Can I get an allotment?
You can apply to join the waiting list if you live in Redbridge or an adjacent local authority – Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Epping Forest, Waltham Forest and Newham.
Other applicants will be accepted only if there is a proven local connection such as working in Redbridge or family in the local area.
How long are your waiting lists?
Those on the waiting list will usually be offered an allotment within 12 months of joining the list.
This can vary, according to the natural turnover in the membership. Some will move away, others give up through ill heath or old age, while some are so committed to their allotment, they refuse to give up until they die.
What can I grow on my allotment?
Allotments are meant for growing fruit and vegetables (and flowers, too) for your own use. You must grow a variety of crops to maintain the health of the soil – it is not permitted to grow one type of plant across your plot.
Allotment plots must not be used for growing cash crops. While it is allowed for a member to sell a little of their excess produce, you must not be growing crops for profit.
Members who fail to maintain the health of their plot or are found to be producing cash crops will have their membership terminated.
How hard is is it to maintain an allotment?
Like all things, the reward is based upon how much time you commit to the task. Clearing the plot will likely be the hardest thing you do, then keeping it clear of weeds.
However, once you start getting your own produce through, you will consider the effort worthwhile.
How much time will it take?
This changes through the year, as the seasons change. But it is not something you can do once a week for an hour. You will need to commit a good chunk of time getting the plot cleared and planted, but then less is required to maintain it.
In the summer, watering is essential and this may take 15 or 20 minutes a day. You should expect to spend several hours a week on even a small plot while it becomes established.
How do I water my plot?
Each site has communal water tanks for members to use with watering cans only. Hoses may not be attached to these supplies and pumps must not be used to draw water for plots. Members may use as much as they need, but are cautioned against excessive use, or the cost of rents will be increased to cover water usage.
I would love an allotment, but surely I am too old/inform/disabled to have a plot?
Not necessarily. SKGAS had raised beds built at the Goodmayes site with help of lottery funding that are suitable for those with mobility problems.
If you can sit – or stand – and use a trowel, you can tend a raised, or share one with someone else.
Are your sites run by the council?
No, SKGAS is a private society that rents the land from the council. All plotholders are members of the same society and we are responsible for running our own affairs. Members are expected to not only follow the rules, but help the society where necessary, from notifying a steward about a leaky water tank to helping out on the committee or in organising an event.
By being a club, we keep rents low, order high quality gardening supplies in bulk and can offer support to those who are new to allotment gardening.
I don’t want an allotment, what’s in it for me?
We offer an annual garden membership to those who don’t have a plot with the society. This provides garden members with access to our trading huts so they may take advantage of our competitively priced high quality produce for use in their own gardens.
Garden membership is the same as the annual membership – £5 in 2017 – and is due for renewal at the end of September.