Cultivation standards & plot
© Hotwells & District Allotments Ltd 2007-2021
What constitutes acceptable degrees of cultivation that do not trigger an adverse report when
plot inspections take place? Your Tenancy Agreement, Schedule 2, para 3 requires that the
plot as a whole be kept clear of weeds and, “As a yardstick, at least 75% should be under
If you have just taken over a plot in poor condition, the inspection team would accept that it is
unreasonable to expect that standard of cultivation until your first full year had elapsed.
However, a plot taken over in the spring should have at least half under cultivation by the
As we now only let half plots, this should not be too onerous a task for anyone of serious
intent. Remember - your Site Rep probably told you that you should not take on an allotment
unless you were able to devote at least 5 or 6 hours a week during the growing season to the
Paths along and across plots count as uncultivated areas. If you are the rear of 2 small plots
(normally the “B” plot), do not forget to clear right up to the fence/hedge as this all counts as
part of your plot.
As for ‘cultivation’ – this is digging and planting / sowing! Many people apply plastic or weed-
suppressant material to areas that they are unable to cultivate right away or want to ’rest’. This
suppresses the weeds but does not count as cultivation though of course, if you plant through
holes in the plastic for appropriate plants, that is acceptable. Keep the ground cultivated over
winter with crops such as winter lettuce, broad beans, leeks, garlic, cabbage, purple sprouting
broccoli etc. or if there is still a gap, green manures. Put something in, or the weeds will take
over. Nature abhors a vacuum.
See also Plot Inspection Policy.