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HomeNewsWembley Park management company offers 6 tips for National Gardening Week

Wembley Park management company offers 6 tips for National Gardening Week

With National Gardening Week (1st-7th May) just around the corner, Quintain Living is getting ready to inspire its residents at Wembley Park to get their hands dirty.

The award-winning management company, which oversees more than 3,390 rental apartments in the area, is offering tips to make allotment success a breeze.

At Canada Gardens, a Quintain Living development, community allotment beds have become a popular spot for residents of all ages to connect with nature and each other.

The site includes a greenhouse, tool shed, and composter, where green waste from the estate is turned into nutrient-rich compost and liquid fertiliser. Quintain Living also hosts regular events to help residents learn about seasonal planting and get the best from their allotments.

Residents grow a wide variety of crops, from herbs to vegetables to fruit, ensuring there’s always something fresh to pick. A YouGov survey from Q1 2024 highlighted the popularity of certain vegetables. Potatoes lead the pack, with 92% of adults giving them a thumbs-up.

Carrots are close behind at 86%, while onions and new potatoes sit at 83%. The survey also revealed generational and gender-based preferences, with Millennials showing a strong liking for broccoli, Generation X favoring spring onions, and Baby Boomers preferring red onions. Interestingly, 84% of women are big fans of cherry tomatoes.

Quintain Living’s advice for National Gardening Week is simple: just start growing. Whether you’re into potatoes, onions, or anything in between, their community allotments offer a great way to get involved in gardening.

Quintain Living’s Six Top Tips for Allotment Success

1. Nurture your soil. The quality of your soil will impact the quality of the crops it produces. Before you start planting, ensure your bed is free from weeds, break up the soil and dig or rotovate it, adding organic matter as you do. Bark mulch, wheat straw, compost and a range of other organic matter will all benefit the soil.

2. Plan your planting. A good crop rotation plan means you can get the best out of your allotment bed year-round. Work out what you will plant where and how long it will take to grow before harvesting. That way, you can create a month-by-month planting plan that maximises your use of space and delivers a bountiful harvest. Remember to factor in the amount of light and shade on your plot, so that you can ensure your planting choices suit the growing conditions. It’s also a great idea to grow a mix of your favourite foods and a couple of new items you’ve never grown before, for extra variety.

3. Prepare for pest control. You’re not the only one who will delight in eating your freshly grown produce – insects and birds will also be keen to get in on the action. The particular pests will vary based on what you grow. Read up on what to expect and prepare to protect your crops. A range of organic and non-organic approaches to pest control exist, so you can tailor your approach.

4. Give your veg room to flourish. When you have limited space, it can be tempting to try and cram in as many seeds as possible. However, your vegetables will need plenty of room if they are to reach their full, delicious potential. Make sure you thin your seedlings accordingly, so that each and every plant has sufficient space.

5. Don’t water at dusk. We all lead busy lives but try not to leave your watering until late into the evening. Doing so will serve as a magnet for slugs, who will delight in chewing their way through your previous seedlings. Ideally, water your allotment bed in the early morning.

6. Knowledge is flower. The theme of 2024’s RHS National Gardening Week is ‘Knowledge is Flower’. Bring this thinking to your allotment by growing edible flowers and those that attract pollinators. Nasturtiums, marigolds and sweet peas are all good choices to grow alongside your vegetables and salad crops.

Danielle Bayless, Chief Operating Officer at Quintain Living said, “Everyone can enjoy spending time growing food. Gardening is a healthy outdoor activity that can bring communities together. It can deliver physical and mental health benefits and encourage youngsters to try new foods. Growing food in allotments can also teach important lessons about natural lifecycles, sustainability, organic gardening, reducing waste and so much more.

“Whether you have access to an allotment or a single pot on a windowsill, we would encourage everyone to try their hand at growing something this National Gardening Week.”