Plot Tools and Equipment for the Allotment

If you are an allotment beginner, you will need the help of some handy allotment tools and equipment to be kept at your plot for the best results. But, before you do, you will need to ensure you have a safe and secure shed or storage to keep it all locked up.

There are many obvious basics, and some will depend on your methodology and preference, but we hope this page helps you decide. Don't forget; before you go on buying any allotment accessories or tools, think about what you already have and no longer use, maybe you can recycle items for this purpose.

Gardening Attire

Before you undertake any work, make sure you are equipped with the necessary allotment tools and gardening accessories. Don’t just be prepared, dress up for the job! Wellies or old walking boots, waterproofs and clothes that you don't mind getting dirty or possibly ripped. Think layers for wrapping up or cooling down, keeping dry and warm. Even during the summer, it is better to wear thin, loose but long-sleeved tops and full-length trousers to save getting scratched by anything prickly like fruit bushes or bitten by insects. A hat if it's hot and sunny and a woolly hat if it is cold. Garden gloves and any protective wear depending on the task at hand.

It is also worth keeping spares and footwear to change into, to save bringing home lots of soil and dirt via the car. 

A flask and lunch box - A cup of tea at the plot goes down a treat and it’s also important to stay hydrated, especially if you are doing some heavy-going physical work. We recommend a reusable water bottle, refreshments and snacks to keep you going. 

Some growers use allotment accessories like camping stoves and other equipment at their plots. Do check for permission first if you are hoping to have a BBQ or bonfire as some sites do not permit it.

Watering At Your Allotment

A water butt with a drainpipe and guttering fitted to your shed is an essential allotment tool that helps you in storing water and recycling the rain.

A watering can is another simple allotment accessory we recommend- maybe even a few so helpers can join you and save time.

You would not be able to use a hosepipe as there would not be enough pressure from tank taps supplied on your site, it's also not deemed ethical to use them.

Many growers use open-ended bottles and pots, sunken into the soil to direct rainwater to the roots of their plants. 

Whether it's utilising allotment tools for garden maintenance or incorporating gardening accessories for water conservation, thoughtful choices enhance your allotment experience.

Soil Preparation, Maintenance and Planting

A spade and a fork are some simple yet necessary allotment accessories that you will need for digging and breaking up the soil as well as pulling up larger weeds and shovelling compost and soil.

Handheld trowel and fork for some low-maintenance weeding or careful weeding around shallow-rooted crops.

A hoe does a great job of weeding as well as helping to break down lumps of soil.

A rake for more soil fine-tuning and sweeping up debris.

Some growers opt to use petrol-powered rotavators for turning their plots over as well as a petrol lawn mower if you have grassed areas. There are also battery-powered tools you can buy including strimmers, which can be great for edges and overgrown areas.

Gardening accessories such as a bulb planter a handy tools for popping bulbs down deep into the soil. Knee pads may help with comfort if you are planning on doing weeding. 

Have a handy basket or bag for gathering weeds as you work and another for harvesting when the time comes.

For heavier soil work, you may benefit from a wheelbarrow to shift quantities from one bed to another or to move compost about.

With the right allotment tools and accessories, you can efficiently manage your plot and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Pruning and Harvesting

Pruning and harvesting on your plot can be made a lot simpler if you have the right set of allotment tools and gardening accessories. Not just limited to these tasks, but secateurs, shears and cutting tools are always handy to have for several jobs. 

A handy tool belt or bag is useful for blitzing those little jobs as you walk around the plot, making them essential allotment accessories.

When you are harvesting your crops, have some suitable vessels for transporting them home. An obvious one to some, but you don’t want to mix loose, squashy raspberries with large muddy carrots in one bag or box! 

Allotment Tools for Growing

Until seedlings become established, sometimes we can forget what we have sown and where so plant labels are always good to stick in the ground.

There will be plants that will require support so always have a supply of supporting allotment accessories like canes and sticks or poles. Some ties, string and handy hardware to help train your climbers and to help your taller plants. 

Netting is one of the most important gardening accessories as it helps protect the crops; you will need finer mesh-type netting with much smaller holes for some plants. Netting can come in a range of types and sizes for different uses.

Pots and trays from plants you've bought come in handy when it comes to sowing your seeds or you may want to buy a propagator. Large containers can be used around your plot to save space as well as make the plot more attractive with colourful flowers.

There are also some big investments you could make such as a greenhouse or large polytunnel and you can also do this on a smaller scale and with cloches, cold frames and DIY projects. Some sites will require permission to be sought before erecting any sizable structures. Fruit cages and brassica cages are popular on allotment plots. If you are considering the smaller, cheaper 'greenhouse' frames with plastic coverings, be mindful of the wind - many self-assembly garden kits get strewn around allotment sites and the plants get damaged in the process. They need to be secured down well in a sheltered yet sunny position.

Don't forget the scarecrow! You can use many items to deter birds including old C.D.s on string, bunting and more.

Plant food, fertilisers, and insect and pest repellents are useful to have. Try to use chemical-free products or homemade remedies where you can. 

Straw and mulch supplies and compost, growing bags and manure will be well used, in time you can produce some of these yourself or source locally for free.

All of the above-mentioned allotment tools will help to ensure that you have everything you need to nurture your plants and maintain a successful allotment patch.

Other Gardening Accessory Essentials

There are no bounds when it comes to this information, and you can decide which items of your own will make the best allotment tools for you. You might deem some of them unnecessary if you have them at home, ultimately the choice is yours.

Another very important but neglected allotment tool is a First Aid kit. As we know, accidents do happen; so even just a pack of plasters or some antiseptic wipes can save a trip back home, disrupting your day. If it’s anything serious, do seek immediate medical attention! In summer, it’s easy to wile away too much time in the full sun, only to find you are rather pink and tender by the end of the day so suncream is always handy to have.

Personal belongings like your mobile phone, keys, and wallet should be put somewhere safe before you begin to work. Zip up your mobile in your pocket -  many growers lose valuable items in the soil during digging!

If you prefer paper to screens, take a book for a well-earned break in the sunshine. You will be thankful for a bench or chair to sit on!

We touched on refreshments earlier on this page but your plot is a lovely place to have a picnic and refuel.

A torch is another useful tool if you are working during the evening. We often work until dusk and then need to lock up our gardening accessories, and equipment and walk back to the car, only to find it's pitch black!

While our ideas are not exhaustive, this should be a brilliant start. There are many handy gardening and allotment accessories on the market which are deemed necessary, however, this is based on personal preference, so varies widely.  If you have a few basics to do the things you want to do, you can build on your equipment in time, you can always 'borrow' tools from a friendly plot neighbour if they are happy to lend you theirs. Do ask first!

Growers sometimes evolve their growing to specialise in one type of crop or a type of growing - You may decide to do No-Dig and therefore will not need to dig your plot and will likely be collecting cardboard. 

You might like to know your exact soil type and temperatures and invest in those specialist items.

Whatever your approach is; whether it is to potter and take your time use it as a form of exercise or fit plot work around a busy schedule, you will probably find your balance of convenience and necessity.

The key is to enjoy it!

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