Home allotment tips and ideas
Many of our homes come with spacious gardens for you to transform into an allotment – and growing your own fruit and vegetables is easier than you may think. Our allotment tips will help your green space to thrive, from getting the right soil balance to picking your plants. Learn how to plan your allotment and ensure it grows.
Before you start
What works in one home allotment might not work in another. Our top allotment advice is to find out the basics before you plant anything: which way your garden faces, and the pH of your soil.
- This will affect which plants you choose
- Stand against your home’s wall with a compass
- If the compass points north, it’s north-facing; if it points south, it’s south-facing and will get all-day sun.
- This will affect which plants will thrive
- The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline something is
- Most vegetables grow best in slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.5 (although potatoes can grow in a pH of 5)
- Buy a testing kit from a local garden centre or online to find out your soil’s pH
- If the pH is on the low side and therefore acidic, add calcified seaweed or lime to move it up the scale
Choose the right fruit and vegetables
If your home allotment is in a shady part of the garden, some fruit and vegetables won’t survive. To avoid disappointment, an important allotment tip is to choose plants based on your garden’s conditions.
|Radishes||(all will taste sweeter in sun)||Peas|
Consider containers and pots
As well as a traditional vegetable patch, another garden allotment idea is to keep potted vegetables and herbs on your patio. Instead of using canes, let gravity do the work. Hanging baskets are a good place for vine plants to thrive and grow up high. If you have a deep barrel container, you could even grow potatoes.
Keep things separated
Use reclaimed railway sleepers to create raised beds in your home allotment, or consider a small fence to keep it separate from the rest of your garden. Growing your own fruit and vegetables can be lots of fun for your whole family, and everyone will enjoy eating what you’ve grown.
Plan your watering schedule
A top allotment tip is to have an outside tap or water butt in your garden, so you don’t have to keep traipsing in and out of your home to fill up your watering can. A good soak every few days is better than a light watering every day, which is worth bearing in mind if you don’t have much time to spend on your allotment.
Protect your allotment
While there are pesticides available to protect your plants from pests, many of us would prefer to keep our garden organic. One of the best tips to promote an organic allotment is to grow plants that attract bees, ladybirds, and frogs as these creatures will eat the pests. Some plants are also natural pest-repellents so worth considering in your garden:
Finally, rotate your plants
To get the most from your home allotment, it’s a good idea to divide it into three sections and rotate the crops each year. Give your soil a boost by adding organic matter. And try to only grow what you need, otherwise you could end up with too much and it could go to waste. Lettuce leaves for instance, need to be eaten fresh