Clearing The Plot

If you’ve just taken on an allotment plot it will most likely look like this.  The allotment may have been left fallow for at least 6 months and the weeds will have taken over. You’re probably thinking “where do I start?!”.  I hope this guide will take you through what you need to do to get growing as quickly as possible.
Overgrown Plow
Your first task will be to clear the allotment of all rubbish and cut back the weeds.

If you’re cursed with an allotment that’s been used as a dumping ground by the local neighbourhood you may have your work cut out.  I suggest you contact the organisation running the site in the first instance. Ask them if they offer any services to dispose of the rubbish.  Some councils will also collect rubbish from the allotment. You will need to gather and pile it up for them to collect though.  Be careful and wear gloves:  a number of nasties could be lurking under those weeds.

If the local allotment association or the council are unwilling to help, you will have to dispose of the rubbish yourself down the local tip.  If you do this bit by bit it will eventually be gone.

Strimmer with Brush Cutter blade
Strimmer with brush cutter blade

Once cleared of rubbish you will need to cut back the weeds.  The quickest and most effective tool for this work is a strimmer. Often a few quick chats to your friendly allotment neighbours will surface a petrol strimmer that you can borrow.  If you have to buy or hire one, try to get one with a brush cutter blade. These will cut through even the toughest bramble.There are alternatives to the strimmer but none as effective.  Examples include using a combination of shears and secateurs, a sickle or sythe.   You could also simply dig the weeds up with a fork. All are much harder work than the strimmer.

As you clear the plot heap the weeds in a big pile (or put in the compost bins if you already have some) and leave to compost down.

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