Oct. 9, 2020
I love gardening! About twenty years ago I read a book about lasagna gardening. I have been gardening this way since. It is so easy and produces such great results. The best part of it is that there are virtually no weeds to pull or hoe. I am running this past you gardeners this fall with the thought that you may try it come spring.
The following are pictures of a flowerbed I built on the edge of our drive way and our garden that was built on top of grass. Both are several years old.
To build a lasagna garden:
1. Pick your spot to build it. It can be on top of lawn or driveway. Just needs to have dirt below it.
2. Lay down cardboard to cover the area of your garden. Make sure all the area is covered. You can also use newspapers to fill in holes where the cardboard doesn't cover. You may wet this down if you want. That will help to keep it in place but not a must.
3. Begin layering your materials. Use manure, straw, leaves, hay, and/or grass clippings. A variety of these is good. If you use straw there may be some wheat come up but it pulls very easily when it is about six inches tall. I don't worry about it until then. There may also be some weeds come from the manure, but again they will pull easily. I particularly like to use plenty of leaves. So begin bagging some now and keep them until spring when you will build your garden. In between layers you are supposed to put peat moss. I am usually too cheap to do this but I know that some of it is necessary so I buy a big bag of it when making a garden and layer it in.
4. I like to build a new garden about a month before I plant so it has a little time to settle. I water it with a sprinkler a little every few days. But if you don't get it built ahead of time don't worry. Just build it and plant. You can sprinkle your seeds in the garden or put in plants. Be sure to sprinkle it often to let it compost down and keep your seeds/plants moist. After the plants come up I lay several sprinkler hoses in the garden connected to a three way splitter to water the garden through the summer.
5. I use this garden then again year after year. In the spring I usually put on another layer of old composted manure and some more leaves.
6. The soil on these gardens stays very soft. The petunias in the picture all came back from seed from last years petunias. I leave the dead plants on the garden through the winter. This protects the soil from blowing away when we have big wind storms. Then when April rolls around, I take the old dead plants off of the garden and sprinkle the garden with water a few times. This drives the old flower seeds into the soil, gets them moist, and allows them to sprout. Many flowers will come back to enjoy the following summer doing it this way. Again, I don't work up the soil but I often add a new light layer to it.
Give it some thought - prepare ahead this fall by gathering leaves - and give it a try come spring!