Monday, November 06, 2006

The Joys of Lasagna Gardening...

Lasagna, doesn't it just sound wonderful and delicious? Layers upon layers of good things, each one different and great all by itself, but put them together and it is FANTASTIC!!!

Lasagna gardening is not unlike the italian meal. It is layers of earth friendly material stacked in layers, left to bake over the winter to be something wonderful in the spring. The ingredients vary by gardener (the cook) and usually starts with a nice grassy expanse (but needn't), covered in a nice thick wet layer of newspapers. The newspapers are a great way to recycle. They also smother the grass, making a nice weed barrier and help promote those nice red worms to the surface to do their magic.
On top of the newspapers, you put layers of compost, leaves (shredded or not), chipped wood, and any other organic materials you may have. Straw can be used, grass clippings, shredded newspapers can be added, if you have left over bags of top soil, they can be added. Top the entire thing with mulch and just let it sit until spring. Voila, you will have a nice fertile, organic, worm filled garden bed, waiting to be planted.
Follow this link for a good story on lasagna gardening; Lasagna Gardening

So a few days ago I began some lasagna beds in the wooded area in front of the house. I extended one existing bed by 10 feet, added another 8 ft x 4 ft bed and a path and began another triangular shaped bed around some smaller evergreens. I ran out of newspaper and had to go to the recycle center bins and retrieve some! So far I have two thick layers, the lower layer is all leaves and the upper layer is small chipped wood. I will be adding many more layers as the season progresses, but this is a good start.

These new beds are all outlined with sections of fallen trees. It looks rustic, a nice feature for the wooded area and a nice compliment to the stone lined beds. I brought a hollowed log from the ravine and placed it in one of the beds.
My husband Chris just shakes his head anymore at my gardening expansions. He is getting used to them and he always likes them come summer when the plants are flourishing.

You may be thinking it is going to cost a lot of money to fill all these new beds. It won't, thanks to the many seed swaps that I have been a part of. It won't be much longer and it will be time to begin winter sowing, the great way to gardening in the winter. This will provide many, many new plants for me and lots of pretty new flowers. I will also transplant some things from other places on the property, making the new beds look as old and established as the existing ones.

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