Saving Pea Seeds & Moving Raspberries

This week at the allotment it has felt more like autumn, with some wet and breezy days.  One morning this week it was quite foggy too and on this particular morning I noticed lots of spiders webs that looked beautiful with the moisture from the air making then sparkle:

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The allotment is starting to slow down a little bit now and I am harvesting vegetables every three days now instead of daily, however the harvest is still good on those days:

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At the moment the allotment plot is looking very pretty with the calendular and tegetes that line the paths.  They also attract many beneficial insects as well, which is why I grow them:

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But I can’t wait for the final finale that the michaelmas daisies give, that edge my rotational beds.

 When they flower I love the contrast between the purple and the orange flowers and when they arrive in September, I know that autumn is here.

Below is a photograph of the michaelmas daisies last year.  I hope they look this good again:

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This week at the allotment I have been carefully watching my outdoor tomato plants for ‘ tomato blight’.  After we had a few wet days I became very nervous that I would lose all the lovely green tomatoes if I get ‘blight’,  as I do most years.  I have already had lots of lovely ripe tomatoes from these plants and the tomatoes that are left are all a good size, but just not ripe.

So I took the strange decision to remove the tomatoes from the plants and ripen them at home.  So here they are:

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I have also been collecting my pea seeds at my allotment ready for next year.  My dwarf peas and my climbing peas gave a wonderful harvest earlier in the year and so I want to make sure this happens again.

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It’s very easy to save pea seeds.  All you need to do is leave a few on the plants and wait until they are dry and brown:

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I then pick the pods on a dry day and leave them on trays in my house for a couple of weeks.  This ensures that they are completely dry.

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I then take the pea seeds out of the pods and place them into a paper envelope or bag and store them in a dark, dry, cool place until I need them next year.

I find it so satisfying saving seeds and I always get such a buzz when my seeds germinate and produce plants the next year.

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Also at my allotment this week I decided to dig up my two summer raspberry beds that I inherited.  I will buy some new raspberries and plant them in a different place in Spring:

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I covered the grass in between the raspberry rows a few weeks ago to kill it off.

Unfortunately, the raspberries never really did very well.  Some of them looked lovely but would disintergrate when you picked them and the other plants just didn’t produce many raspberries.  Over the last three years I have fed them and treated them very well indeed, however this hasn’t improved them and I can only think that the raspberries are old now and past their prime.

So I spent a merry morning removing their supports and digging half of the canes up.  Due to the amount of compost and manure that has gone into the ground over the last three years, I found the raspberries dug up well and the soil underneath is beautiful.

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I had some spare slabs at my allotment so myself and Mr Thrift laid a path down the side of the new bed, where I will shortly be planting my spring cabbages when I have dug up the rest of the raspberries on the other side:

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At home my attention has turned to winter salads for my polytunnel.

I have sown seeds for mizuna, winter lettuce, perpetual spinach, winter hardy spring onions and coriander for my kitchen windowsill.  I have also sown some more beetroot, which really is too late to sow (and i’m not even sure if it will germinate), but if it does I will plant it in my polytunnel in the hope I can use the young leaves in salads during the autumn.

My seeds are sitting snug and warm in my mini-greenhouse.

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Finally this week at home I have been juicing all the lovely apples that I picked last week from my early apple tree at my allotment.  I must say there weren’t many apples on the tree this year, but the ones I did have were great.

Below is a photo of my trusty ‘apple picker’ that I wouldn’t be without now, as it reaches all the apples on the tree without using a ladder – a great invention!

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 I juiced the apples using a ‘press’ I bought a few years ago.  I must say though, I wish I had spent more money on a much bigger apple press as it does take me quite a while to juice all my apples.

I first wash the apples and cut off any bruised or bad bits and then chop them in quarters and ‘pulp’ them in batches in my food processor (again, bigger ‘presses’ have ‘pulpers’ attached).  Then I put the pulp in the apple press…..

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….and out comes the sweetest, most delicious apple juice I have ever, ever tasted.  It’s also free from any nasty chemicals and preservatives that some shop bought apple juices have in them.

Unfortunately I don’t have a pasturiser so I freeze the apple juice in little plastic bottles that I have collected, so that my family can have the juice in months to come.

The bottles are ideal to pack in lunch boxes straight from the freezer, as they defrost by lunchtime and while it’s still frozen it keeps the sandwiches cool too.

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Just to finish off with, I thought I would show you the strawberries that I talked about a couple of weeks ago.  If you remember I cut the foliage down to approximately 8cm from the crown a couple of weeks ago and it always looks so harsh:

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Cutting the strawberries back in this way helps the plant produce more fruit the following year, as the plant then puts all it’s energy into producing a strong root system.

Below is a photo of how they look today.  You can see that new foliage has already begun to grow back and I will hopefully have lovely strawberries next year:

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back at my usual time next Friday.

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36 thoughts on “Saving Pea Seeds & Moving Raspberries

  1. First, I’m a newcomer to your blog – love it! Second, re saving pea seeds – I’ve never tried. Is it right to presume that if it’s not an F1 variety, it will come true next year? Regards & thanks.

    • Hi and welcome to my blog. Yes you are right about F1 varieties…if you save the seed from an F1 then it won’t come ‘true to type’ which just means you just don’t know what your plant will be like when it grows-so it’s not a good idea. I didn’t mention this in my blog today as most peas sold aren’t actually F1’s so it’s fine to collect their seeds.

      Glad you are enjoying my blog.

  2. I love reading your posts and all your different ways of using your harvest. What a good idea to juice all the apples. I was talking to a friend who has apple trees and most of the apples go to waste as she cannot use them all. The same applied to her plum tree. There were only so many apple crumbles her freezer could take! I started to cut back my strawberries earlier on this week and I shall complete the job this weekend. We also took delivery of some manure to help enrich our soil.
    xx

    • The manure will be brilliant for your soil. Don’t forget to dig it in first where your brassica’s will be planted next year, as they need firm soil to stop cauliflowers and brussells from ‘blowing’, so this will give time for the soil to settle over winter.

      Have a good weekend

    • Hi beeseeker….I borrowed my dad’s juicer first to try it out and I didn’t like the frothyness and colour of the juice, but it’s personal preference I suppose. I’m glad I bought the press, but I am also glad I was lucky enough to try out the juicer first

  3. I know what you mean about being reluctant to take the green tomatoes of the vines to ripen – but like you, I am also concerned about disease. Last year, it was botrytis. Not had blight and I don’t want it, thank you!

    You’ve got an amazing amount of apples.

  4. Dewy spiderwebs always put me in mind of Enid Blyton books. It’s always worth going out early to see them in the morning!
    I’m not harvesting much beyond spinach, silverbeet, radish and beet root at the moment, and not much of the latter, but we are enjoying what’s coming, and, while we aren’t producing enough to live off, it supplements enough to make a dint in the food buying 😉
    I am going to save seeds again this year. I reckon I must have enough cats to keep mice out of them.
    I can’t wait to see your flowers! As you say, last years were great! I have planted a few extra flowers in the garden on the gamble that I have less snails on a count of the chooks. I have been having serious problems getting my IPad to publish my blogs! But the thing is, by photos are on my IPad, and getting them off is difficult.. But hopefully it’ll work so you can see what’s what!
    Lovely, lovely apple juice! I wonder if I’ll ever get to do this…my apple tree has flowers this year, so this is encouraging…

  5. I love to save the seeds from beans it is a great money saver, i think we will struggle to ripen all our tomatoes there are hundreds of green ones at the moment and it has just not been warm enough to turn them, will be interested to see how your green tomatoes get on. It is lovely to put flowers in the allotment as well, something i must do for next year. Have a good week.
    Sue

    • Some of the tomatoes have turned a bit red already I’m pleased to say…i’ll post a photo on my next blog post for you to see. I love the flowers at my allotment, it cheers me every time I see them and they are great for the insects

  6. Lovely post. It does feel a bit against my instinct to pick green tomatoes. I googled ‘ripening green tomatoes’ and it said it is not the warmth or the sunshine but a chemical that is emitted by the ripe tomatoes that encourages the other tomatoes to ripen. I suppose this chemical builds up more in a green house than outside, but I have decided to stop picking and eating them the minute they get red, so that the ripe ones will hopefully encourage the others to ripen faster. Of course they may all get hit with blight first…..

    I was planning to chop back my strawberries last week, but sprained my ankle. Do you think it is getting too late now for them to recover from a chop?

    • It is a bit late to cut back your strawberries, but the soil is still warm at the moment so you may get away with it-though it really won’t do any damage if you don’t cut them back (as I didn’t for years lol).

      I hope your ankle is better now, it’s so frustrating when we injure ourselves as there is always so much to do. Make sure your ankle is fully better before you do too much.

      Forgot to say, I really really enjoy reading your blog as it is so informative and you really talk sense!….Well done for writing it.

      • You were so wise to pick all your green tomatoes and your timing is impeccable. I found some patches of blight on my tomato plants today, which had looked so healthy just a few days ago. I have quickly picked all the tomatoes and I’m hoping that I am not too late. I will follow your lead next year!

      • This is the first time I have picked them before the dreaded blight comes. I find if you catch them early enough when blight hits then you can usually save a lot of them by ripening them at home. You know soon enough which tomatoes you need to throw away.

  7. Remember showing us your little Cucamelons a couple of weeks ago? I saw some in our local Farmer’s Market in Edinburgh today and thought I’d give you a laugh… they were tiny little pallid things about the size of small white grapes but I recognised them instantly. They were labelled “Mexican Gherkins” and guess how much they were asking for them? Are you sitting down? Twenty quid a kilo! Yup… £20 a kilo.

  8. I pop green tomatoes in a brown paper bag to ripen.
    You would need a lot of bags for that amount of tomatoes though!
    Enjoying your blog as usual.
    Best wishes,
    Angela (Devon)

  9. Thanks for your reply.I have loads of green tomatoes and I have put some on the window sill but I can remember my grandmother storing tomatoes under the bed in boxes lined with newspaper .It was a cool box room.Whats best do you think?Thanks.Louise

    • I’ve never heard of putting them under your bed before but Judy said in one of the earlier comments “it is not the warmth or the sunshine but a chemical that is emitted by the ripe tomatoes that encourages the other tomatoes to ripen”, so your grandmother maybe right.

      My tomatoes are beginning to ripen in my mini greenhouse and previously they have ripened in the sun on my windowsill, but I would love to know if your grandmothers way works…pls let me know

  10. Hi there, I stumbled across your blog from another one. I can see I’m going to be an avid reader. Love this so far – I shall start at the beginning and see you when I reach the present 🙂 Take Care

    • Hi Tracy it’s lovely to hear from you and thank you for reading my blog. Lol you have alot of catching up to do if you start from the beginning,…..though it’s nice to have something new to read isn’t it.

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