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Newbie retention

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This is another request for ideas.
Since my last thread about how to get people to take negelcted plots, we have had a lot of success and have only a relatively few empty plots left on our site.
What can we now do to retain the new plot holders. Most of whom probably don't know what they've let themselves in for.
Some have (against advice) rotovated, and some have made some lovely beds. But how do we convince them to keep going when things get tough next year? Cos really it takes a few years to become master of a previously neglected plot.
We have a meeting at the town hall tomorrow night and I would like to have a few suggestions up my sleeve.


Get down the allotments in your bikini next summer ;D

Make the feel as if they are a part of the community, and ask for their help now and again. They will not feel completely useless then. Summer b.b.q., pumpkin and sunflower comps., mince pies and mulled wine near xmas all make a happy crew.

Heritage, someone tried on our site last year to run a summer barbie, we were all excited, thought it would be great fun, then the council said no we couldn't do it as we wouldn't be covered by insurance...killjoys! :'(

ken (69):
Hi Sarah...someone  (on the cheap) to plough or rotovate the plots (preferably already weed free) at the appropriate time, would be a big help , and as they say in Desert Island Discs, an inexhaustable supply of manure .Stables and Jobbing Gardeners/Landscapers have to PAY to get rid of muck and uprisings, so do a deal.The problem there is controlling what they dump on you, but most stuff is compostable and the rest for burning. Regards Ken.


I agree with Ken entirely.  No new starter should be given a plot that is unworkable.  The council should have an obligation to clear the plot first and hand over a plot suitable for cultivation.  They wouldn't give a football team 6 lengths of wood and tell them to make their own goalposts, cut their own grass and mark out their own pitch!  Why should an allotment holder be expected to work on something that resembles a tropical rain forest.  Could anything (apart from vandalism) be more disheartening? Lance


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