Starting An Allotment [Expert Guide]

  • Step 1: Evaluate the Situation
  • Step 2: Plot Layout Planning
  • Step 3: Get the Needed Tools and Materials
  • Step 4: Start Clearing and Digging
  • Step 5: Start Growing Plants

Step 1: Evaluate The Situation

This is where it all begins. Without this first step, there won’t be a 4th or 5th step. It’s highly important that you evaluate the allotment you have been given; it makes the preparing the allotment easier and faster. Before you begin the evaluation, take a seat, get a notebook, and have a good look at your allotment.

Here is what you should look out for:

  • Is it spacious?
  • How was it previously laid out?
  • Are there any sheds or existing beds left behind that you can use?
  • Are there any big buildings or trees serving as shade to the allotment?
  • In which direction does the sun move over the allotment?
  • Are there any spots the sun strikes against consistently on the allotment? This serves as the pointer for discovery of the right places to plant crops that thrive in the heat(direct contact from the sun)
  • Do you have the physical capacity to dig on this allotment?
  • Should you create raised beds?
  • Can you financially get and maintain raised beds on the allotment?

These are the questions you have to provide answers to before taking the next step. Taking time to give the right answers to these questions will help you plan better.

Step 2: Plot Layout Planning

Gardens have a layout planning, so you need also to create one for your allotment. After evaluating the allotment, you will be working with; you will discover that you will make smarter and quicker decisions while planning the plot layout.

Plot layout planning is the foundation that determines if your allotment will yield or not. This is why you must not make the wrong move. Every decision you take plays a big role in hindering or boosting your allotment prospects in the future. If you get it right, you will enjoy the yield in the end.

Before planning the plot layout, there are specific factors you must consider. We have them listed below.

  • Make a decision on the plant bed styling that suits your taste.
  • Make a decision on the size of the plant bed you would like.
  • Ensure that you include spaces for water butts, compost bins, greenhouses, sheds, and other necessary additions.
  • Ensure that you put into consideration where you will plant the trees, the perennial plants, and fruiting bushes.
  • Take time out to draw the plot you plan to use on paper, or you can use an effective allotment planning software to create your allotment layout design.

Step 3: Get the Needed Tools and Materials

Preparing the allotment for use goes beyond planning; you also have to find the ideal tools and materials to make the work easier for you. Here are the tools and materials you need to start an allotment:

Step 4: Start Clearing and Digging

This is when the practical act of preparing the allotment comes into the picture. Clearing and digging the land can be demanding. However, this stressful moment that marks the beginning of the well-dressed allotment you will see in the future. The steps you take when clearing the allotment and transforming it to the layout you have drawn depends on your chosen plant beds styling.

Here are the three different ways you can style your plant beds:

  • No Dig
  • Raised Beds
  • Traditional Approach

If you decide to dig or prepare your allotment using one of these styles, we advise that you don’t become carried away with the excitement of getting your dream well-dressed allotment. Don’t try to do too much work in a short period. Take your time so you don’t stress your muscles. As they say, “little drops of water make the mighty ocean.” So, be patient and take it one day at a time, and soon you will get what you want.

Step 5: Start Growing Plants

This is the final stage that you have been waiting for. Once you have cleared the allotment, it means that you can plant whatever you wish to, and make it look nice, just like would with a lawn. So, now you have a well-dressed allotment, plant a seed, and watch your dream come to life.

When Should You Clear an Allotment?

No doubt, you are eager to start planting on your allotment. But this won’t be possible if the allotment isn’t cleared. Plots of lands set aside for allotment are mostly filled with weeds like bindweeds, couch grass, bambles, and nettles. For this reason, it’s best that you clear your allotment at the beginning of autumn or winter.

Clearing your allotment within this period is easier because this is when plants are inactive meaning that you get rid of the weeds before they grow in springtime. The earlier you start clearing, the greater your prospects of planting and yielding fruits in due season.


Starting an allotment is difficult and requires a lot of physical effort. That said, our step-by-step guide will give you a greater advantage and make it easier for you.

Give it a try today!

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