Lasagna Garden Experiment

I like trying new techniques. One of the garden ideas I researched this year is the lasagna garden. Many people assume this means planting the ingredients for lasagna. However, this is nowhere close to the true meaning of a lasagna garden.

As you can see in the photo to the right, I have an area in the lot that needs improvement. I had several options. I could extend my raised bed areas, I could roto till, or I could enrich the area through a lasagna garden and have a great location for spring planting.

Building the Lasagna Garden

I chose the latter. The first step in creating a lasagna garden is laying out either newspaper or cardboard. Since some cardboard was in need of recycling I started my base layer with the more durable material. This serves two purposes. The cardboard makes a thicker barrier against the existing planting and is less likely to blow away with the high winds we experience on the Great Plains.

Base layer
Cardboard base

After the cardboard was placed w I wanted it, I hosed it down with water. Next I added a two to three-inch layer of lawn clippings. A few days later, I soaked the bed again. Then over the next few weeks I have added compost material from the kitchen as well as material from the garden. If you have prolonged dry spells you will need to soak the lasagna garden manually.

Brown vs. Green

While grass clippings are green and fall into the green category and the cardboard falls into the brown category, it is not the color that determines whether an item is brown or green. The basis for brown or green category is the chemical content. Nitrogen rich products are green compost and carbon rich products are brown. It is important to have a mixture in your compost.

Some of the kitchen scraps included banana and tomato peels as well as other fruit peelings. Eggshells are a great addition but it helps to crush them before adding to the compost. I also like coffee grounds, but with only one coffee drinker in the house, I do not have an abundant source.  I do not place meats or fats into my compost.

Garden materials are items such as leaves and pine needles. The pine needles are very acidic and can alter the PH balance of your soil. At the end of the season plants can be added. But be sure to check for disease or eggs from various pests which are often on the underside of leaves.

I may need to cut through the card board in the spring in order to plant. A lot depends on the winter moisture. However, I think the bed will be enriched from the start.

Lasagna Bed
Compost layers added

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