Lasagna Gardening 

August 23, 2022

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What is lasagna gardening method?

The lasagna gardening method is a layering technique that over time breaks down to create a beneficial rich soil base. Instead of tilling or digging a new plot for your garden, you can stack compostable materials like newspaper, cardboard, leaves, and grass clippings on top of the area. With time, worms and microorganisms will decompose the material and turn it into a rich, nutrient-dense soil. Lasagna gardens are perfect for those who prefer not to till or dig a new garden plot, or those who just want to try a new garden approach.

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Why grow with the lasagna method?

The lasagna method makes great use of free materials that might otherwise end up in the landfill, making this method not only cost efficient but also a great way to save organic material from the landfill. This method is also a great water/moisture saver as many of the decomposing materials can help retain moisture and help attract earthworm to your garden.

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When should I set up lasagna garden?

The lasagna method can be used both as a "set it and forget it" method in the fall as you’re preparing your garden for the spring, or it can be used right before you start planting in the spring. I personally believe in the farming timeline, but there is no need to fuss if you want to start on your bed right after laying it out. Give the organic material time to break down during the winter would be the most beneficial as you’ll want a majority of the layers to decompose. But, if you plan on using your lasagna method right away, make sure to put top soil on top, so the roots of your plants aren’t in the layers with the decomposing activity that could potentially burn your plants’ roots.

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Choosing the Perfect Location

Look for a nice flat spot that receives the sample amount of sunlight, making sure it’s close enough to a water source that a hose can reach, but far enough away from your house that any of the potential odors of decomposing materials aren’t too close to your open windows.


Gathering Materials

The ideal lasagna garden uses a mix of 4 parts high-carbon to 1 part high-nitrogen ingredients. If you’re short on materials, you can swap in a soil designed for raised beds in place of your carbon layer, or, another great resource is contacting your local yard waste management for free scraps


Base Layer

Before you begin stacking up your ingredients, cover the area in newspaper or cardboard. You want a large base layer without any gaps, so make sure to overlap the sheets a bit.

High-Carbon Materials

High-Carbon Materials

Layering:

1. A base layer of wet newspaper and/or cardboard that covers the entire space. This will help smother any existing grass or weeds. I like to lay down my layers of cardboard boxes and use my hose to wet them down as it's easier for me to carry everything this way.

2. A high-carbon (brown) layer, keeping your 4:1 ratio in mind.

3. A high-nitrogen (green) layer that is going to be about ¼ as thick as the carbon one.

4. Repeat this process until you reach your desired height (I would suggest filling the garden bed just a couple of inches below the sides or if you’re doing it on a new plot on the grass, no higher than 2 feet tall)

Keeping Lasagna Garden in the best shape

As the growing season chugs along, continue to follow the 4:1 ratio while adding compostable materials to the top to keep a steady supply of new nutrients coming into your plot. See a weed, pull a weed. Make sure to water as needed. We prefer gardening that’s not only smarter instead of harder, but also organic and beneficial in the long haul.


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