Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lasagna Gardening

I read somewhere about "lasagna" gardening and so I started one in March. I didn't follow all of the specific layering that is outlined in the book, but just used the general principles.

In lasagna gardening, a layer of newspaper or cardboard is laid down directly on top of the sod. I used chicken feed bags (don't use goat feed bags, they have a layer of plastic - which doesn't decompose as quickly and may be hard for plants to get through.) The bags/cardboard/newspaper kill the sod, removing the necessity to turn over a new plot by digging through thick grass.

On top of the feed bags I put any and all compost that I could find in my yard. In my case, I have really good stuff readily available. I mucked out the goat shed and put that on there. I found the place where my daughter dumped her chicken house manure and put that on there. I hauled over piles of leaves from my grandmother's yard. Rabbit poo from under the hutch. I guess I was supposed to add peat moss and maybe some soil, but I figured there was plenty of regular dirt under the bags and that the plants would reach it eventually. I refuse to pay money for dirt and poo! That being said, manure sure makes the difference in plant growth and production, so if you have to buy it, so be it.

So, I took a picture of another lasagna garden I am starting next to my old garden. It doesn't look like much and that is kind of my point. It's real ugly, so if you are planning some shindig or something, make sure you put it somewhere discreet.

See, it's just a pile of lumpy hay, poo mess. I wish I had taken a picture of the first one I did. Below is the finished one complete with my lovely tomatoes (and my daughter for scale). It was just a lumpy rectangle in the middle of my yard. Then we decided to host my in-laws 50th anniversary was planted and fenced in one weekend.

Ideally the lasagna garden should be started in Fall, giving it time to all compost down for the next growing season. I started this one in March and it was significantly-composted down by the end of May. I did turn it over and made a smaller compost pile within the garden with the stuff that wasn't quite ready yet (hardened chicken poo). None of my composting components are extremely acidic so that they would burn my plants. This is the best I have ever seen my tomatoes and it was the easiest garden to start.

No comments:

Post a Comment