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Planning allotment beds

Last May we got our allocated our allotment plot. It was my first proper garden and I really wanted to make our allotment a great place for family time and growing food.
As it was late in the season and the plot was over grown, our key mission last year was to clear the plot, and pray we could get something in on time. We did well with Bush plants like marrows and pumpkins. In fact we just used the last pumpkin this week.
But there was no real plan involved. So this year I've been using the last legs of winter to plan the perfect allotment bed set up.
planning childrens allotment
So there are a few questions I had about planning the perfect allotment

What size bed works best for allotments?

I've been reading up on allotment bed size and most experts agree that you want a bed 4ft wide. This gives you two feet picking space from either side of the bed. This way you don't stand on the soil and damage it.

How long should vegetable beds be?

You don't want to walk on your beds so anything longer than 13ft is going to be tempting to cut across the middle. You also don't want too many beds because this reduces your growing space as you will need paths between each bed. So nothing smaller than 8ft. We opted for a 12ft bed  as this works well on my allotment 

How many beds should my allotment have?

This is really down to how big your plot is and what you want to grow. You want at least four. Especially if you want to grow perennial crops.
We have seven on our bed plan.

Planning crop rotation at the allotment

This should be a key part of your allotment planning. Several types of crops should not be grown in the same bed the following year. These include:
Root vegetables- parsnips, carrots, celery, celeriac
Potato - spuds, aubergine, peppers, tomatoes
Alliums- onions, chives, leeks, garlic
Brassiceae- cabbages, kale, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, Swede, Brussels sprouts
Beans and peas

My favourite crop rotation list is here

How big should allotment paths be

Most gardeners opt for a foot width, or using a gravel board as path on allotments. But as we have a toddler and baby on the way I wanted paths wide enough to get a pushchair across. So we've opted for two feet wide between the beds.


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