Do gardening programmes make gardening look easy?

Gardening programmes on the TV have been blamed for making gardening appear easy, especially when it comes to growing vegetables. This is said to have resulted in a number of allotment holders being evicted from their plots.

With the price of food increasing, many people have taken to growing their own food or at least attempting to. I am one of those people, I have yet to venture further than herbs, chillies and tomatoes but it’s a start!

Many amateur gardeners have been fooled into thinking that growing your own food is easy and doesn’t take much effort. This has led to a large number of allotment holders being evicted from their unkempt plots.

Growing vegetables isn't as easy as TV makes out.

Growing vegetables isn’t as easy as TV makes out.

Any keen gardener will know the sheer amount of graft necessary to maintain a successful vegetable plot. Gardeners who have little experience are becoming down heartened and are giving up their plots to the weeds and because of this a record number of plot holders are being evicted for leaving their soil unworked.

Chairman of The Allotments & Gardens Council, Reg Knowles said “Unfortunately people watch the gardening presenters on TV and don’t really see how they have a paid team working seven days a week on their plot. When they realise they have to do all the work themselves, it’s a lot and you have to be able to put the time in.”

There is a misconception that allotments are easy to maintain. Before taking on an allotment plot it is important to make sure you are aware of the work and effort involved.  The average plot needs around 8 hours of work a week, which for many may seem like too much.

If you already have an allotment, make sure your tools are protected and stored securely. Read our article on allotment theft, for tips on how to keep your allotment secure. For a secure allotment shed, take a look at the Asgard garden sheds.

The fight against allotment theft!

More and more people are taking to growing their own vegetables, whether it is in the garden or in an allotment plot. This popularity in growing your own food has increased peoples want to have an allotment plot and now the waiting list for one in certain areas can be up to 10 years! In fact, having an allotment has become so popular even the BBC has taken to it with their show ‘Allotment wars’. Now this may sound like a crazy show about fighting vegetables…but it’s not!

Allotment wars is a documentary that shows all the dirty tricks played by rival gardeners, on allotments all over the UK. Gardeners are battling to have the best plots and this results in chaos and destruction.  Greenhouses are smashed, garden sheds are burnt and broken into and prized vegetables are killed.

How to plant your tree

On the show, one gardener has been a repeat victim of garden shed break-ins. However luckily for her, the burglar wanted nothing more than to make himself a cup of tea and relax on the sofa inside. As we know though, not all burglars are quite as nice. Many thieves target allotment sheds to steal tools and equipment, so if you have an allotment it’s important to make sure your equipment and gardening tools are stored securely.

If you have a garden shed, make sure this is fitted with tough locks that cannot be easily broken off. If your garden shed is weak and vulnerable to theft attacks, it may be time to invest in something more secure to keep your gardening equipment in.

Asgard metal garden sheds are frequently used on allotment plots, as they are strong and secure. Asgard garden sheds are all made from weatherproof steel panels and have been fitted with strong locking mechanisms to help keep thieves out. The high security range of sheds from Asgard have been designed to withstand the toughest attacks, as they are fitted with reinforced doors, hinges and panels as an added security measure. These high security garden sheds have also been approved by the Loss Prevention Certification Board, which may help to reduce insurance premiums.

High security garden storage, ideal for allotments

High security garden storage, ideal for allotments

Metal sheds from Asgard are available in a wide range of sizes, so even if you only have a small allotment plot you can still keep your equipment secure. Find out more about Asgard metal garden sheds at http://www.asgardsss.co.uk

A metal storage shed – a ‘must-have’ for Allotment Growers

Do you have an allotment?

Over a quarter of a million people in the UK currently hold an allotment plot.  Allotment gardening has always been a popular option for those of you who don’t mind getting their hands dirty in soil and spend time nurturing flowers and vegetable plants, but may not always have the space in their garden.  Apart from providing low cost food, they also provide valuable recreational opportunities involving healthy activity and social contacts.

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How does your garden grow?

Taking on an allotment plot is not all hard work; it can have many advantages, providing fresh home grown vegetables, fruit and flowers for you and your family, free from artificial additives and at a fraction of that you would have expected to pay in a supermarket or greengrocer.

There is also the social side, meeting new friends with similar interests and enabling you to enjoy a healthy outdoor life with gentle exercise and a place to relax and unwind.

Did you know: The first legislative reforms date back to the Enclosures Act of 1845. Today, the Council has a statutory requirement to provide allotments for the public.

Is your allotment secure?

As many allotments are independently or council owned, they will often have different levels of security.  Many allotment sites suffer from vandalism and theft, from minor incidents such as disappearing Fruit and Veg, ranging to major incidents where sheds located on one site have been broken into and vandalism, smashing of glass in greenhouses, breaking tools, dumping rubbish and damaging frames.

Keep your tools under lock and key 

Always try and keep all your gardening tools locked up and out of sight in allotment huts and sheds.  Not only do they provide shelter from the rain for expensive tools, gardening equipment and clothing, they provide much needed security for your allotment.

Secure Storage units for your allotments

If you need a secure storage unit installed in your allotment, you can choose from a range of metal storage sheds from Asgard in various sizes according to your needs.  The Asgard Addition is a popular choice for many gardens and allotments due to its compact size and multi-purpose storage space.  Built from our tough, galvanised (weather proof) steel with an integral metal floor and convenient large double door access this unit features an excellent 3-point locking system.

Asgard Addition storage unit

Asgard Addition storage unit – Great for allotment storage!

Smart and stylish, the Asgard Addition metal shed unit is available in a choice of 3 colours – dark green, ivory and brown enabling you to match the unit to your environment, and ensure your allotment is looking neat and tidy.

Top Tip: We recommend that you check the area available to install your shed before installation, and confirm with the allotment regulations before installation.

Want to grow your own?

Whether you are budding vegetable grower or a seasoned gardener, visit the Allotment diaries website for more ideas on making the most of your allotment.  For a ‘Plot Holders’ Guide’ from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) click here.

To view our full range of outdoor storage units and unit sizes, visit our website http://www.asgardsss.co.uk for further details.  We also offer free delivery and an installation service is also available for added convenience.

Will Britain have to dig for survival?

If you’re already a keen vegetable gardener, this may not be of a great worry to you. But to those of us who find mowing the lawn too much trouble, the following may be hard to swallow.

The agriculture minister David Heath has claimed that unless households start digging and growing their own food, we will face empty supermarket shelves as they will struggle to import enough food to feed us. The government are currently warning about future food shortages which could occur as the UK currently imports 40% of its food. The freezing temperatures earlier this year have already had an effect on crops, with potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and peas all being affected by waterlogged ground and low levels of light. More surprisingly this year Britain will need to import more wheat than it exports for the first time in a decade.

Will you dig for your survival?

Will you dig for your survival?

Over the past 10 years, the growth of tomatoes, cucumbers and spring onions in Britain has fallen so low that they have been labelled as “endangered”. Brussels sprouts, lettuce, leeks and cauliflower are also at risk of becoming “endangered”. If action isn’t taken by the government, there will be even less home grown food on supermarket shelves and food prices will continue to rise.

While we wait for the government to take action, people can do their bit by growing fruit and vegetables in their gardens. The number of people growing their own fruit and veg is already on the increase, as the share of fruit and veg grown in allotments and gardens rose from 2.9% in 2008 to 5% in 2011.

For those looking to make small changes, herbs, salad leaves, chillies and garlic are all easy to grow and a great way to get started. So why not give it a go and see what you can grow.

Need storage for all of your new gardening equipment? Asgard have it covered with their range of metal garden sheds.

Statistics provided by the Telegraph

Cold weather wreaking havoc on UK Garden Centres

The spell of bad weather during March, made March 2013 the coldest in the last 50 years. With so much snow and frosty weather everyone has been affected from farmers to the everyday gardener.  The bad weather has also had an effect on UK Garden Centres, with sales down by as much as 50%.

This is the time of year where people are usually getting their gardens prepared, buying plants, seeds, tools and everything else they need to make their garden bloom.

The recent bad weather has kept people indoors.

The recent bad weather has kept people indoors.

Because of the harsh winter weather leaking into spring, the price of flowers which should already be in full bloom, such as daffodils have increased by up to 50%. April is the most important month of the year in the garden centre calendar as spring is supposed to be in full swing and this is the time when people really start to spend money of things for their gardens, however if the bleak weather continues into April, vital sales will be lost. In the UK, 1 in 3 people are gardeners and spend around £5bn a year on their gardens.

snow and asgard bike storage

Asgard garden sheds can take on the snow!

If you have been put off from going in the garden because of the bad weather, there are still plenty of things that you can do, especially since the snow seems to be behind us. If you haven’t already, start planning what you want to add to your garden, buy seeds and tools so that you have them to hand whenever the weather brightens up. If you’ve discovered that your garden shed didn’t hold up during the harsh weather, make sure you get a new one to store all of your gardening equipment in. Asgard has a range of strong metal garden sheds that are tough enough to see you through many winters like the one we have just had! Made from strong weatherproof steel, these sheds are designed to provide the best protection from the elements. See the full range of metal garden sheds on the Asgard Website.

Data provided by the Guardian.