Lasagna Gardening-No Tilling
From gardener Arden:
Create a new gardening bed without tilling or pulling up grass and weeds:
Once you have a well defined garden bed, no need to clear it of grass or weeds, just layer about 6 or 8 newspaper sheets or cardboard over the bed area, water the paper or cardboard to the soaking point (this method will eventually smother whatever is growing there).
Over this paper or cardboard, you can build up layers of organic materials by using already made compost from your own pile or bought in bags from a nursery, chopped up leaves, grass clippings, chipped up prunings, produce trimmings, aged manure (not dog or cat), whatever you can gather that will rot. Pile it on as thick as you can and be sure it is kept well moistened as if you are watering a garden each week. This is known as lasagna gardening.
Or you can mix everything together and then pile it on top of the paper or cardboard if you prefer.
If you would like to have a top layer, wood chips can often be found at your city's Parks & Recreation Dept., or you can check with your local nurseries. This will make a good top dressing to keep moisture in and to keep wind from blowing away your lasagna.
This material will break down and become a rich, loose loam. Keep adding to this each year and you will have a very nice gardening bed.
And here is another way from gardener Merrybelle:
Lasagna gardening is simply a short cut to digging and tilling up an area for new beds. I live on a hillside and part of our now yard used to be pasture land , so not only is the land compacted, it's also clay based with wild Bermuda in a goodly portion of it.
To lasagna, you normally spray the grass with a grass/weed killer (I'll get creamed by the environmentalists on this one).
Then you lay down your cardboard/newspapers.
On top of this you put compost, top soil, potting soil, shredded leaves, etc.
You are now ready to plant your beds.
When using newspapers, they need to be thick, that's why I prefer cardboard. It suppresses the greenery underneath while decomposing, thereby enriching the soil. For some reason, the papers/cardboard draw earthworms like crazy, which is also good for aeration of the soil.
You obviously cannot till in your dirt mixture immediately, that's why most people let the topsoil/compost/potting soil/shredded leaves sit for awhile on top of the cardboard/newspaper layers, to give them time to decompose. This is esp. true if you are going to be digging holes for shrubs, roses, anything that required more than a minimum of root cover.
Being the impatient person that I am, I normally plant immediately on top, but then, I'm planting shallow rooted things like lilies, etc.
All of my beds are lasagna'd - ie, layered.
So in a nutshell, lasagna gardening is layer gardening, a quicker way to create new beds, esp. for us older folks who can't double dig, or who have very poor soil.
· 1 decade ago