Congratulations! You've just taken on an allotment

The long wait is finally over, and you've been offered a plot at Over Allotments. Now what? First and foremost, it's a friendly place to be. For more than ninety years Winsfordians have come here to enjoy peace and quiet, improve their gardening skills, and enjoy the company of like-minded people. Over Allotments and Leisure Gardeners' Association would like to keep it this way, so if you're a new plot-holder (or even a seasoned one who needs reminding!) here are a few things we ask you to keep in mind:

  • You have a duty of care to other people on the site;
  • Please show consideration for other plot-holders and visitors;
  • You are responsible for properly supervising any children who come with you onto the site;
  • Your plot needs regular attention to keep it tidy and productive;
  • You must garden in accordance with the conditions of your Tenancy Agreement with Winsford Town Council;
  • Please take time to familiarise yourself with the Constitution of Over Allotments and Leisure Gardeners' Association. Click here to read it.

A few tips for the beginner allotmenteer

  • Don't try and do it all at once! Little and often is good practice to begin with, until you gain in confidence, knowledge and stamina;
  • Get yourself some good tools. A basic tool kit should include a garden spade, fork, hoe, rake, hand trowel and fork, and a dibber;
  • Bring a First Aid kit with you;
  • Dig in early. If possible, turn the soil in autumn, as the winter frosts will break down the clods of soil. If not, do it in spring, but you will have to break the soil down yourself;
  • Use good quality seeds and plants to avoid disappointment;
  • If in doubt, ask. There's a wealth of gardening know-how amongst your fellow plot-holders, so don't be afraid to ask for their help and guidance - they'll be only too pleased to share their knowledge with you;
  • Get composting! Look around the site to see the different ways your fellow plot-holders compost green material, from open heaps to slatted wooden boxes (New Zealand boxes - Click here to see diagrams for building your own);
  • Save rainwater! The site does have mains water, but you're encouraged to save rainwater in water barrels, or larger 1000-litre IBCs (industrial bulk containers).

Allotments: a plotholder's guide - New edition

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is responsible for government policy on allotments. It is their aim that allotments should be properly preserved, promoted and cared for.

Allotments Regeneration Initiative (ARI) was commissioned by DCLG to revise and update Allotments: a plotholder's guide - a guide published by DCLG for anyone who rents or is thinking of renting an allotment plot.

The guide covers all the subjects which will be of interest if you rent (or want to rent) an allotment or if you want to know about your responsibilities or those of your allotment provider:

  • An introduction to allotments
  • Provision
  • Tenancy agreements and rules
  • Rents and funding
  • Health and safety on allotments
  • What you can and can't do on an allotment
  • Livestock and beekeeping
  • Protection and legislation
  • How do I get started
  • Resources and glossary

To download your free copy as a pdf file click here. Please note: There is no limit on the number of copies that can be downloaded.

Most of all, enjoy your plot, and don't forget that gardening requires a lot of water - most of it perspiration!