘Anything you have got. I’m not after a full plot. Just half or even a quarter plot would do’. ‘No’ came the reply ‘Which allotment site are you interested in?’ ‘Oh, er whichever has the shortest waiting list’ l said hopefully. ‘They are all the same. Four years on average. But l will put your name down with them all’. In an act of mental desperation l mentioned my blog that l write and how it is one of the gardening blogs listed with The Guardian on their gardening blog website. But she was having none of it. And l only had 65p in my pocket so l couldn’t even offer a bribe!

And so l am on the waiting list. The four year waiting list! But l have a cunning plan. Me thinks that if l pay a visit to these allotment sites and take a look around at the scruffy ones, then maybe, just maybe they might be happy to go halves with me because it is all too much for them and one of them would be happy to share some of their plot? It’s worth a try. Nothing ventured and all that. I will keep you posted.

One Day!

 This extract l have taken from Mr Middleton’s book ‘Mr Middleton Talks About Gardening’ was actually first published in 1935 so makes no reference to the war ahead.The month is May.

The vegetable marrow bed should be prepared now, and seed may be sown in the south. In the north the end of the month will be soon enough.If you want a few really nice marrows for the show, a good idea is to train them over a sloping framework of some kind. An old gate, sloping from the ground near the plants, to a wall or fence or some other support, four or five feet high, does quite well. Tie the shoots here and there, and then let the young marrows hang under the gate. By this method you get them perfectly straight and evenly marked, and free from slugs or soil blemishes, and they will grow to quite a good size without breaking the stems.

Of course we don’t all happen to have a spare gate, but l’ve no doubt you can fix up a contrivance of some kind which will answer just as well. But whatever you do, especially if you try this on an allotment, let it be something neat and inconspicuous. I should be very sorry to suggest anything which might encourage the use of old bedsteads and other worn out domestic appliances on the allotments. I should like to take this opportunity of appealing to allotment holders generally to be a little more considerate of the public point of view and try to keep the allotments a little tidier than they usually are. I have seen allotment fields recently which, from a distance, look like vast rubbish dumps rather than productive gardens. Surely this is hardly necessary? A little ingenuity and a coat of green paint can often cover up a multitude of eyesores.

Well, Mr Middleton, if l am lucky in my quest, l promise to keep it spick and span and certainly no rusting old bedsteads!


Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Allotments, May


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9 responses to “Allotment Waiting Lists

  1. Graham Simpson

    May 8, 2012 at 22:24

    That’s exactly what I thought you would do! Why don’t you just go down in the dead of night, with torch in hand and plant up all the veg you can, cover it in cloches, (camouflage netting!) nobody will know and you will reap the benefits!

    • trevorhunt

      May 8, 2012 at 22:41

      Ha…brilliant! I was actually thinking of spreading a malicious rumour down at one of the allotment sites; something along the lines that their allotment is actually on top of an old WW2 ammo dump. Some are bound to leave!

  2. elaine

    May 9, 2012 at 09:36

    Oh that’s a blow – I was thinking of using a wire bed frame to support my squashes – will have to have a re-think. Good luck with your quest – love that picture.

  3. Chica Andaluza

    May 9, 2012 at 10:08

    4 years?! Crikey, just think of all you could grow in that time. Good idea to lurk around the allotment (just don´t wear a grubby old mac or you may find someone calls the police thinking you´re a flasher 😉 ) but I bet there are some allotments that are untended, maybe you can do a “deal” with them.

    • trevorhunt

      May 9, 2012 at 15:39

      Ha, hi Tanya, nice to hear from you. How did the trip to Blighty go? I have been to look at a site this morning and have earmarked a couple of potential plots that haven’t been worked on. I wonder what the correct protocol is? I will look at the others at the weekend when there is more chance of seeing someone. No rain macs l promise!

  4. Toffeeapple

    May 9, 2012 at 12:06

    The alternative would be to plant up any land in your area that is going to waste – guerilla gardening, as it were. Or, find a neighbour who needs help in their garden. Good luck anyway.

    • trevorhunt

      May 9, 2012 at 15:43

      Thanks Toffeeapple,
      I do admire those guerilla gardeners but not sure that is for me. I quite like the thought of being in amongst other gardeners so the allotment idea appeals. I am going to look into the Landshare option too. There is a farmer who lives close by who has 60 odd acres. He sold some land off recently for housing so l might see if he will rent some out to a bunch of keen gardeners and set up a new allotment site. Worth a try!

  5. Toffeeapple

    May 9, 2012 at 19:44

    I think I was being a little ‘tongue in cheek’ earlier. Far more sensible to check out the landshare option and renting. How about approaching any farmers in your area too?

  6. Promenade Claire

    May 18, 2012 at 15:36

    4 years, that’s a long list! Ours curretnly is about a year to 18 months, it might be worth asking the site secretaries to see if they know of anyone who would like some help. As you say worth a try


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