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November 15, 2009 / Malcolm Dalebö

How to Cope with a New Allotment

When you’re laying out your vegetable plot, bear in mind these starter tips:


  • Beds about 1.2m (4ft) wide with paths all around are perfect, because you can water and weed without having to tread on the bed. Paths also mean less soil to weed.
  • Leave sufficient space between the beds to allow easy access to the plants. A path with a hard surface the width of a wheelbarrow is ideal.
  • Make sure there is a source of water nearby. It may be worth investing in an outdoor tap or installing a rainwater butt nearby.
  • If your soil is poor or doesn’t drain well, consider building raised beds. By creating a retaining wall from bricks, old railway sleepers or old scaffolding planks, you can add a thick layer of organic material that will improve the soil. In addition, raised beds are easier to tend and don’t need digging over in the autumn.
  • If you’ve only got a small space, choose early or dwarf vegetable cultivars as they require less space and can be planted closer together.
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