Cultivation Guidelines

Plot holders are expected to cultivate at least 25% of their plot in the first year and increase the cultivated area by 25% each year to reach at least 75% after three years of tenanting their plot.

Cultivation includes:

  • Annual crops, including cut flowers and green manures.
  • Trees and perennials providing they are well maintained and weeded. (Trees must not be allowed to grow higher than 12’ (3.6m)). Members may, subject to national laws, grow any variety of plant except standard trees. Tree sizes we allow: M27, M9, M26, MM111, M116.
  • Recently dug or otherwise tilled soil.
  • Mown grass.
  • Sheds, compost heaps, well-maintained paths between beds and areas of crop cultivation.
  • Mulching with cardboard and/or woodchip.
  • Crops growing through Plastic sheeting/mypex.

 

Plastic sheeting/mypex is classed as cultivation when correctly placed to effectively control weed growth.

Large areas of untilled earth or mulch are treated as cultivation providing they are temporary (no more than a year or so)

Non-cultivation includes:

 

  • Any significant growth of weeds.
  • Rubbish.
  • Brambles (unless they are clearly grown as well -maintained perennials).
  • Long uncut grass, including around fruit trees, paths and areas which are used for seating/picnics.

 

Using carpet as a mulch is not permitted

 

Inspection process

We inspect all plots up to four times a year against our cultivation guidelines. Members whose plots do not meet the required standard for the length of their tenancy are then sent a letter/email setting out a time frame during which the plot must be cultivated to the required standard. Plot holders who do not address any cultivation issues within the time frame given will be notified by letter/email and the plot will be let out to someone else.

New plot holders

There is high demand for plots at East Ward. New plot holders are given 6 months to show continued and maintained cultivation (this includes existing members who take on an additional plot.) After the initial 6 month period, the membership secretary will inspect the plot for signs of cultivation. If no signs of continuous activity is present the plot will be re- let to someone else.

Examples of cultivation/activity include: shed repair/building, tree/fruit bush pruning, clearance of rubbish, mulching, plastic sheet laying to stop weed growth, cleared land ready for cultivation, cultivation/crop growing.

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