Gardening boom in Rīga, overgrown plots elsewhere

Gardening on small plots or allotments is becoming more and more popular in Riga, to the extent that there are currently no vacancies in the plots of land offered by the municipality. However, it is still possible to rent a small garden in other areas, according to Latvian Television (LTV1) program "Revidents".

While in the Latvian capital there are currently no vacancies for allotments, in Liepāja, Jelgava and Ventspils, on the other hand, there are opportunities for the green-fingered, while in Daugavpils there are plenty of neglected and overgrown gardens.

With food prices rising sharply, more people may be prompted to take a grow-it-yourself approach to the dinner table.

Zane Leite, the head of the Public Relations Department of the Jurmala State City Administration, explained that the municipality does not have land for the establishment of small gardens and no interest from people in renting such gardens has been observed. At the same time, she also mentioned that two plots of land in Dzintari for the maintenance of small gardens in the territory of the city have been leased to cooperatives established by small garden managers.

There is also almost no interest of the residents in small gardens in Jēkabpils, where the activities of the local government for the establishment of small gardens have been suspended since 1998.

There is also a low interest in caring for vegetable gardens in the city in Daugavpils, where some small gardens under the auspices of the municipality are now overgrown. Vineta Velika, a senior specialist in land affairs at the Daugavpils Property Management Department said:

"People are looking for something more stable, for example, buying summer houses, which, when buying and investing in them, feel safer that everything will remain the same, because there is a desire not only for a piece of land, but also for their own hut to shelter from the rain or leave tools inside, the desire to fence off the territory, to plant a fruit tree, and so on, but this is not allowed in the vegetable gardens, because the vegetable gardens in Daugavpils are more seasonal in nature."

In Daugavpils, small gardens are intended for use for one year, to plant and sow in spring, but to harvest in autumn and, if required, vacate the vegetable garden the next year. A similar arrangement operates in Jelgava and Rīga, while in Liepāja and Ventspils plots can be rented and worked for a period of up to 10 years.

Most of the vegetable garden sites under the auspices of local governments are 200–700 square meters in size and plots can be applied for at the local government office or its property department.

The price for them is mostly low - an average of 2.50 euros per year plus management and real estate tax. However, more expensive small gardens can be found in the capital, where prices reach up to 60 euros per season.

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