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Lasagna Gardening: No Sweat!

October 25, 2013 | By | 6 Replies More

lasagna gardening

Working on my dream garden

As kind of a dork, I almost never know all the latest things that are “in”, but I usually know which things are “out” – like jeans with tapered legs, banana hair clips, and expansive stretches of perfectly manicured lawn. In the world of sustainable living, lawns have been on the outs for years because they take a lot of water, chemicals, and maintenance to keep them looking their best. Lawns are monocultures which don’t offer anything to attract beneficial insects or pollinators and they don’t provide food.

lasagna gardening

Patches of grass and fresh grass seed

At our new house, I dreamed of a large raised bed garden for growing vegetables. The only thing standing in my way was grass. Luckily, I only had patches of grass left over from some regrading work that was done in our yard. The contractor reseeded the area when he was finished, and I wanted to prevent the seed from germinating.

Because I’m a lazy gardener, removing sod manually is overwhelming. So, I did a little research and discovered that there’s an easier way to replace a portion of your lawn with a clean slate of rich soil that’s ready to plant with flowers or, better yet, stuff you and your family can eat. It’s called lasagna gardening, and it had me at “lasagna.”

Like a lasagna that you bake, lasagna gardening is based on layers. The layers are usually cardboard, newspaper, compost, kitchen scraps, cut up fallen leaves, pine needles, topsoil, and mulch, but you can use any combination of those depending on your needs. Basically, you’re building a flat compost pile right on top of your lawn.

lasagna gardening

First layer: newspaper

Fall is the perfect time to get started because you can simply let your lasagna “bake” all winter. By spring, you’ll have loose, high-quality soil that’s ready for planting. If you can’t wait for months or you just want more immediate results, you can start your lasagna garden any time of the year, but you’ll need to top off your pile with a thick layer of topsoil, compost, and mulch so you can begin planting right away while the cardboard and newspaper work their magic deeper down. Over time, the bed will simply decompose, and your soil will continue to improve.

There are many benefits of lasagna gardening. First, there’s no need to use toxic chemicals to kill your grass. Instead, the layers will naturally deprive the grass of light and it will die off while worms and beneficial microorganisms stay safe. Second, there’s no need to till your ground manually. This is really hard work! Spare your back and just put down some layers. Finally, while it kills your grass, lasagna gardening puts a composting process in motion turning your grass into a valuable soil amendment that will actually improve your soil.

Sold? Here’s how to do it.

Lasagna Gardening Basics

1. Get lots of cardboard and newspaper. We used boxes left over from our move, you can try hitting up your local grocery or drug stores. Ask when they get shipments, and offer to take some empty boxes. Use a box cutter to break them down into large sheets of cardboard that will lay flat on the ground.

lasagna gardening

Happy to get rid of all this newspaper!

2. Get your other materials ready. Find a local supplier to deliver topsoil, compost and mulch. One cubic yard of mulch will cover about 325 square feet to a depth of 1 inch. You don’t need to be precise, but I recommend buying enough to cover your area with several inches of soil, compost and mulch since some of it will break down anyway. You can also collect kitchen scraps like spent coffee grounds, vegetable trimmings, and eggshells, grass clippings, and some fall leaves chopped up with the lawnmower.

3. Define your space. Use string or spray paint to outline the area of your yard you’d like to convert to garden space. Lay down several sheets of newspaper over the area and wet it down thoroughly with a gentle spray from your hose. Next, layer the cardboard, overlapping it as you go, until there’s a neat double layer of cardboard on top of your newspaper. Wet that down too.

lasagna gardening

Next layer: cardboard

4. Layer. Get creative layering whatever materials you have on hand and keeping in mind your timeframe for planting. As with any compost pile, you generally want to layer green materials like kitchen scraps and grass clippings with brown material like leaves and cardboard.

To kickstart the composting process, add some ready-made compost, too. I used several inches of a rich blend of compost and topsoil on top of my cardboard and newspapers and finally topped with several inches of good mulch.

You can make your lasagna garden a few feet deep if you have lots of Mega Moolah Slot Perfekter Spielautomat steht Ihnen immer zur Auswahl compostable materials on hand to layer. This is best if you plan to plant directly into the resulting soil. As for me, I didn’t need to do this because I’m adding 12″ deep raised beds right on top of the mulch, and they’ll be filled with soil of their own.

Lasagna gardening got me one big step closer to my dream of growing our own food. And, I saved my back.

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Category: General, Home and Garden, Kitchen Garden

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