New Allotment Paths and Laundry Liquid

For the last few days I have been working on the top half of my 4th allotment plot.  This is what it looked like in January when I took the plot on:

The tree in the middle is a plum tree.

The previous plot holder, Eric, had tried to grow vegetables under the tree, but he told me that nothing grew properly as it was just too dry and shady under there.

After I had strimmed the couch grass and weeds in January, I covered it all with weed suppresant.

Last year, my dad had given up his allotment, as it was just too much for him. He asked if he could have a little bit of my plot to work.  I thought this was a wonderful idea, as I can’t think of anything better than having my dad growing his vegetables with me, as I think the world of my dad.

So in April, I dug a patch at the front of the plot, removing all the weeds and added loads of compost.

Dad has grown leeks, runner beans, onions, lettuces and squash this year.

I have been worrying about the weed suppressant around dad’s patch, as I have bricks and old pieces of wood holding it down and I have worried that dad would trip over them.

So this week, I have used old pieces of wood, to make the edge for two paths and I have laid weed suppressant in between them.  Next week I will be visiting our local council to buy some wood chips to put over the weed suppressant.

The bricks etc are just there to stop the weed suppressant from blowing away in the wind.  They will be removed when I put the wood chips down.

In the photo below, you can see I have also put wood around the edges of the tree.  I have decided that this area is going to be a woodland area and I will continue to work on it over the next few weeks.

I removed the weed suppressant from around the tree this week and you can see that all the couch grass and weeds have been killed.

I have some bulbs to plant and I will be on the lookout for some cheap woodland plants or plants that I can take cuttings from, to fill this area.


Laundry Liquid

For a while now I’ve been making laundry liquid to wash my clothes.  Today I made some more, as I had run out.

It washes well and is so much cheaper than shop bought wash powders and liquids.

I really don’t know where I got the recipe from, it was somewhere on the net, so I can’t take any credit for it.

This is how I make it:


1 cup of soap flakes

½ cup Soda Crystals (also known as washing soda)

½ Cup Borax (in the UK it is a substitute of borax which works well) 

1 ½ litres of water

Put the above ingredients into a saucepan and heat, stirring until the soap flakes have dissolved

Pour the mixture into a very large bucket and then add 8 litres of cold water.

Stir and then pour into containers, leaving space at the top so you can easily shake the container before you use it.


You only need approximately a quarter of a cup of washing liquid for each wash.


I use old plastic milk containers to store my liquid in.  The recipe makes just over 10 litres of liquid.

The above amount will last quite some time and washes well.

You won’t see lots of bubbles when it washes, but this doesn’t matter.  Wash powders that you buy actually have bubbles added, not because thay are needed, but because people think their clothes aren’t washing properly if they don’t see bubbles.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

24 thoughts on “New Allotment Paths and Laundry Liquid

    • Mrs Yub, I had a look for one of these and found they were all above £20, out of my price range I am afraid. Then got thinking – all that is needed is a tap on a container i.e. wine in a box. I wonder if these can be repurposed – obviously when they have been emptied, by you or by your friends lol. If any one tries it would they let us know?

  1. I’ve been drying to decide wether or not to buy Soap Nuts as an alternative to washing powder but I might just give this recipe a try first since I have all the ingredients to hand. Thanks for the tip, hopefully I’ll be back to let you know what I think.

    • Hi Miss Penny Pincher. I have also tried soap nuts but I found they didn’t wash as well as I expected, but I do like my laundry liquid but I know everyone is different. I have terrible excema which is why I tried the soap nuts but I find my skin is fine with the laudry liquid too. Let me know how you get on.

      • You’re very welcome , I’m a Newbie to this make it yourself laundry and multi purpose cleaners .I have found it fascinating to read into and very inexpensive and good for the environment ,I’ve ordered all manner of items to make my own . Something about brightly coloured spray cleaners that promise the earth , we all need to be re-educated regarding our cleaning habits , maybe if the off the shelf products had to carry health warnings etc ?
        But for me I’ve started my own cleaning revolution , I just wish I’d found out about the alternatives a lot earlier .

      • Yesterday I ordered 1kg of Soapnuts ( I’m trying everything ) I ordered from a company called Salveo , they were £9.79p inc free delivery , I thought it reasonable then today on Ebay the cheapest I found was £7.99p inc. delivery ( and 3 x washbags thrown in ) While £1.80p difference isn’t the end of the world, there’s something in being content in the knowledge you have bought a product at the best possible price , so if anyone is going to re-order soapnuts – Ebay is the place .

      • Yes will do , I recently made Laundry washing powder , consisting of 5 ingredients : Washing Soda – Borax Substitute – Baking Soda – Sunlight Soap and Oxy clean ( optional ) So far the results are very good . I’m going to be experimenting with all kinds of recipes with good results ( hopefully ) .

  2. Hiya, me again. My husband is a butcher and as you can imagine, I am forever trying to get dried in blood (12 hour shift) out of white overalls. Do you think this would stand a chance against the blood? Thanks, Tracy

    • Hi Tracy the answer is no….however what I do to remove blood is wet it with COLD water and then use a bit of soap / washing up liquid and use my nail to work the blood out of the fabric. When the blood has nearly gone I put it straight in the washing machine and this usually lifts the stain………however this is small bits of blood i.e a blob on the sheets etc. so it would take some time to do if you had a large area. Hope this helps XX

  3. I would like to know where in the uk at a reasonable price you can buy soap flakes? NOT the liquid kind!!!!! I find that ordinary soap grated up does NOT work well enough for me!

    • Hi Sarah. I’m sorry to hear you are having a problem with ordinary grated soap….I have been in touch with the company that used to sell soap flakes and unfortunately they have discontinued the product so they are no longer availiable in the UK. The company suggested we now use liquid soap flakes but I think these are expensive so I now use grated soap and I have been happy with the results. Have you tried a different brand of soap?

      I’m really sorry I can’t help you any further….let me know if you find a solution.

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