June has been a mixed bag for me on the allotment. Crown rot spread through the plots at our site like wild fire. I thought I had hit a new low of gardening ineptitude by managing to kill rhubarb. I didn’t think such a thing were actually possible. But it wasn’t just me. Apparently crown rot is an airborne fungus and there’s not a lot you can do to stop it. Some of the old gents on our site lost crowns that had been going for forty-odd years so there was some deep grieving going on over it. In case you’re wondering, crown rot looks like the picture above.
My potato patch looks like this. Yes, I know, lots of weeds. Ahem. The point is, where are the potatoes? They are there. Just. But they’re all yellow and covered in funny black blotches. I’m going to dig it over this week and dread to think what I will find. And of course, packets and packets of things that never came up. Or if they did, they were eaten within seconds. Only one of my kale plants germinated and was, almost instantly, eaten by the rabbit.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom. There have been some lovely surprises. The chamomile that I slaved over last year with little to show for it, has self-seeded all over the place. Butternut squash plants have sprung up from our homemade compost, so I have scooped them up and stuck them in all the gaps left by the unproductive seeds. Beetroot, broad beans, peas, chard, pumpkins and strawberries are all doing well. Who knew the buckwheat I planted as a green manure would be so pretty? (See above). I cut it down with Finch last week and mulched it in with a layer of cardboard and a snug blanket of manure. And I grew four whole dahlia flowers! I know! Dhalias?! That’s serious allotmenting! Little Owl and I made a pretty posey for the kitchen table with some of the rambling roses from the garden. Not all bad then.