Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lasagna Gardening- The Only Way To Garden!

Patricia Lanza is a fabulous lady who 20 some years ago came up with the Lasagna Gardening Method.  She has written three books, including Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Kidding!

With her technique, you layer brown and green yard waste and organic materials, much like you would layer a lasagna with pasta, sauce, and cheese.  Then nature "bakes" these layers into a wonderful fluffy soil full of rich compost. 

I am going to to show you why I am in love with her method, and how ever since I have discovered it, this is the only way I garden.  This method is perfect if you are:
  • starting a new garden from scratch
  • weeding an existing garden
  • expanding to an existing garden

The materials needed you probably have on hand already:

Green Layers

Grass Clippings
Barn Litter
Coffee Grounds
Blood Meal

Brown Layers

Newspaper (use as first layer)
Cardboard (use as first layer)
Shredded paper
Fall leaves
Wood chips/twigs/shredded branches
Peat moss

Invasion of the weeds and grass!

Choose the area you want to start your garden.  Or, if you are working on an existing garden, pull any weeds that have not gone to seed (these can be used as "green material".  This is totally optional!!).

Storm Damage

For me, first I have to clean up some storm damage, and trim some bushes.  The clippings I will leave right on the ground however; because this is "green".


First, you will lay down the cardboard and newspaper over the area you have chosen as your garden.  Once this is arranged in the shape you prefer, you need to give it a good soaking with water.  

Next, you will begin your layers of green and brown with a ratio of 4:1;  four parts brown to 1 part green.  You will want to make these layers several inches high-like a lasagna.  Keep in mind, the sun will "bake" these layers down flat rather quickly while it is still warm out, so you may have to replenish your layers a few times before frost.

The wet newspaper and cardboard will kill any existing grass and weeds on the existing site you have chosen, as well as attract earthworms that will till your soil.  By using all of the above mentioned waste, you are recycling the easy way!  You also are conserving water, as all of the materials are concentrated and moist.  Best of all, you are not having to use any chemicals to rid yourself of weeds or unwanted grass, and your green and brown materials will produce all natural chemicals that should aid your growing efforts!  So pat yourself on the back for living a greener lifestyle!

When you are ready to plant your seed or seedling, simply pull apart some of your layers, add water, and watch everything grow! 

I will show you the progress after a few weeks of additional layering, and adding in some fall plants.  So for now, at least my butterflies are happy again!
My Erected Butterfly Bush

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