I do not put ads on my blog but do have a counter that shows me how many visits the pages get. (The stats. count is just there so I can see if I am 'talking' to myself, luckily so far this has not happened.) By continuing your visit here you are consenting to the stats. counter tracking cookies. Cookies, that sounds like something nice to eat but not that exciting.

Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Allotments the sizes of allotments, how they are measured and useful information

Getting an allotment, sizes of allotments,

places where you can grow your own vegetables -

Terms used for allotments -   
an 'untidy plot' - is usually an unworked and neglected plot.
photo:This is not a 'tidy plot' it is rented out as it is the person who rents it clears it.
photo:This is not a 'tidy plot' it is rented out as it is the person who rents it clears it.

Common questions about allotments 

What can an allotment be used for?
How do you apply for an allotment?
How big is an allotment?

Here are the  answers to

 what sizes are allotments  and 

allotment measurements - 

the way allotments are measured 

what is and how big is a rod of land - see further down the page for a break down of this old fashioned way of measuring land

 terms used to describe allotments 

- tidy or untidy plot 

If you want to grow your own fruit and vegetables but do not have a garden big enough then an allotment may be the answer if you live in England.

Want an allotment? 

Where to start finding out information.

First things first...
Sizes of allotments.... scroll down to the section on how allotments are measured here in the UK.
If you want an allotment.

How do you get your own allotment

Firstly find out where the allotments are are in your area

The information here is about allotments relate to the  UK if you are elsewhere you will need to research the information in your area.
The first thing to do if you want an allotment find out where the nearest ones are too where you live.

Then, find out who they are managed by - many are run by local parish councils, so that might be who you need to contact. If you visit the allotment site that you want to have a plot on the people working on them will often be able help you with advice about availability and who to contact about the waiting list.
Contact the person who deals with the waiting list and put your name down on it, some will have plots becoming available on a regular basis others have waiting lists that 'move' up on very slowly.
Be prepared for a long wait in some areas, allotments which at one time no one wanted have become very popular in recent years thanks to gardening programmes and TV chefs.

The TV programmes about allotments and growing vegetables seldom convey the amount of effort required in reclaiming an over grown plot. An unkempt allotment is often more difficult to reclaim than it looks it is often called -   an untidy plot. What that can mean is anything from a well tended plot that has been neglected for a while to a jungle of brambles intertwined with bindweed and perennial weeds. Think about the amount of work needed re. time and physical effort before you say yes to this type of plot. Having reclaimed such a plot I can say it is worth the effort but it is hard work and takes time and in my case I had to get help to dig out the brambles.

Some areas have plots available others have very long waiting lists.

Some Explanations of what an allotment is ..

What is an Allotment?

Allotments.     Are a patch of land that is rented to local people so that they can grow fruit and vegetables on it for their family.
That is the simple short answer in fact when you visit allotment sites you will see that they are as different and varied as the people that rent and care for them.

Terms used when renting an allotment... 'a tidy plot'

Photo.   This is called a 'tidy plot'.
Photo. Allotment .This is called a 'tidy plot'.

allotments are....

An allotment is a plot of land which can be rented by an individual for the purpose of growing fruit and vegetables, for personal and family use.
Allotment are usually owned by local councils, but they can also be owned by private individuals, a charitable trust, landowners or religious bodies.
Your allotment will come with rules on some sites there will be few rules, on others there will be many rules. It is not worth breaking the rules if you want to be allowed to keep your allotment.
Allotment plots come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the the area and the demand for allotments locally.

What size is an allotment?

Measurement used for  the size of an allotment plot:
The measurement that defines the size of an allotment is usually referred to in rods.

Rods are an archaic measurement which makes them a bit of a mystery  most people.

So how big is a rod of land?
When you get an allotment it is often referred to as  a half or whole plot which is most commonly either 
a half plot is usually ten rods and a whole plot is usually twenty rods

However just to confuse things -  some allotment sites can call ten rods a whole plot and 5 rods a half plot.  

It is no wonder people become confuse so it is best to check locally when you are offered an allotment  plot.    Which means that you need to check this out with the person who is renting the plot to you.
However even this area of land/ plot size varies between allotments owned by different groups in different parts of the country. But the above example is the most common sizes used.

Allotment sizes turning Rods to Square Metres...

10 Rod plot is approximately 250 square metres

 so 5 Rod is aprox. 125 square metres.

A 10 rod plot can produce enough vegetables to feed a large family.


A smaller plot will still produce plenty of vegetables for a smaller family.

How big is it ? How it is calculated...

1 rod/pole/perch = 5.5 yards

this measurement is thought to be based on the distance from the back of the plough to the front end of an oxen


a square rod (in which allotments are measured is 30.25 sq yards)


a standard 10 rod plot is 302.5 sq yards = 2722.5 sq ft


which means a ten rod allotment plot is  approximately 250 square metres

To Get an Allotment 

1. Find out what is available in your area.
2. Put your name on the waiting list.
3. Get ready for some amazingly hard work
and get ready to eat some great fresh fruit and vegetables.

a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote