How to get an allotment
The Allotment Society manages the waiting list. The length of time you may have to wait will vary depending on demand. The coronavirus has brought a renewed interest in allotments, so there is quite a long waiting list at the moment. You will increase your chances of being allocated a plot if you don’t mind which site you have an allotment on or the size of the allotment. To apply for a plot you need to give your details (which are kept confidentially by the committee). You need to state your site preference, or state no preference and give your name and address and contact details (e mail and phone number). If you are on the waiting list and your personal details change you need to let the Society know. Similarly if you change your mind about wanting an allotment please let us know.
When there is a vacant plot one of the site reps will contact you in the date order in which you put your name down on the waiting list. So those who have waited longest will be given first choice.
The site rep will talk through with you on the phone what is available and see if you are interested. If you are potentially interested the site rep will meet you at the site and show you the plot. Discussion will be had to see if you understand the commitment required and whether what is offered is what you are looking for. If for example you don’t want a particular plot because it is too big, but you want a smaller plot you will remain on the waiting list for a smaller plot. The form to apply for an allotment is at the end of this page. Please scroll down.
The tenancy agreement
The final stage in you getting an allotment is for you to sign a Tenant Agreement. The Agreement lays out the regulations and commitments of the allotment holder (the tenant) and the Society. In brief the agreement states that the tenant agrees to maintain the plot, which should be used for the growing of fruit, vegetables and flowers. A specimen agreement is available here: Knutsford Allotment Society Model Tenancy Agreement.
The plot will be yours when you have signed and returned the Tenant Agreement form to the site representative. Initially plot holders will be on a probation period of a year to see if they are able to maintain the plot.
Requirement to maintain plots in a good state
The Tenant Agreement states what an allotment holder needs to do in order to continue being a tenant. If they are not able to maintain the plot they will be issued with a warning notice to improve the plot. If there is not sufficient improvement then the tenant will be given notice to quit.
Temporary Illness and other issues
Inevitably things don’t always go well for many of us. If you are struggling because of illness, family issues etc. then please talk to the site representative about the impact that your problem may have on your ability to work your allotment. It may be on a temporary basis that other allotment holders could help, or other solutions found – such as allocation of a smaller plot. The site holders are understanding people, but also need to ensure that those on the waiting list are given an opportunity to have an allotment.
How much time is needed to look after an allotment
Allotments can bring a lot of pleasure, however they are also hard work. You do however need to seriously work out how much time you have to enable you to manage your allotment. The number of hours in a week that you need to devote to working on them will vary during the year. Spring tends to be the busiest season, but in summer you need to have time to look after your crops and to harvest them. Winter and late autumn require less input, but you do need to have time to improve the soil and if you grow crops that are harvested in winter to pick them.
It is difficult to put a figure in terms of number of hours. It partly depends what you grow and the size of the allotment. If you grow a lot of fruit that tends to require less time than tending to salad crops. However in spring and summer you need to realistically have several hours a week to look after your allotment. And if you don’t keep on top of things you will have to devote more time trying to rectify the problems of a plot becoming overgrown.
What to grow and getting advice
When you first get an allotment look to see what other allotment holders are growing. The soil and weather conditions between the three Knutsford sites varies. Talk to your fellow allotment holders to see what they have found has worked, or not worked. These days it is very easy to get information about horticulture from the internet, as well as the more traditional print media. There are a variety of schools of thought how best to grow fruit and vegetables and flowers. The schools of thought include:
- No dig
- Traditional approaches
- Growing for biodiversity
If you use Facebook you will find several groups of the above types. Do also look at the National Allotment Society website which has a wealth of information on growing advice and it describes the above approaches in some detail.
Join the Waiting List
Please ensure you have read this page and checked out our FAQs to ensure you understand the commitment required to manage an allotment. It requires considerable investment in time and energy but the rewards, even if just measured in fresh air and fresh produce, more than compensate for the effort.
To join the waiting list, simply complete the form giving your site preferences.
Please note the Devis Way allotment site at the Tabley Park development is expected to be available from July 2023. You can express interest for this site to the secretary by emailing the address below and once a launch date is confirmed we will be in touch.
To contact the Allotment Society about anything else please email firstname.lastname@example.org.