Byelaw Men's Field

Recent articles

  • Clearing up the site 14th June 2014

    Some photographs from our site clearup day on Saturday 14th June 2014.

    For several years now I have involved my grandchildren in my allotment but as two live in Sheffield and two live in Newcastle this has not been easy. Nonetheless they have a few raised beds in their gardens. I have one 9 year old grandson living in Leeds who sometimes helps especially when the strawberries, raspberries and peas are ready for picking. This year I came across the concept of ‘square foot gardening’ by Mel Bartholomew and decided to try it out although I had to call it ’30 centimetre gardening’ so my grandchildren could understand the idea. On my allotment plot I divided a six foot by four foot bed into twentyfour and my Leeds grandson planted these up with lettuce, radish, carrots, beetroot, a cabbage, a cauliflower, a broccoli, a tomato, a cucumber[this will grow up a frame rather than run along the ground], French beans, a sunflower, parsley and runner beans. My grandchildren in Sheffield and Newcastle have done something similar. Usually a bed is four feet square and to  maintain a steady supply of produce more than one bed will be required but a regular contribution of salad is already proving worthwhile. To find out more about this method visit: I intend to add my comments during the growing season, my first observation is that to grow at these spacing and to grow organically the ground should be very fertile. I will be comparing the produce with produce planted elsewhere on the allotment at the same time. My initial impression is that it is useful to grow in this way when space is limited and it is particularly helpful in engaging children in growing vegetables. I have been gardening almost 60 years and the pleasure of hearing a grandson say to his mother ‘here you are mum lettuce and radish I have grown’ is beyond measure. Perhaps as they grow older they might leave gardening behind for a while but hopefully it will be there for them as adults. For me coming along are my two youngest grandchildren, a baby and a two year old whose introduction to ‘granddad’s allotment’ has been to eat peas and raspberries.     Autumn 2011. This has proved to be an excellent method of introducing children to gardening. Apart from the French beans which really required several blocks for a worthwhile crop everything grew amazingly well and would have fared better if I had been diligent with the watering. For those with a small garden but space for a few beds it would work very well especially with salad crops which, with a bit of planning should provide salad almost all year.
  • Recent sowings

    Sowed Tomato,sweetcorn, courgettess, squash and sunflowers. All these placed on a windowsill to germinate.
  • Recent planting

    Two beds of potatoes planted,Red Duke of York and Lady Chrystal. I am taking a chance because last year we had a heavy frost, on the 16th May and this cut back the growth resulting in the crop being later. I have now planted a bed of onion sets and spaced them six inches apart in staggered rows to try and minimise the threat of white rot even though this particular bed has not had onions in it for at least 12 years.Onions from seed which was sowed on the 24th December are now growing on in a coldframe but will not be planted out until late April.
  • Planting By The Moon

    The notion of planting by the moon goes back to ancient civilisations. You may be familiar with how the movement of the moon influences the rising and the falling of the tides. This influence is not restricted to tides only but actually affects plants and the soil they grow in.

    My attempts to grow root crops by sowing seed in the open ground have either failed or germination has been erratic. Also, I think slugs and snails have eaten the seedlings as they emerge from the ground. Yet plot holders on each side of me seem to have no problems! It must be my sowing technique.
  • Carrots. Success at last.

    After minimal success in previous years with growing carrots, I decided to go down the designated carrot bed to be covered from sowing to harvest with Environmental netting.
  • Newsletters

    Byelaw Men's Field Newsletters
  • Growing onions.

    Growing onions from seed and sets.
  • Cabbage Root Fly

    A Tried and Tested Way to Prevent Attacks By Cabbage Root Fly.
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The allotments in winter - click for full size image

Welcome to the Bylawmen's Field Allotments website.

Sheds & Meeting Room - click for full size image

Byelawmensfield Allotments, Green Lane, Leeds 15, were originally given by a local landowner to be used by his farm bailiffs who were called ‘byelawmen’ possibly 80 years ago. They were taken over by Leeds City Council in 1947 and in 1988 became a self-managed site although still owned by the council to whom rent is paid. The original purpose of the site is no longer relevant because membership embraces male, female, young and old. We have a vibrant allotment community of 50 people which includes young families and grandchildren who will be the next generation of allotment gardeners enjoying locally organically grown food which has a minimal carbon footprint.

Bees - click for full size image
Sheds - click for full size image

Rainwater Harvesting Project

Our site is prone to flooding and in 2008 some members dug large soakaways and installed drainage pipes to alleviate the problem. We have site buildings which includes a fertiliser and sundries store, a building for members to keep their tools in, a meeting room and rest room The rainwater runs off these buildings and contributes to the flooding in times of heavy rain often resulting in the loss of valuable crops. We installed three large rainwater butts, in 2009 to capture the rainwater before it ran onto the land and to reduce our costs by reducing our reliance on mains water. This has proved to be highly successful and we believe that to conserve water and reduce our reliance on mains water is a worthwhile venture so in 2010 we installed two more large rainwater butts to capture the rainwater from two remaining buildings.

We are grateful to Leeds Community Foundation for financial help for this project through its grassroots grants.

For information about water butts visit:

water butts - click for full size image
digging soakaways - click for full size image

Bee Keeping Project.

The well-documented concerns about the decline of bees promoted us to consider placing three hives on our site. In order to place hives we have obtained permission from the Council, confirmed that we are covered by our third party insurance and made contact with the local bee keeping association. An agreement at our April 2008 Annual General Meeting, from members that we go ahead. Two members completed bee-keeping courses and the first bees arrived on site on the 31st May 2009 when a swarm colonised an empty hive. Two weeks later we established two nucleus colonies provided by Leeds Beekeeping Association. See our Spring and Summer Newsletter for an update on our bee project.

See our Summer 2010 Newsletter for more information about our bee project


Bee Project - click for full size image

Clearing up the site.

Link to /264

On Saturday 14th June we had all hands on deck for a day clearing up the site.Photographs from the day can be seen here.


Welcome to the Bylawmen's Field Allotments website.

The allotments in winter - click for full size image