Start growing veg on your allotment
Once you get your allotment, your first task is to completely clear it of weeds, count yourself lucky if you get to take over a working allotment, most people inherit an empty, overgrown or abandoned plot.
Once you have cleared your new allotment, it’s time to sit down with pen and paper to plan your allotment. What soil type you have?
- Sandy soil is dry and gritty to the touch, and when you roll it in your hands it won’t form a ball. Water drains rapidly through the large gaps in the particles of this soil, straight to a depth that the roots of your plants will find hard to reach.
- Clay soil is sticky to the touch, and will roll easily in to a ball. There are very small gaps between the particles in clay soil, giving it a tighter hold on plant nutrients and meaning it drains very slowly. However, this soil is very heavy to work with, especially when it’s dry, and takes a long time to warm up in the spring due to its water content.
- Silty soil has a slightly soapy texture, and won’t form a solid ball when rolled. This soil type is very nutrient-dense, but, as it is made up of very fine particles, it compacts when you tread on it. If left without plant cover, it’s also vulnerable to washing away in heavy rain and eroding in strong winds.
- Loam soil is the ideal soil for gardening, and will form a smooth, partly gritty, partly sticky ball that crumbles easily. It contains a balance of sand, clay, and silty soil, and keeps a tight hold on water and plant food while draining well, and giving air plenty of room to move freely down to the roots.
Have a chat with a neighbour, they will be able to tell you what works for them.