Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Garden Lasagna

It's not exactly ready to eat, yet, but we're getting there.  This is the lasagna method of no-till gardening.  Basically it is the lazy girl's way to compost and prepare soil.  Let's compare:



Previously, I have had to till the space where I wanted the garden to be,  pull grass, and till some more only to find that this gumbo soil is impenetrable.  I'd then have to get my husband to help me bring in 2 or 3 truckloads of soil from a nursery and dump it on top, rake it and follow with another load of manure or some fertilizer.  Then my tiller breaks so I mix it all with a pitchfork by hand.  Oh those were good times.

So this year I wanted to try a trick I read that some Houston gardeners use, dubbed the Lasagna Method.  

Here's how it works:

1) You lay out about 3 layers of newspaper that family members have collected for you, because you don't subscribe, over the grass in the dimensions you want your garden to be.

 2) Follow up with 1 part green compost (from our compost pile or bagged manure compost from a home/ garden center)

3) then 2 parts brown compost (pre-bagged leaves from your neighbors's curbs).

4) Water it.

No tilling, no raking or pulling.  No annoyed family members.  

All I have to do now is keep it wet and the newspaper will kill the grass while the compost layers provide nitrogen and carbon.  Some people add earthworms and top with a layer of hay to discourage weeds.  Bunch of overachievers.  I'm going to stop with a layer of leaves, since this experiment is about ease, and I really like the idea of just burying last year's attempt with the remains of winter to wait for something new.

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