Bored with the age-old methodology of gardening, which requires digging and tilling the earth? Lasagna gardening is a radical approach to gardening which requires less energy, work, and money. It is also beneficial to the environment, which is important in today's global warming age.
What is It?
Contrary to what the name may suggest, lasagna gardening has nothing to do with growing lasagna in a garden (but if someone does know how to do that, that is a million-dollar idea!). The name actually comes from the way the garden beds are grown with the help of layers, in much the same way as we make layers of ingredients in a pan of lasagna.
This method of gardening is often referred to as 'no-dig gardening'. The method of growing the layers is called sheet composting. In this method, the layers quickly build up soil rich in nutrients, more than in any average garden.
Lasagna gardening is environment-friendly, as it uses your household waste. It's also easier for the gardener, because there is no removing of sods and weeds, no digging, and most importantly, you do not have to soil it.
The first layer is of brown, corrugated cardboard, or 3 to 4 layers of newspaper, put directly on the top of the grass or weed. Make sure to wet the layer before putting up the layer of newspaper. Watering the layer attracts the earthworms that will loosen the soil.
These gardens can be grown at any time of the year. Experienced practitioners consider fall as an appropriate time because of the availability of additional organic material from falling leaves. Then you can let your garden break down and be ready by springtime.
The fall rains and winter snow keeps the garden moist, assisting it to break down faster. One thing that the gardener must keep in mind is that the garden should be in such an area that there is maximum sunlight and no shade at any time of the day.
You can put almost anything organic into the compost pile, as everything breaks down into nutrients that will enrich the plants growing on it. Some of the commonly added ingredients are as follows.
Planting and Maintenance
While planting, just dig down the bed. If you have used newspaper, gently shovel it, or if you have used cardboard, you will have to cut holes where you want to plant something. To maintain the garden, add mulch at the top in the form of bark chips, straw, grass clippings, or leaves. Keep adding the mulch as time goes on.
The layer above the newspaper or cardboard consists of 2-3 inches of peat moss. The next layer must be 4-8 inches of organic compound like compost. Then, add another layer of peat moss; above it, an organic layer of grass clippings and so on. Repeat the process, until the beds are 18-24 inches high. The top of the bed should be sprinkled with wood ash.
- There are very few weeds, as the hard newspaper or cardboard suppresses them underneath.
- Water retention capacity is better than the average garden soil, because of the compost.
- Less requirement of fertilizers.
- Soil is loose, fluffy, and easy to work.
- No tilling or digging.
- Environment-friendly, as sheet compost reduces the volume of trash, since the gardener can put waste scraps in it.
Most components required for this kind of gardening are easily available at home, and you can save a lot of money while putting up a fertile garden. Almost every commonly used vegetable and fruit can be grown in your lasagna garden, which means you will also reduce the cost of groceries. Well, what are you waiting for, then?