Lasagna Gardening Method - The Easy Way To Garden
The Lasagna Gardening Method - How To Garden An Easier Way
If you are searching for an easier way to garden this year then you may want to consider the Lasagna Gardening Method.
This gardening method was designed to be easy on the back and allows you to jump right in without having to weed or till your garden plot. By the time you are through reading this article, you may be ready to toss those bigger gardening tools.
Read on as I share the easy steps for implementing the Lasagna Gardening Method and hopefully you will find as I did that it is much easier than traditional gardening.
Image courtesy of the daytondailynews.com/blogs
What Is Lasagna Gardening?
AKA No Dig Gardening
When I first heard about Lasagna Gardening a few years ago, I had not heard of No-Dig Gardening. Upon doing some research, I found out they are pretty much the same technique.
Both techniques of gardening have earned the reputation of being much easier and more body friendly methods. Needless to say, if you have physical limitations or are just looking for an easier way to garden, then you may want to consider using these techniques.
Patricia Lanza first made Lasagna Gardening popular with her books that are about utilizing this technique. She discovered that there is an easier method to gardening than what most consider to be traditional gardening and decided to share it with the world in her books.
When gardening in this manner, you will simply pile on a few key layers and then plant a garden. It's really that simple. With Lasagna Gardening there is no digging, no tilling, and no weeding. If you have ever cooked a lasagna to eat, then you have a good idea of the technique already.
Image courtesy of flickr.com/photos/steenbergs
Choose Your Garden Spot Wisely
Getting Started Lasagna Gardening
Placement Of Your Garden
Image above courtesy of cygnus921
When I first decided to try Lasagna Gardening, we had just moved to our new home. There were areas around the yard that looked as if they had been gardened in years past but were now sadly overgrown. I needed a way to spruce the place up quickly as well as start my herb garden.
My husband surprised me with a book by Patricia Lanza titled 'Lasagna Gardening With Herbs'. That's when my no-till gardening adventure began.
You will need to consider the placement of your garden. If you are planting herbs or vegetables, you will need several hours of sunshine for your garden to thrive. My first spot to tackle was in between and underneath some lilac bushes. Since the sun would hit the garden in the morning as well as the evening, it was a prime location.
If you will be over winter gardening, consider how different the amount of sunlight is during winter versus during the summer. Living in the Pacific NW, USA, we have drastic shifts in the slant of sunlight and much fewer hours of sun during the winter months.
During the summer months, we can still have daylight until almost 10 pm in the evening. In the winter, our daylight hours are pretty much over around 4:30 in the evening. Therefore, I have to make certain that any winter gardening I do has a prime sunny location during the colder months.
Of course, if your gardening needs are primarily for shade loving plants, then keep that in mind when setting up your prime location. I have used Lasagna Gardening for both sunny areas and shady areas of our yard and I have had wonderful results all around.
The Wisconsin Gardener talks about Lasagna Gardening
No Dig Garden How-To
A how-to video for the no-dig garden method.
A workshop for no-dig gardening.
A lasagna garden the 2nd year.
Constructing your no-dig garden in 30 minutes.
Do It Your Way
Doing It Your Way
Now that you have figured out your garden placement in regards to how many hours of sunlight it will receive, you need to consider if you want to reinforce the edges of your garden with supports or let the edges slope.
I have found many times that the gardeners that use the Lasagna Gardening or no-dig techniques prefer to let the edges slope naturally. The primary purpose of these types of gardening is to take as much work out of the whole experience as possible. Of course, it is your garden and you get to decide exactly how you wish it to be.
Personally, I like to have my gardening projects a bit more defined. You may want to consider using items you have around your home or can get your hands on easily to repurpose. I used old fence posts to outline my beds. I knew this would help hold in the dirt and other ingredients that I would be layering on plus it gave me a good excuse to reuse some items lying about.
Some other supports you may consider using would be bricks, concrete blocks, chicken wire, wooden boards, stones, or any other sturdy items that will hold up over time.
Lasagna Gardening - by Patricia Lanza
Start With Newspaper Or Cardboard
It's All About The Layers
Getting Started Lasagna Gardening
Image courtesy of Organic Gardening
Now that you have your prime location chosen and the design of your garden in mind, it is time to talk about the layers you will be using.
The first important layer of Lasagna Gardening is what you will be using to cover and ultimately kill any grass and weeds that may already reside in your chosen garden plot. You can use either thick layers of non-shiny newspaper or sheets of cardboard. I use a mixture of both most of the time.
Throughout the year, I save our old newspapers and any cardboard boxes. During the winter months when I have a good stack, I go out, lay them around, and let the elements start to work.
When laying down your newspapers or cardboard, make sure your layers are overlapping and quite thick. With newspaper, I usually take a whole section at a time and lay it down.
Once you have every bit of ground covered and the layers are overlapped, be sure to wet it thoroughly with water before proceeding. Water helps to hold this layer in place and attracts the important worms and other creatures that will in time feed on and break this layer down. This important first layer will in turn help to fertilize your garden.
What Do You Think?
Do you think you will ever do Lasagna Gardening or a similar method for gardening?
Layers And Layers
More Layers in Your Garden
Layer And Repeat
Image above courtesy of organicgardening.com
After you have a nice thick layer of newspapers or cardboard placed and dampened, you will need to alternate your layers of green and brown ingredients.
Keep in mind a general rule of thumb for using one part green ingredients (nitrogen) to four parts brown ingredients (carbon) until your garden is deep enough to plant in.
Some layers to consider alternating with when Lasagna Gardening are peat moss, compost, chopped leaves, grass clippings, composted manure, and humus. Add these layers on top of your initial bottom layer making each layer a few inches deep.
A sample of layering ingredients could be - newspaper or cardboard, 1 to 2 inches of peat moss (or other dry brown material), 2 to 4 inches of organic ingredients (green material) and repeat with 1 to 2 inches of peat moss/brown material in between layers.
When your layers are the depth you want, top off with a layer of mulch. Some suggestions are coffee grounds, chopped corncobs or corn stalks, chopped leaves, spoiled hay, pine needles, stone dust or stone grit, and straw.
Lasagna Gardening With Herbs - by Patricia Lanza
Image above courtesy of organicgardening.com
When you have your Lasagna layers as deep as you would like them, you are ready to start planting. You can either plant seeds into your garden or set your started plants straight into the bed.
If you are setting started plants directly into the garden, you will use a digging tool or your hands and dig down through the layers until you reach the depth desired. Do not dig through the very first bottom layer. When the plant is gently placed to the depth it needs to be, you will then ease the layers back around the plant to hold it in place.
When deciding how deep to make your Lasagna Garden bed you will need to consider how big your potted or started plants are. A plant in a four-inch pot will need to be five inches deep in the bedding. Your bed will need to be at least this deep if not deeper. You will find that it will not take many ingredients or layers to have a garden bed several inches deep.
Gardening Article Links - How-To Garden the No-Till, Lasagna Gardening, and Other Alternative Ways
- Lasagna Gardening Article
From 'Mother Earth News'.
- Making a Garden Bed With Cardboard
One person's approach to using cardboard in the garden.
- Cardboard Gardening
An interesting experiment by this gardener to see how cardboard containers hold up over the growing season.
- Using Cardboard to Turn a Yard Into a Garden
Another gardener discovers an easier way to garden by using cardboard to smother the grass and weeds.
- Gardening In Weedy Areas with Cardboard.
How to easily turn a weedy area into a lovely garden with cardboard.
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Whether you think you will be using this method or not, I would love to hear your comments about gardening or just to say HI! :)