Lasagna Flowerbeds

Lasagna Gardening is like magic gardening.  I’m sure this concept is as old as the hills.  It has just been given a new name with a modern twist.

When I first learned about it last year, we tried it right away.  I was so impressed – no backbreaking digging in the clay and rocks.  No trying to kill the grass and weeds where a bed will be placed.

Lasagna gardening is simply layering organic materials.  The first layer provides a moist, dark environment that encourages worms to burrow in and loosen up the soil.Last year we created a fourteen foot long bed.  In October of this year, we extended it another eleven feet. Then, in early November, we added another twelve feet making a total length of 37 feet.  The width ranges from seven to nine feet.

October is the optimal planting time here.  I was originally told that a lasagne bed should set over the winter and “cook” (materials break down) before any planting.  This year since we put so much dirt on top, I decided to go ahead and plant right after creating the bed.  Hopefully, it will still work as well.

The first step in making this flowerbed is to lay down corrugated cardboard.  Several layers of newspaper could also work.  Then soak the cardboard.  Each layer should be watered after putting it down.

Then we gathered buckets of dried manure.  This might be difficult for city dwellers to obtain.  But it’s not really a necessary layer.These were broken into smaller pieces.

The shovels and other tools are holding down the cardboard so the wind won’t blow it away.  The manure is scattered on top of the cardboard and watered down.

The next step is gathering leaves and twigs.  I added crushed egg shells that I had saved.  You could also use fruit and vegetable scraps, tea and coffee grounds or bags, compost material, shredded newspaper and junk mail, pine needles, peat moss, or trimmings from the garden.  We don’t like to use grass clippings or weeds because we already have a problem with those getting into beds.  Some people say it’s okay to use them if they haven’t gone to seed. These are scattered on top of the manure.

Finally, some soil that we had delivered a couple of years ago was dumped on top.  We just scooped up leftover dirt from another project.

This equipment won’t be available to everyone.  The first time we made a bed, we just carried everything in buckets.  But this size bed required some serious hauling.

Three plants from the first section needed to be moved.  They were transplanted here.  Then a few new plants were added.  This time I hope the spacing is correct and will allow for growth.

We used the few bags of mulch we had to cover around the plants.  More will be added later.

This project is still requires work – just not the kind that requires youth and brawn.

“He that flings dirt at another dirtieth himself the most.”  Thomas Fuller

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