That’s it, you have been on the waiting list for years and never thought the day would come when you got the phone call to say you were being offered an allotment.
Full of enthusiasm, with a picture in your head of neat rows of cabbages, perfect wigwams of runner beans, lovingly tended beds of lettuce, you go down to the site and are walked past allotments that look a bit like that – not all the sheds are in a line and the same colour like rows of beach huts, but it’s not too bad. Ahead there is what is obviously a wildlife garden, brambles and long grass, which you think ruins it a bit but conservation and all that….. and then the person showing you round turns to you with a smile and says “Well this is it, bit overgrown but nothing a bit of TLC and hard work won’t take care of”. Your heart sinks and thoughts of sitting in a chair admiring the view and taking new potatoes home for Sunday lunch change into the prospect of hours of back-breaking toil for a couple of radishes.
But you’ve waited this long, so you gamely say how happy you are, that you love a bit of a challenge, sign all the paperwork, are given a key and left to it.
A lot of the people who have allotments at our site have faced a similar sight and still work their patch of land; it does take time and effort to clear, and once done it is then a constant fight to keep up with the weeds (which do grow quicker and more prolifically than anything else you might plant), keep everything watered, and when the courgettes start producing, find enough friends to offload the excess onto, but it is very satisfying.
Although there are many guides on what to do when, we have put together a short summary of what jobs to do in each season.