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National Allotments Week

‘National Allotments Week’ gives us all the chance to celebrate what has been a mainstay in the UK for generations, from ‘Digging for Victory’ during the war, to the sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyles of today, our allotments have always been a place of joyful practical gardening.

Not only are allotments the perfect place to grow our own produce for a healthy, air mile free natural pantry.  But they are also places in which friendships are formed and both mental and physical feelings of wellbeing abound through fresh air, exercise and the combating of loneliness.

Allotments are ultimately places to grow seasonal fruit and vegetables, but there is no reason why they cannot also be wonderful areas for wildlife to thrive too!

 

Hints & Tips – For a wildlife friendly allotment plot

  • We all know how important pollinators are for us all and the planet! We depend on bees and butterflies to pollinate crops. So, grow lots of flowers such as marigolds and sunflowers, also herbs and fruit bushes. If you have room, you could even have a small wildflower area!

 

  • Look after feather friends in the winter by supplying food and maybe even boxes for nesting.

 

  • Do not use chemicals, try companion planting instead.  Nasturtiums near brassicas help to keep caterpillars away and marigolds planted near tomatoes can help ward off aphids and greenfly.

 

  • Use recycled wood or bamboo sticks to make a bee friendly hotel.  A lush compost heap should also attract slow worms, a sure sign of healthy natural biodiversity!

 

What makes a successful allotment plot?

Make sure that you plan your plot in a realistic manner.  Before planting anything, clear the plot properly and get the soil tested to give yourself the best chance of producing a healthy happy harvest! 

Look at growing vegetables, fruit and flowers which you love!  Try to grow produce for different seasons, so that you can eat home grown foods all year round as much as possible. Ensure there is plenty of light for sun loving crops and easy access to water too.

But most of all, whatever you grow…enjoy the benefits of your allotment and all that it brings you!

 

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