We hope that your alltoment is trouble free, but
accept there may be problems. The following information is for
guidance only. Perhaps these suggestions will help.
The field stewards and committee work hard to reduce any waiting
lists and keep our fields fully let and fully worked. We contact
existing tenants who are not able to cultivate their plots fully
and see if they need to give up. Following due process, this may
lead to eviction but that can take time.
One way we have kept waiting lists short is by dividing plots in
half for new members. This has been very successful, as many new
members found a full 10-pole plot too much. Creating two 5-pole
plots gets two people off the waiting list when a plot becomes
At other times, the only way to reduce the waiting list is to
remove an existing tenant. This is done with due process,
following our rules
Occasionally a member/tenant informs us when he/she can longer
continue, but often it is the field stewards who notice that a
plot has become neglected. Enquiries have to be made (sometimes
the tenant is ill, or another genuine reason) and opportunities
are given for the tenant to clear the plot of weeds and
cultivate the land according to the rules. This usually takes a
few weeks or months.
Most crops are trouble-free, but inevitably some
do get attacked. The range of pests and diseases are too
many to to cover here, but you may be able to find out more
about them using internet search engines, such as Google, or subscribe free
gardens email list. You can then send an email to the list
and ask fellow gardeners about the pest or disease your crops
have. For blight on potato and tomatoes, try potato.com
With a new allotment that has been previously overgrown,
weeds can be the worst problem. Strimming or using a petrol
mower on overgrown areas often helps. A very overgrown plot
may take months to clear, and the weeds will quickly
re-establish if you leave the ground untended for a few weeks.
In the Spring and Summer, visit your plot regularly, at least
twice a week, and hoe as often as possible. If your plot was
previously overgrown or very weedy, space your crops out more
widely to give you room to hoe or mulch very thoroughly. Try
gardens email list for specific problems. Sometimes you
can smother the weeds with black plastic or similar mulch. If
there is space around your crops you can place whole
newspapers on the ground and cover with straw, grass clippings
or similar mulch. Other techniques include digging and
hoeing the weeds or using herbicides such as glyphosate.
Always follow the instructions carefully if you use any
Security is never perfect on a field. Always report any such
incidents to the Police. Telephone 03000 111 222 or use their
Obtain a crime number
. This helps the Police
monitor and hopefully prevent further crimes. Avoid leaving
valuable tools in sheds. Sometimes a shed is best left unlocked,
as a vandal or thief may do a lot damage breaking in and find
nothing valuable to steal.
The typical British summer is usually wet enough for vegetables.
Dry spells can cause anxiety in gardeners, who may wish to water
their crops. Before you rush out with your watering can remember
- A bucket full of mulch does more good than 10 buckets of
water. Use whatever you can around the crops. Newspaper and
grass clippings are ideal, or straw, wood shavings,
composted weeds etc etc, In time all of these will also rot
down to improve the soil and encourage worms, so don't water
- Water is the greatest expense of our society, so the more
water that is used the higher the rent will be. Using a hosepipe
to irrigate an allotment is banned in our society
rules. (see rules
- Collect rainwater from your shed roof in barrels or tubs
if you can. We have negotiated a supply of free water buts,
ask the secretary for details.
- If you must water, get the water down at the roots. You
will do more harm than good sprinkling the leaves. Use a
funnel or pipe buried into the soil to direct the water
straight to the roots. This can made from a plastic bottle
with the bottom cut off.
If you have other problems or issues, the management committee
meets regularly. You can write to the secretary and raise your
issue. We particularly welcome suggestions and ideas.
If you ever have any problems, concerns or complaints this is
the correct procedure.
1. In the first instance approach your field
2. If you are not satisfied with the response
from the field steward, please write or email the secretary of
the management committee (who is elected by the membership of
the association at the AGM).
3. If the secretary’s response is
unsatisfactory to you, please ask that the problem be put to the
management committee formally at its next meeting. The item will
appear on the agenda and be minuted.
4. If the committee’s consideration of the
problem does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction, you
may request to meet the committee in person at its next meeting.
You will then be invited to attend the meeting and put your case
in person. Under such circumstances it may be reasonable that
you bring one other person of your choosing to be your witness.
All of the above are intended to follow the principles of
reasonableness and reflect the democratic nature of our society
and its relationship with KBC. Of course, if the nature of your
complaint is really serious, such as an allegation of a crime,
you should report it directly to the Police. Our procedures are
intended for minor violations of our rules and reasonable
conduct, not criminal offences.