"We've had bad experiences with single women," said the chairman of the Fiekendorf allotment club, named only as Hans-Dieter H. "They can't do this, they can't do that. It never works out. I'm sorry. It only causes us trouble."
Speaking to Wednesday's edition of the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper, he explained that the club's communal work - like hedge-cutting - was especially beyond a woman's power, adding that there was already one single woman in the club and she was annoying.
He also said that there were several women who had been left with an allotment after the husbands had died and subsequently also caused "difficulties."
"They have to understand that," said Hans-Dieter H. "We're not going to invite the bother anymore."
One woman left particularly frustrated at the new rule is Nafize Ö., a farmer's daughter from Turkey who has just had her allotment application turned down by Hans-Dieter H. "He told me that he turns down all women who don't have a man. He said they can't manage the work."
"I've raised four children, I can do the work of six men," she told the paper. "I'm really upset that I got turned down just because I'm a woman."
Dirk Sielmann of the Hamburg state association of gardeners (LGH), of which Hans-Dieter H. is a member, expressed outrage at the club's rule, saying that it violated regulations. He promised to have a "serious talk" with Hans-Dieter H.