Eden Allotment Gardens Advice and Information

gardening adviceHow much will it cost?: Allotment plots come in a variety of sizes to suit all requirements. Rental costs for an allotment are very modest and based on the size of the plot. An average plot works out at less than £1 a week. Concessions are available for those who are in receipt of a state pension, unemployed, registered disabled, or a student on a grant. The tenancy year starts on 1st April and ends on 31st March each year. Click here to find out out latest fees. Please Note: Allotments at Eden Allotment Gardens are only available to Borough residents. Before completing the online application form please read the Tenancy Agreement for Eden Allotment Gardens (PDF Version).

iphone app from RHSHow do I rent an allotment?: To rent an allotment please complete our online application. When you are offered a plot you will be required to sign a simple tenancy agreement, which sets out your rights and responsibilities. You will be expected to keep your plot cultivated and tidy. Before you take on a plot, why not visit the Eden Allotment Gardens, plot-holders will be around to help with advice or answer any questions you may have.

I have just got my new allotment, what next? Our 'Plotholders Guide' is full of useful information - download here.

Can I drink from the allotment water supply? NO. Please be advised that the water at Eden Allotment Gardens is non-potable (drinkable) and cannot be consumed. Each tap has a warning sign and a notice is prominent at the entrance to the site.

I would like to save water? The Eden Allotment Gardens water supply is a run-off supply from the Community Centre roof. This system will save on high water charges from NI Water, which Council had to pay in the past. Due to misuse (such as leaving water tapes running, use of hoses etc.) the run-off supply cannot cope with such large water loses and so a decision was made to change the tap type to a push system.See leaflet on water at Eden Allotment Gardens (PDF Version).

I have just received a warning letter: We carry out regular and rigorous inspections to ensure allotments are properly maintained and remain viable for future tenants. The council understands that allotment holders will have differing approaches to their gardening, and are prepared to be flexible as long as the plot is actively used for growing produce and is not allowed to remain under used, fall fallow or become overgrown. All allotment holders are made aware of the need to cultivate their allotments when they sign their rental agreement with us.

What do you consider to be a cultivated plot?: A plot is considered cultivated if 75% or more of the plot is in productive use with perennial fruit, flowers or vegetables, or soil is overturned and ready to be planted.

What do you consider to be the growing season? The growing season is generally between March and October (weather depending). Council start inspections in April and we would expect plots to meet our definition of a cultivated plot by this mid May.

Why have I seen uncultivated plots on allotment sites yet there is a waiting list? There are a number of reasons why a plot is not being cultivated. These are listed below: A Notice to Quit the plot has been served and we are in the one month period we are legally obliged to give to re-enter the plot. A new tenant has just taken on the allotment plot. New tenants are given a one month grace period before the plot is inspected. The plot holder may be ill or experiencing personal problems making it difficult to for them to work the plot for a period of time.

I would like to put up a structure such as a shed, fence or screen?: See section 2.7 of your tenancy agreement - download our tenancy agreement here.

Can I transfer my Allotment plot to a friend or relative?: You must formally terminate from your plot before it can be offered out to anyone else. Interested parties must formally apply. However, we have waiting lists and the person at the top of this list will be given first refusal on the plot.

Giving up your allotment?: If you want to give up your allotment, please complete the online cancellation form and this will cancel your tenancy agreement with us. If you become ill and cannot look after your allotment, please contact us to discuss ways of managing your allotment until you can garden again.

I have lost my allotment gate key, what do I do?: An additional key may be purchased from the Civic Centre Tourist Information Centre at 11 Antrim Street for £5.00. Please note identification and proof of allotment tenancy will be required.

I want to garden organically?: Although the Council would like all allotment holders to garden organically we only require allotment holders in Field D to do so. See our section on organic gardening.

There is a tap or fence damaged on the allotments, who do I tell?: Contact the Parks & Countryside office directly (t: 02893358039) with details of the damage/fault and its location and we will arrange for repairs to be undertaken.

Flooding Advice: Drainage problems can occur due to heavy rain and soil compaction. Good soil structure is always the goal and double-digging will assist that process, particularly on newly cultivated land. See advice on doulde digging. In addition, allotment holders should not drive their cars on the grass which is causing severe surface compaction. A 'no driving on grass' sign has been in place since last year. Fields B, C & D have significant vehicle damage already. See Environment Agency advice on Flooding in Gardens (PDF Version).

I would like a compost bin for my allotment? The Council is offering allotment holders the opportunity to purchase a compost bin. Telephone us for further information.

I would like a burn waste on my allotment? Bonfires are not permitted on the allotments. See our leaflet.

Safety and Security: Eden Allotments is generally a safe and secure place but you may spot hazards that need attention. If you spot anything obviously unsafe, such as hypodermic syringes or anything you feel may be hazardous, such as asbestos or rats, please note where it was and contact us. Please make sure you don't make the allotments more hazardous yourself. Never pour garden pesticides into old bottles. Make sure that garden pesticides are safely locked away when not in use. If you use petrol driven tools, only keep a small quantity of fuel at your plot and again make sure it's locked away. Allotments can never be fully secure. Keeping sites tidy and attractive is one of the best ways of deterring anti-social activity, theft and vandalism. You can help too if possible, keep valuable equipment at home. If you only keep a few old hand tools on your plot, you may not need a secure shed. If you decide to lock your shed, use a strong padlock and keep the shed in good repair if you experience theft or vandalism report this to PSNI. They may not be able to do much about your loss, but the information you give will help them track local problems and plan future policing.

The Eden Allotment Watch scheme covers the Eden Allotment Gardens area and works in partnership with:

See information on Allotment Watch.