Lasagna Gardening

Hello, and welcome back to Coverin’ the Bases! We hope everyone is fine, and the world’s treating you as good as can be expected. Thanks for dropping back in to see us today! You guys are great!

Alright, let’s talk about a subject I’d never heard of before, until the last couple of weeks. Again, I know a little about having a garden, and keeping it up, but good Lord, I literally had no idea the number of different kinds of gardening, that are out there. Deb calls me, and many times quite appropriately…a dinosaur!

I told her if that was the case, then I’m a dern Tyrannosauras Rex, by George! Deb’s response…”Yea, right!”

My Impression of Me

Deb’s impression of me, and also the only one that counts!

Anyway, without going into our family business in more depth, let’s get back on track here this morning, and talk about our original topic…the wide varieties of gardening techniques.

A week or so back, this was first suggested by Kunoichi, a regular reader and here’s what they had to say:

“I haven’t had a chance to try it myself, but “lasagna gardening” is supposed to be a great way to build up healthy soil, and would be ideal for your raised beds.

I was like, “A lasagna garden, what in the world is that?” I thought on it and knew it must be some type of layered garden, and that was the extent of what I knew on the subject, and that was just a guess.

Then Sandra, who by the way, is a great help to us, brought up the same thing…

Try Lasagna gardening. I did Lasagna gardening when I broke my digging foot and it worked out quite well.

So there was that lasagna garden thing again. I figured I might want to look into that and see what it’s all about, and here we are…

Lasagna Gardening

Once I started reading up on this type of garden, I did find out that it was in fact, a “layered garden,” just as the name implies. See Deb, I am capable of elementary deductions. In regards to Deb, I’m going to have placed on my headstone, if I happen to checkout first, “See, I told you I was sick!”

From my understanding, you can build your lasagna garden, almost exactly as if you were building a compost pile. “Layers of green,” which are grass clippings, and your vegetable trimmings from your garden areas, and layers of “browns.” These include leaves, newspaper (shredded), manure, hay, wood shavings, etc.

Also you need to incorporate several inches of peat moss or topsoil into the garden area, with this being the first layer on top of your newspaper.

Upon completion, your garden should be approximately two feet high, and as far as the placement of your garden…look for a spot with plenty of sunshine.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I try to find spots with full morning, up until mid-afternoon, of full sun. By 3-4 o’clock in the afternoon, I like to have the garden set in areas that by then, the garden begins to start having shade provided by the sun beginning to be blocked out by trees.

They say, you need to alternate these layers, with the optimum rate of around 2 to 1, with 2 being browns. But it is also said, you really don’t have to get caught up in these numbers being “have to’s” in regards to the lasagna gardening method. Basically, the important thing is to just have your greens and browns placed down in layers.

Some Benefits of Lasagna Gardening

Without question, this type of garden has almost no choice but to do well. First, just look at the material used in the constructing of this garden. All of which breakdown, and become nutrients to “build your soil.” There is no question in this being the case, and with these types of gardens, it seems to me, you should increase your crop yields, wouldn’t you think?

Secondly, though I am admitting right now, I feel many, many of the so named, “environmentalists,” are kooks in regards to many of their “theories.” I do feel though, this procedure allows many materials that would be going to a landfill, to actually be incorporated into your garden, and be put to excellent use.

Same thing with your compost pile, used newspapers, egg shells, coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, just about anything you’d want to use in your compost pile, doesn’t make it to the landfill, thus, less thrown away waste. That…is a good thing in itself.

On top of this, by all these materials braking down naturally into your soil, the less need for commercial fertilizer you’ll have. You may not be able to completely wean yourself from its use, but, it can be cut back. Plus, if you haven’t priced commercial fertilizer lately, you might be in for a shock.

Possibly the most impressive attribute to lasagna gardening, is the amount of work and time involved in its gardening technique.

How is this? Simple, no grass or sod need be removed, or tilled in. You simply layout several layers of newspaper, or cardboard, over the sod, in the shape of the garden you so desire, and wet them good. How bout them apples?

I know when Deb read about this part, she just stopped, looked over at me, and shook her head back and forth slowly. Her thoughts at the moment, I knew exactly were, “You mean we could have been doing this type of gardening all along, no digging, or tilling of existing land…what a dummy…and a mouse (see above once more!)!”

So the prep time involved, along with the difficulty in getting the sod tilled in, is absolutely zero. As in your compost pile, water this garden to the consistency of a wet sponge.

Planting Your Lasagna Garden

Now’s the difficult part…not really. I haven’t seen a difficult step in regards to lasagna gardening yet.

All that’s needed is to pull apart your layers enough to set your plants in to their proper depth. Set your plants, I’d still water them in, while pushing the layers back down around your plants. The combination of the water and your pushing the layers back down around your plants, does two things for you. First, the water aids in helping to prevent air pockets and gives your plants a good “startup” drink, and by pushing down around the plant while watering, this insures no air pockets period.

So, these are all a few things I’ve picked up through reading on, and studying about, the lasagna garden. Please advise us of your own results from this type of gardening. I’d really like to hear more on this subject, especially from some of you guys who have, and are, using this technique.

Are there things I’ve left out? I’m sure there probably are, I’ve never tried it. So for everyone’s sake, contribute your own knowledge for us to share. Teach us more on this topic.

I will be trying some of this, I just need to decide where to place a couple of beds near the house, and maybe, better yet probably, send Deb off for the weekend. She’s telling me we have as much garden area as we need, and she is right, when you look at all our other daily activities included in with our gardening.

But, between us, what’s a couple more “small areas?” Personally, I want to see how the vegetables grow off, versus the raised beds, or traditional gardening techniques!

By the way, I had to quit with this just a little earlier, and decided I would go ahead and build a lasagna garden, though not a very large one. Though not very big, I used the same process of creating layer upon layer, just like I’d of used in the larger version.

I started off with a layer of browned ground chuck, tomatoes, and onions. At that point, I made a layer of noodles, followed by another layer of browned ground chuck, tomatoes, and onion. I topped this with a layer of Mozzerella, Ricotta, and Parmesean cheese.

This followed once more with another layer of browned ground chuck, tomatoes, onion, and the three cheeses. This was repeated until all materials were used up.
My small lasagna garden is now ready to be planted, and just as soon as I finish up here, I will…plant my fork slap dab in the middle of it!

Aaaahhh…”lasagna gardens,” I’m already convinced…this is the only way to go!!

Thank you all for stopping by and seeing us again. You guys are all so appreciated!

Remember to keep your eyes open, and your nose in the wind!!

God Bless you all!


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4 Responses to Lasagna Gardening

  1. Sandra says:

    Re: Lasgana gardening. Great project for kids to participate in. They laugh all the way through the process and think the old folks have lost it. Next time they visit, its the spaghetti garden and are in awe. (Short term memory in children, spaghetti, lasgana to them whats the dif.)
    Observation: Cola cartons and some other glazed and printed cardboards. I was told to not use these because of the inks being envoirmentally unsafe. Did some rescearch and some years ago all printers ink was changed to a soy based ink by EPA. Misting of a light solution of water and bleach will break the glaze, let them dry and proceed and they will compost better. As the grandchildren and I looked at our strange looking untidy mound grandaughter said, kinda ugly Nana and left. Came back with a bunch of pine straw, fluffed it on and said now it’s pretty and it was. Water frequently and watch it grow. If you own a home paper shredded use that too.
    Still have my Lasagna garden and now it grows ferns.
    Have a good Sunday all. Raining and storming here. The Month of March has rounded up his lion and is leaving town. I see April around the corner.

  2. Jane says:

    Back in the early ’80s, around the time of the dinasaurs, I put this, exactly where I wanted it to be on top of green lawn, using newspapers, fresh chicken manure and all the other goodies mentioned in your article. I think it was super successful because the earthworms from surrounding soil migrated into it to feed on that wonderful green manure. I put mine down in late fall and allowed it to mellow over the winter. Wish I’d thought of planting into it right away as you did.

    • admin says:

      Jane…how are you. Sure is nice to see someone else was around during the “dinosaur times!!” Appreciate your knowledge and experience with lasagna gardening! Oh, by the way, I didn’t think about planting in it right away, but I’ll still take the credit! See Deb, I told you I was smart!
      I wonder if the chicken manure may have been too hot to have planted right off in it?? Just wondering. In our 50′x100′ garden, I put 21 TONS DOWN, yep, 21 TONS! Straight chicken manure! I turned it in probably 6-8 times, and let it sit for about 8 months, turning in every so often. It being so hot is why I waited. This wasn’t manure from pullet houses where it was mixed with sawdust, it was straight chicken manure, from a layer farm.
      Dad was in the chicken business for over 40 years, sold out in 1995. Had over 2 million birds laying with the majority on two complexes. One with 600,000 birds, another with 720,000, the rest were all contract farms. The complex I ran, 720,000 birds, we produced about 42 tons of manure daily. Each house had 60,000 birds and eat about 12,000 lbs. of feed a day, per house. All the eggs came from the houses, into the plant by rod conveyor, through the washer, over the scales to size, through the candling booth, into the packing machine, and were packed into cartons or flats into cases, slid onto another conveyor belt, and straight into the cooler. NEVER TOUCHED BY HAND! It was amazing. He had his on hatchery, I think during full production he was hatching about 25,000 birds per week, and had his own feed mill, ingredients brought in by railcar, mixed at the mill, then trucked to the farms. Anyway, we know the people who bought Dad out, so we still kinda have a manure connection!

  3. Hey Ty Rex or Mousie. I can’t picture you as a mouse. Here is something I’ve learned lately but it isn’t about gardening.
    When I was a little guy, and that was long ago and far away, we always had tincture of iodine in the medicine cabinet. I hadn’t seen a bottle for decades but recently with all the terrible events in Japan I heard somebody on the Alex Jones program mention that applying iodine to the skin will do the same thing as Potassium Iodide pills in a nuclear event. So, I started reading. Our bodies need iodine. The Thyroid and endocrine system need iodine. I bought a couple of little bottles. Dirt cheap. What you do is apply a small patch, say the size of a silver dollar on your abdomen. It dries fast. If that patch disappears in less than 24 hours you are low on iodine. My first attempt was gone in less than 4 hours, but I kept applying it until it lasted 24 hours. Iodine is also a great killer of viruses, bacteria and fungus. It is a good thing to have in the medicine cabinet. I’m going back to the old days. I’ve never heard of any nastys becoming iodine resistant! Just a tip you might want to follow up on.
    We plan to try a garden this year. Just have to figure out where to get the non gmo seeds and which seeds are best for us to plant. Keep up the good work old boy, er, dinasaur!

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