4 Steps to a Lasagna Garden

Who’s up for a backbreaking weekend of ripping up sod and weeds to put in a new flowerbed? Yeah… we didn’t think so! We’re all about solutions from the ground up, which is why we want to suggest you try lasagna gardening. No, it doesn’t involve pasta – it’s a no-fuss way to create a fabulously fertile flowerbed using multiple layers of organic components. So put down that garden tool for now (you’ll need it later, though!) and follow these easy steps:

1. Start by smothering

Choose a site that’s pretty flat and has at least four hours of sun a day. Instead of digging up grass, roots and rocks, mow the area as short as you can, then lay down a thick layer of damp newspaper or flattened cardboard boxes. This first layer will prevent weeds from sprouting up.

2. Add wet organic material

You can use just about anything that will feed your plants on top of your first layer – think damp straw, top soil, leaves, mulch, compost or well-aged manure. Once you’ve laid down this layer, water the area.

3. Love your layers

The best way to create your lasagna garden is by alternating between green materials, such as coffee grounds or scraps of food, and brown ones, like peat moss or newspaper. So over your first organic layer, put down some straw to provide some air, and water it. Then you can add brown compostable elements, such as eggshells. This layer will slowly add more nutrients to your soil as it breaks down. Worried about pests having a field day in your lasagna? A dash of cayenne pepper should take care of that! Add more straw over this. Keep alternating your layers until your new garden is about a foot or two deep.

4. Top it off

Let your lasagna garden sit for a few months before planting, so that grass and leaves die and everything breaks down. The final layer before you begin planting should be either soil or compost, so that you can easily pop in seedlings that can root adequately.

There are so many advantages to building a lasagna gardening, aside from saving time and massive physical effort from digging for days. You can use whatever organic materials you have lying around the yard; you can build the plot as high as you like to create a raised bed and you’ll have fewer weeds and need to water less.

PHOTO INFO:

Cardboard and leaves layer: Photo Credit: naturalflow Flickr via Compfight cc

Bags of leaves for layering: Photo Credit: naturalflow Flickr via Compfight cc

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