Allotment diary 2nd April 2018 – some allotment facts

Some facts about allotments courtesy of the National Allotment Society:

There are about 330,000 allotments in the UK and an estimated 90,000 people on waiting lists for these very British institutions. Allotments are plots of land allocated for growing your own produce, and date back from the 1800s when they helped the poor to make ends meet. In the early 1900s they were promoted to ex-serviceman returning from the world wars to aid their rehabilitation. The 1922 Allotment Act protects allotments from local authorities selling them off for alternative use.

Size:

An allotment is traditionally measured in rods (perches or poles), an old measurement dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. 10 poles is the accepted size of an allotment, the equivalent of 250 square metres or about the size of a doubles tennis court.

My allotment is smaller than the typical allotment size of a double tennis court. It is about 30x56ft, 9x17m, 160 square metres. And this is actually a double allotment as me and my Mum have neighbouring plots which we have merged as one. For the last 5 years the council has split all large allotments that have come free into these half sized plots to cater for demand.

What do I grow on there?

Our allotment rules are that they must be used for produce for your own use or to give away (not to sell), and chickens, pigs, goats and bees are allowed too.

I don’t have any animals on mine but manage to grow quite a number of crops each year (with varying yields).

Counting them up I grow over 50 different crops a year.

These are my permanent fixtures:

  1. Strawberries – 5 varieties
  2. Raspberries – 6 varieties
  3. Rhubarb
  4. Apple tree – 3 varieties
  5. Pear tree – 3 varieties
  6. Redcurrants
  7. Blackcurrants
  8. Gooseberries – 2 varieties
  9. Kiwi tree
  10. Blackberries
  11. Asparagus – 3 varieties
  12. Globe artichokes
  13. Horseradish
  14. Jerusalem artichokes

Annuals that I grew last year were:

  1. Chinese gooseberries
  2. Onions – 3 varieties
  3. Shallots
  4. Garlic – 2 varieties
  5. Leeks
  6. Spring onions
  7. Beetroot
  8. Parsnip
  9. Celeriac
  10. Celery
  11. Sweet peas
  12. Rubber beans
  13. French beans
  14. Butter beans
  15. Kidney beans
  16. Pumpkins
  17. Courgettes – 2 varieties
  18. Butternut squash
  19. Summer squash – a few varieties
  20. Peas
  21. Potatoes -3 varieties
  22. Tomatoes – 8 varieties
  23. Aubergine
  24. Pepper
  25. Chillis
  26. Brocoli
  27. Cabbage
  28. Purple sprouting
  29. Kale (2 varieties)
  30. Cabbage (3 varieties)
  31. Sprouts (3 carietirs)
  32. Carrots
  33. Swiss chard
  34. Spinach
  35. Radish
  36. Sweetcorn
  37. Baby sweet corn
  38. lettuce

Some things that I’ve grown in previous years include:

  1. Lentils
  2. Chickpeas
  3. Okra
  4. Kiwi fruit
  5. Broad beans
  6. Sunflowers
  7. Melons
  8. Cucamelons
  9. Japanese radish
  10. Fennel
  11. Oca
  12. Sweet potato