Considering getting your hands dirty with an allotment? Let these nine amazing allotment bloggers entice you over to the green side – where the veg is crispier and the fruit is juicier.
These bloggers are green-thumbed, passionate people, offering easy-to-follow how-tos and plenty of vicarious gardening thrills. That’s why they’re some of our favourite allotmenteers at the moment!
Want to get on the trendy cucamelon bandwagon? According to Alan, this adorable little veg offers ‘a taste of watermelon with a hint of lime’. He says they’re ‘much easier to grow than regular cucumbers’, and when looked after properly will last for years.
A structural engineer by trade, Alan is an allotment innovator with plenty of ideas to share.
Want some portable grow stations? Take a cue from Alan: Pick up some clear plastic boxes from your local hardware shop, and add LED lights for extra growing oomph. Find growing celery from seed to be too time-consuming? Check out his ingenious Doritos jar celery experiment.
Jane Merrick’s allotment is right next to one of the busiest roads in South London, but, she says: ‘Once I shut the wooden door behind me… the noise of the cars, even at rush hour, seems to stop.’
A columnist for The Independent, Jane offers plenty of handy tips for getting the most from your allotment or garden. Growing peas? Check out Jane’s tips for creating clever A-frame pea harps to train your baby pea plants.
Filled with stories about Jane’s green-fingered adventures, Her Outdoors brings the ‘light and green and colour and joy’ of the allotment to the blogosphere.
Seven years ago, Punam Farmah’s allotment was ‘nothing short of a jungle’, but over the years this self-styled ‘Orticultural 'Obbit has, through trial and error, whipped her plot into fine shape.
Now the author of two gardening books, Punam says gardening is her way to ‘bring a little sunshine into the universe’.
And what better way to preserve that sunshine than by bottling it? Strawberry, blackberry, plum and currant, and rhubarb and currant feature among the stash of home-brewed hooch brewed from the produce of this Birmingham allotment.
A ‘mad-keen allotmenteer’ on a mission, blogger Sandra abandoned the idea of gluts and high-yields to focus on quality, making each crop an event. ‘Bottom line – I want flavour you cannot buy at any price.’
Allotmenteering is about camaraderie, says Sandra, and there’s always something you can learn from the older generation.
Take planting peas – as one old boy told her, plant ‘one for the rook, one for the crow, one to rot, one to grow.’ Wise advice indeed.
The Modern Veg Plot is the place to go if you want to grow ‘hopefully interesting and sometimes unusual edibles’ on your allotment.
Intrigued by the idea of cultivating ‘alien space eggs’? Kiwanos made a guest appearance on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. MVP’s creator says: ‘The gelatinous green flesh inside the fruit has a mild citrus flavour with a melon and banana sweetness.’ Sounds out of this world.
Equally weird-looking is the savoury crop, Achocha, which this intrepid blogger assures us is ‘astoundingly easy to grow, will thrive outside, is extremely prolific and when cooked tastes exactly like green peppers!’
‘I am a seedaholic,’ says Beryl Randall, the blogger behind the fantastically-named Mud and Gluts. ‘There is something very satisfying about tin boxes stuffed with rattly seeds and the promise that they hold.’
Want to save your own seeds? Beryl will show you how. She says all you need is string, a soft paintbrush for pollination, and some old rice. Head over to her blog to find out more.
‘Nothing beats a trip to the allotment’, says Katie who’s loved gardening ever since she was a little girl, helping her dad in his veg patch.
She says ‘it’s okay if the allotment doesn’t look tidy and it’s okay [to] sow seeds late.’ her message: Just enjoy gardening!
Fancy a ready supply of radishes throughout the growing season? Katie explains how to make sure you have radishes coming out of your ears all summer long.
Thinking about taking the perennial plunge in your allotment? Check out Alison Tindale’s Backyard Larder blog.
Her thoughts on how to nourish your perennials will make sure they ‘produce big bulbs, roots and tubers and...continuous harvests of their tasty leaves’.
Pink purslane is also known as Siberian miner’s lettuce. Check out Alison’s post on growing it and using it to flavour her take on Yotam Ottolenghi’s green pancakes. She says they were ‘flavoursome, fresh and spicy’.
If you’re still on the fence about allotmenteering, Michelle, writer of The Bohemian Raspberry gives eight reasons to give it a go.
After all, there’s nothing quite like eating something you’ve grown yourself. Got chard and squash in your plot? Grab a few cans of chickpeas and have a go at Michelle’s spicy, nourishing curry; it looks delicious and makes enough to feed a crowd.
Michelle’s approach to gardening is that there are ‘no losses, just learning’, a trial and error approach that sometimes goes against what it says on the seed packet. An allotment rebel, Michelle says: ‘I just know what works best for me and in my climate, in my space and in my day and age.’
Have these allotmenteers inspired you to get growing? Share your stories and pictures on the Waltons Facebook page - we love to see them!
Haven't had your fill? Take a look more of our favourite allotment bloggers...