Beginners Allotment - What To Grow?

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shivvy | 15:26 Sun 17th Mar 2019 | Home & Garden
16 Answers
My friend runs a small local support group and thy have been given the use of an allotment.
Apart from a couple, most of the people do not have green fingers or much experience with gardening/planting/growing. So I am looking for suggestions for things that they could plant which would be relatively easy to grow eg herbs, flowers, fruit or veg.
They have plenty of space so that isn't an issue, although they don't have much money so that might rule out anything that requires equipment or is too pricey.


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Thanks for that link bookbinder.
Could you suggest which plants might be easy to grow?
Not expert myself, but gradually getting into gardening. This year trying for more vegetables. Cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, corn. (Trying again with last year's spuds too, as they seem to have survived.) Seemed the sort of stuff one reaps a few at a time not spend all afternoon filling a bucket with and obtaining an aching back in the process. Hoping they won't prove too difficult as I'm unable to monitor/tend 24/7.

(Which reminds me, must look into auto-watering systems.)
One of the best crops for a new allotment plot and new gardener is the humble potato, also known as "the cleaning crop" you don't get many weeds with them.
Also, look out for gardening mags that offer free veg seeds...cheep as chips!!
Question Author
Thanks Old Geezer and chiphopper.
I think lots of herbs would be easy eg mint, chives, basil.
Also some salad veg such as radishes, tomatoes and lettuce/leaves.
And then for other veg I have always found courgettes and sugarsnaps/peas easy to grow.
What flowers could they plant which would give plenty to be picked?
Marigolds keep bugs at bay.
Best plant mint in a sturdy sunken pot, as they tend to be escape artists!
From the RHS:

(See the list in the left-hand column for some possible crops)
my friend was given a small allotment and it took him nearly 7 hours to find it

He had totally lost the plot.............

I'll get my coat
Runner beans and shallots are good. You can always make chutney with the glut of beans and pickle the shallots.
Never mind the "links" take some advice from a gardener. Potatoes are a given, as stated they clean up the ground and are a crop if proper seed potatoes are put in. Broad beans and peas will always deliver as long as you soap spray after flowering to combat the aphids and blackfly. Onion sets are another guarantee of something to show after planting. Salad crops? Beetroot, spring onions, and lettuce. Strawberry plants will give a crop and get some rhubarb in ready for the future. Courgettes again guarantee results. The most important measure for now is to prepare the ground. Children love the idea of a pumpkin and will take delight in sunflowers growing tall. Get your support canes and garden twine in and be ready to water when it is dry, and cry when it is wet and windy. Get weaving Shivvy, there is no better tutor than just doing it and learning from your failures, every plot in the land is different. Drives us mad but we love it.
If I were you I would go and talk to the people who are in adjoining allotments and ask what they have success with. Look at your soil.....was the previous allotment occupant successful there? If not why not, if so what was grown there. Is there anything already established that just needs a bit of TLC?
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Terrible johnny - really terrible!!
237SJ good idea about the runner beans. i tried them last year for the first time and they were great - pretty little orange flowers too.
Thanks for the link buenchico, I had already come across that when I was googling earlier. But as Togo says I am really after peoples own experience of what might work. Lots of good advice there Togo - thanks. It is a stand alone spot so she cant ask neighbours, but it had been used last year I think so she could maybe ask them what they had done in it.
As others have said, potatoes are really easy. I don't even weed first - I just put the potatoes on the ground with last year's compost heap on top. Runner beans are really easy. Everyone could start off a few bean plants now on the windowsill. For herbs, you can't go wrong with rosemary. Good luck!
I would only offer one suggestion - don't try and grow everything at your first attempt. Start with a few crops and if successful gradually increase your plantings. I know this from experience. Good luck.
Spuds, courgettes, squashes - they all have lots of foliage and so smother most would-be weeds. Add French and/or runner beans grown up wigwams.
Sweet peas among the runners beans help attract pollinators, nasturtiums around broad beans attract blackfly, and can be sacrificed when they are badly infested, and different coloured French beans are easy to pick.

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