Getting started

Getting Started

Initially, you need enthusiasm and commitment, and 5 key tools: a spade, fork, rake, hoe and watering can. It pays to invest in good quality tools, cheap tools are a poor investment.  A mattock and a hand trowel are useful as additional tools.  On-site paths permit vehicular access, and there will be parking facilities on site or immediately beside it.  
Water tanks are available.

Most sites have their own field association, which you are advised to join. On larger sites the field association will have a store where a variety of tools and equipment, often sold at below store prices, whilst on smaller sites there is usually an arrangement allowing members to access the store of a larger site.  Associations often provide potato and onion sets, also usually at a discount to shop prices. Some associations are members of the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners and participate in their seed scheme. This provides seeds at little more than half the cost garden centres charge.  In addition some sites have arrangements with local farmers to provide farmyard manure to your plot.

If there is no field association in your area, Northampton Allotment Council could help you set one up.

The best time to rent an allotment is in the autumn or winter. This enables you to prepare the soil for the spring sowing and planting.