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  Getting started - hints, tips and useful links (including tool hire)  

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This page is maintained jointly by WAGA and WAM for the benefit of gardeners and allotment holders.

WAM and/or WAGA information sheets

External sources, websites and videos

Tool hire

Basic rules for a happy life on site



Ask any three gardeners for advice and you will get five different opinions. On the other hand, the accumulated wisdom of a bunch of cantankerous old hands might be better than nothing. There are links throughout this site to specific pages from other sources. You can always ask a question at any of our stores on a Saturday or Sunday morning - someone will know someone who knows the answer. If you can't find the information you need or wish to express an opinion, you can always use the Facebook WAM discussion page or, if you are a member, WAGA Facebook pages.

WAM and/or WAGA information sheets

Let's start with a simple guide - Basic Advice For Those New To Allotments.

It can be downloaded as a pdf. Most computers open pdf files automatically. If yours does not you may need the free reader which you can get here

You can often buy second hand tools in the site shops, but also take alook at this site

Local residents often swap plants and seeds but you can also do it by post across the UK:

Making compost and using fertilisers

very basic chemistry for gardeners

Free Manure available on some sites and to collect from Julian, Annington Lane, Steyning. (Call 07870 397976 for directions.)

BBC video on making compost - RHS version on composting - You tube video - John Deeprose on Mulching (and his follow up)


Saving seed

Propagation and storage

Planting distances


Pests and diseases

Even more, including plant-specific tips

Planting trees

Growing food in small spaces

External sources, websites and videos

Advice and guides from the RHS,

Royal Horticultural Society general gardening page,

RHS advice on almost anything you can think of, including a special allotment section that covers all the basics plus pesticides etc.

Crop rotation - the RHS version.

List of forums and Blogs from All About Allotments

National Allotment Society

National Vegetable Society

The National Vegetable Society


Gardeners’ World

Garden Organic

For beekeepers

e Horticultural Channel (asks for subscription)

Harrod Horticultural (things to buy especially greenhouse etc)

Worthing Horticulural Society

The Real Gardeners site contains hints and tips and gardening information and chatrooms and forums.

Allotments 4 all is an allotments information site and also has a members'forum.

The aim of the Allotments Regeneration Initiative is to get more people growing on allotments.They have a large site branching out in many directions.

The National Allotments Garden Trust holds national competitions annually if you're feeling competitive and gives details of events.

Grow Your Own magazine has a very handy website for anyone growing their own fruit and/or vegetables

The National Society for Allotments and Leisure Gardeners fights for your rights and is trying to stop the gradual disappearance of allotment sites.

Landscapeexpert gives lots of tips on garden design and planning of all kinds,not just landscaping. It even has advice on laying a lawn and information about soil structure. is a new site we shall keep our eye on.

Here are some good ideas for low cost greenhouses


WAM Tool Hire (*varies by site, ask your overseer)

West Tarring

Need a Rotavator?

Hire the WAM machine - cost £20 - by filling in the form on our web site

Copies are also available in the shop.

You can also use the WAM strimmer for £10 - book it using the same form. In both cases you will need to wear boots that protect your feet.


Basic rules for a happy life on site

Keep the gates locked at all times, to discourage thieves and vandals.

Keep your plot in a tidy and productive condition (if it gets overgrown you could lose it)

Think of your neighbours and don't export your weed and grass seed to their plots. Take a pride in the whole site, keeping all surrounding paths cut and clear of any obstructions. Safe and easy access around the site is important at all times. If you need to get rid of any metal or plastic, ask your overseers for advice and help. If you have asbestos DO NOT TOUCH IT but report it to the oveseer. Compost all green waste; your soil needs all the compost it can get.


Dispose of any rubbish that cannot be composted responsibly. If you do have large items that need removal, i.e. old sheds, etc. please contact your overseers in the first instance (their name and details should be on your site notice board)

Let your overseer know if you know of a plot holder who is unable to tend their plot due to illness. Whilst in its infancy, there is a scheme whereby help can sometimes be given to plotholders in genuine need of help.

Park your vehicle responsibly, where it will not cause a nuisance or obstruct any roadways or pathways


Bring anything on to the site you are not prepared to take away again later - we don't want to inherit a pile of old junk

Light bonfires without permission from your overseer, who will advise on days, times and conditions

Pick anything that is not on your plot - those apparently wild blackberries will belong to someone