National Allotments Week is an annual event that gives budding gardeners chance to learn more about allotments work and how they can get started.
Let’s take a look at the many benefits of allotment gardening so you can grab your spade and get stuck in.
What is National Allotment Week?
National Allotment Week is run by The National Allotment Society (NAS), who first kicked off this engaging event in 2002. The focus is building unity in communities and promoting the growing and eating of fruit and vegetables to maintain health and nutrition at home.
There’s a different theme every year, which influences the activities of week. Happening this year between 9th and 15th August, the theme is “Plotting for the Future”, which gives those participating the opportunity to celebrate the contribution allotments make to a sustainable future.
If you’re already an avid allotment gardener, the NAS will be hosting a virtual allotment show, where you can judge the entries and get prepared to enter next year.
What are the benefits of allotment gardening?
There are multiple benefits of allotment gardening, from community building to improved health. Here’s just some of the ways getting your fingers green can enhance your life.
You can become more social
At allotments, you are sure to meet a community of like-minded people who enjoy gardening and sharing knowledge.
Alongside having chance to physically meet people at allotments, there’s a vast online community that you can become a part of. You’ll be able to share knowledge and tips while meeting new gardening friends you might not have in real life.
It can improve your health
Physical exercise always helps with your general health, and gardening is a great way to keep fit. You’ll be doing a lot of bending and pulling while breaking up the soil and digging up roots, using muscles you may not have used for a while.
Vitamin D can help with keeping your muscles healthy, and spending 15 minutes a day in the sun can help with this. However, when you’re gardening, time can fly by, so you must protect your skin with sun cream and dress appropriately to protect yourself from the sun.
Although mental health requirements are subjective to individuals, gardening at an allotment may also help those experiencing poor mental health or high stress levels as a stimulating hobby that keeps your mind and body busy.
Fresh produce at your fingertips
An allotment allows you to grow your own fruit and vegetables, which means you can save money at the shop and reduce your single-use plastic usage.
As well as saving money and reducing plastic pollution, you will gain a considerable level of satisfaction from successfully growing your first tomato or potato. When they’re grown by you, they will taste even better.
How can I get started with an allotment?
Getting started with an allotment can seem a daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Once you have a plot to call your own, it is easier than you think.
Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Make sure you have all the right equipment
When you’re gardening, you need specific allotment equipment for certain jobs. To get you started, we recommend the following:
- Gardening gloves
- Kneeling board
- Digging fork
When you have all the right equipment, you will feel more prepared to take on the allotment plot and get digging.
Clear your allotment area
Your allotment plot may need a lot of clearing and preparation before you start growing.
This is where you might consider hiring a skip. This way, you can avoid multiple trips to get rid of your garden waste and by getting it all in one place.
Follow an allotment growing calendar
If you’re new to gardening or a bit stuck with what to grow, consider creating an allotment growing calendar or following one created by someone else. When fully prepared, you can make the most of your allotment and be organised with your growing.
Having an allotment is a lot of responsibility, but it’s also that exciting. By clearing your area and committing to growing fresh produce, you will soon experience all the advantages of allotment gardening.