Friday, 4 September 2015

DIY Washing Machine, Leeks and Banana Fertilizer

The forecast said it would be fine,
Perfect drying for laundry time.
Strip the beds, collect the clothes,
Into the machine the first wash goes.
The colours separated from the white,
Why do socks disappear from sight?

Pegs at the ready, machine finished spin,
Hanging out clothes about to begin.
All of a sudden it starts to rain,
Carry the clothes back in again.
Wait awhile and hope it will stop.
Is it worth sorting another lot?
Mary Rose

Hi guys :)
I finally got round to buying a washing machine! Ok, so not in the usual sense of the word. I bought a plunger!
We don't own a washing machine, our old one conked out completely before we moved and we can't afford to replace it. So, i do our washing by hand. 
It's not a hardship, we don't generate much washing, and we wear most things more than once unless it is stained, and as much as i love it (Much quicker, no electricity, relatively eco friendly) it does take its toll on the hands, especially wringing out.
When i came across this tutorial for a diy washing machine i was ecstatic!
The plunger came from Poundland, I cut a few holes in the middle, to help water flow, and got started, i can't begin to explain how much of a difference it has made already!
I plan on buying two buckets next time i go to the nearest town and make the rest.

Remember the wood from the wicker basket?
Well, i tied three together, made two more of these, and tied some netting over the top
Tadah! A cover for the leeks! I'd noticed quite a few birds hovering around,i don't think they like leeks that much,but apart from the onions (the courgettes got eaten) they are my only crop that has survived so far, so i figured it was best to err on the side of caution

Look at those clever things! 
(Getting overrun by weeds as i didn't put a weed cover down. Whoops.)

And the onions have taken well :) (Also being overrun by weeds :( )

Now, onto bananas! A few of you took an interest in my banana fertilizer, so i thought i'd go into it in a little more depth.
As i mentioned in the previous post, just chop the peel, pop it in a jar of water and shake, leave it for  48hrs and you're good to go! Just pop it through a sieve or colander into your watering can and apply generously
 (Well, not too generously, you don't want to drown the poor buggers) 
Now, don't you throw those peels way, they are still useful!
You can pop them on your compost heap, or you can dig them into your vegetable patch, where they will slowly decompose and add even more yummy nutrients and minerals to the soil.
There is more information on the benefits Here

I also made a rather funky looking treacle tart,with home made custard, (low fat Recipe here, i had no cream lol :) )
 It tastes better than it looks :)
I also crocheted this rather pretty square with a flower in the middle, our knit and natter group is making a blanket for a community project :)

What have you been up to this week? :)


  1. What a good idea with the plunger, although we do have a machine I am careful, as don't like the water company's horrendous bills, we were clothes (apart from the undies) several times, I handwash as well sometimes. Good job with the netting as well, you are a very resourceful young lady xx

    1. It is much cheaper than buying a machine that's for sure haha :) This is probably going to be very much a long term thing, it cost enough in electricity just to run the house as it is, without introducing a guzzler like a machine lol,
      And thank you very much, everything in the house has a dual purpose, nothing goes to waste here haha :) xx

  2. Sorry your washing machine broke I used to have wash everything by hand when I first got married a few years ago now and I know how much hard work is involved. Love your crochet such pretty colours. Don't talk to me about weeds I have been digging my 100's of them out this week from my allotment one more bed to do this weekend then I have to tackle the paths I have never seen so many all this rain we have been having. Hope your leeks survive they should do the birds don't like the smell. Have a lovely weekend, dee x

    1. It's a pain isn't it? It's mainly the ringing out that i hate, so i'm also on the lookout for a cheap mangle, or a tutorial on how to make one haha :)
      Oh bless you, they are such a pain! I'm so sick of the sight of weeds! Our whole garden is just one big bloody weed lol Hope you have a lovely weekend too :) xx

  3. Thanks for the banana info. I use nettles placed in a on old hessian sack or old pillow and weighed down with a brick in a bath of rain water. You dilute the juice and get some fantastic free fertilizer.

    1. Great minds think alike Dave, i'm doing that as we speak in an old cooking pot on the back doorstep :)

  4. I agree - I am quite happy to wash by hand, but wringing out is hard, particularly sheets. I love your crochet square - so pretty. Clever use of the wicker basket!

    1. Sheets and towels are the worst! I leave the towels until they are hung on the line and then wring them, much easier that way :) and i let the hubby do the sheets as he is stronger than me haha :D
      The basket has given me more ideas on making a sort of fence thing around the patch too, using fallen tree branches and netting :) xx

  5. The banana fertilizer sounds a great idea & there looks nothing wrong with your tart! I'm glad your leeks are still doing well for you xx

    1. It seems to be working so far :) I've never eaten so many bananas! But it is most definitely worth it :) xx

  6. I am very thankful for my washing machine, but I think that it is great that you are being so resourceful and doing this yourself. I bet that the plunger helps a lot! xx

    1. It helps more than i ever imagined Amy, whoever thought i would be grateful for a plunger haha :) xx

  7. Hello! Thanks for following Lucys Cottage. I am seriously impressed by your hand washing... my washing machine is the one thing I don't think I could live without! I have recently purchased some "Eco Eggs" from Lakeland which are supposed to save money and prevent the need for washing powders or conditioners. I'm about to trial them so watch this space! Fiona x

    1. Hi :) i'm pleased you dropped by :) I've heard of Eco eggs, they sound wonderfully efficient, it's a shame they wouldn't work with hand washing haha maybe in a year or so when i have money spare :)


Thank you for your comments, they are always appreciated :) <3


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