how many give up after first year?

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Offwego

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how many give up after first year?
« on: December 29, 2017, 18:00 »
3 newbies from our site gave up recently after only one year, with one couple stating that overall  it cost more than they grew, all tools were supplied by the society so the only cost they incurred as far as i know was seeds/plants and rent( the rent was £17 for a half plot), just wondered how many plotholders  across the country actually last more than the first year or two?
luckily for us its not about the cost, the produce is far better, the satisfaction levels are great and we even enjoy the digging and weeding !

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mumofstig

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 18:17 »
We had some young men take on a plot, hired a rotovator for 2 weekends running to 'clear it' planted it up with plug plants from been & queued and were never seen again. Plot is now covered with weeds, and the remains of unharvested veg and will probably get a warning letter next month after inspections before Christmas.. What was the point?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 18:18 by mumofstig »
Lesley x
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Yorkie

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 18:47 »
From my experience as a site secretary, it's probably about 20-25% that don't make it beyond the first year or so.  This will be for a number of reasons, including life commitments (when you've been on a list for a year or 3, your life has moved on by the time you're offered a plot), and unrealistic expectations of how much effort is required to get / keep on top of a plot that may be in relatively poor condition when you take it up (even though we warn them about this and advise on ways to ensure it doesn't get on top of you when letting the plot).
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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Dev

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 19:22 »
I think Yorkie is right. My plot is on a private site near Hull, and most of the plots are gardened by regulars who have been there for years. The committee recognised the problem and reduced the size of plots to about one third of the old style allotments with a requirement that 75% of the plot should be cultivated within a year.  However, there are a number of plots that come up each year because people love the idea of growing your own with no chemicals etc., and see the media showing lovely veg. What they don't understand is the effort you have to put in to achieve the lovely veg!. Anyone who thinks that growing veg on an allotment is a cost effective exercise is kidding themselves. I've run out of my own onions and just bought 2lbs of Morrisons Wonky Onions for 42p - but I'd still rather grow my own. Obviously more of them next year!

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JimB

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 19:49 »
.
Our allotments about 40 plots, are owned by the local landowner, and they don't give a fig!

About half are well cultivated mostly by older men, the rest are a disgrace, with pilgrims coming and going every time the leases are up.

Most of them are young males with a wife in tow, sprouting i'm organic i'm not going to feed my family chemicals, the worst part is some of the older men try to help them but get brushed off by the usual platitudes of having listened to often to Monty Don and his team of about 10 helpers!

They potter about for a couple of weekends, usually Easter time then they give up and are never seen again.
Then the weeds,especially thistles and fire weed grow to waist high and seed which blow over the other plots.

Last year on mine apart from the chickweed which is always with me, I had loads of thistles and fire weed seedlings from seed  which had blown in!
One of the older men keeps going to the estate office to complain, the answer is they have paid so they can do what they want, he keeps trying to get somewhere to no avail!
STOP, and smell the roses!

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sunshineband

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 20:12 »
Sad to say I think TV gardening programme presenters rarely give a realistic view of the amount of physical work and time that GYO actually takes.

We have several plots where occupants have gone at things like a train, only to realise they cannot find the time to keep on top of weeds or even harvest anything that does make it up to daylight.

And as for the costs, I was shocked when I kept a careful note of all our outgoings including rent, some wood for bed edges that needed repair, etc etc, weighed all harvests and wrote down the supermarket price (not the organic farm shop price which would really have been more akin to our crops) for said veg or fruit.... and at the end of the year we were £800 "in profit". Obviously I would never have bought 30kg of runner beans, but I would have certainly bought some veg or other.  So if people say it is not worth growing your own food as it is so cheap to buy.... not round here! No cost for time out side in the fresh air and good healthy exercise either  :D
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Yorkie

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 20:23 »
Sad to say I think TV gardening programme presenters rarely give a realistic view of the amount of physical work and time that GYO actually takes.

We have several plots where occupants have gone at things like a train, only to realise they cannot find the time to keep on top of weeds or even harvest anything that does make it up to daylight.


I agree with you - people see the TV programmes, where allotment plots are in good condition at the start and appear effortless!

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greenjay

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2017, 20:55 »
I think that people may like the idea of gyo but until they have a go they don't realise the time involved.
often when you come home from work and have to prepare tea, its much easier to open the fridge and get the supermarket bag of veg out than to go to the veg plot to harvest then bring back and prepare.

I always find something to distract me when on the plot and half an hour soon disappears. for me that's not a problem in the summer because we often eat late. a bit of meal planning means one days harvest can cover a few meals.

gardening for me is a passion. when it becomes a chore it may well have to go. not any time soon hopefully as long as i'm well gardening i'll be.

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madcat

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2017, 20:58 »
They also think the kids are going to be a help ....  when the reality is it takes time and patience to stop them being a hindrance.  Single women and older men are the most likely stayers.  Young families just don't have the time or energy, which I can well understand.
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ididntdoit

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2017, 23:10 »
I  heartily agree with the comments above but want to add that some of the younger ones stick the distance.

What irritates me on our allotments is that people are willing to pay the rent several years in succession but never cultivate their allotments. Weeds all over their allotments and also spread onto the cultivated ones.

One well meaning guy on our allotments strimmed his next door neighbour's allotment to reduce the weed problem. Wow! What a mistake that was! The "said" allotment is now back to three foot high weeds with no possible course of sensible action.

So even if there is no waiting list, if you can't maintain your allotment, please, please give it up. The other plot holders will be more than happy to cut the down the weeds.

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Aidy

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2017, 23:10 »
Wow Yorkie 20-25%  :ohmy: you are doing well!
As our fed rep for many a year one of my duties was to organise plot letting and I would say here we have about 70-80% give up and last year we took on 4 new tenants, all 4 have left!
Talking to them half way through you can tell even tho we warned them what to expect they are still suprised just how much time ans effort needs to be put in
 
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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2017, 23:41 »
We're lucky on our site, it's small but fully occupied. We had two leavers this year, one who had work commitments in the way and another newbie who ran at the first sign of clay.

Can't understand it myself, I inherited a dog's bum of a plot and I've still managed to grow some decent crops.

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Pescador

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2017, 09:23 »
Sunshineband, Totally agree, my costings v value produced show a "profit" of £650 this year.
If one was to include a labour charge, however, the costs would be totally different, but no one adds labour costs to their shopping trips!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 10:25 by Pescador »
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ApprenticeGardener82

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2017, 09:37 »
Well I survived my first year and am still loving it. Unfortunately 2 of my neighbours were rarely seen over the summer, judging from the state of their plots they might not be with us next year. Shame as some of the old chaps with a little more time on their hands were helping them get the plots under control.

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sunshineband

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Re: how many give up after first year?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2017, 10:13 »
Sunshineband, Totally agree, my costings v value produced show a "profit" of £650 this year.

Well done Aidy! It gives an extra enjoyment that we are saving money as well as gaining better health.

We had to give our plot up as the balance between enjoyment with the children over work needed was all wrong, plus we moved house and had a longer walk to the plot as well.

Now, our grandchildren love coming with us, and grow veg in their own garden too. Th biggest difference is that they don't have to come with us every time we go, so is stays fun



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