Lasagna gardening (Google / Bring Me Sunshine)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://bringmesunshine.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/lasagna-gardening/

Lasagna gardening

Posted by Jo on 1 October 2008

The vegetable garden is one step nearer completion! Well, in theory. Ok, so there’s one less thing I need to do in order to have a vegetable garden.

It’s called a lasagna garden!

No, I haven’t gone crackers. There really is a system called “lasagna gardening” and the concept is so simple, you can hear the wails and cries from that great compost heap in the sky. In order to create your near-perfect patch, first of all you need to put away your fork and spade. That’s right, put them away. You don’t need them. Well, you might need the fork, but only for chucking stuff about, not digging. This is a dig-free zone. Figure out where your patch will be, allow for paths and easy reach, and then mark it somehow using string or a hose or whatever you like. Get your hands on loads of newspaper or cardboard.

Put a nice thick layer of newspaper/cardboard on the ground where you want the patch to go.

Wet the newspaper/cardboard until it’s nice and soggy – or, better still, put it out before it’s due to rain then let nature do some work for you.

Once it’s soggy, cover it with a nice thick layer of a “brown” compost material, such as grass clippings or used hay or straw or animal poo, etc. Then cover with a “green” layer (veggie peelings, etc). Then brown, then green. (Do you see where the “lasagne” bit comes from?!) You can add more layers of newspaper but I understand you don’t really need to. Unless your heap is going wonky!

When you’ve got a deep enough pile (about 12 inches) you can either leave it as is or cover with black plastic. My research shows there are advocates of both. Your choice, though to my mind, surely the plastic (a) aids decomposition and (b) stops it blowing everywhere? But then again, if it’s covered with plastic, it’s waterproof so the rain can’t help you. Like I said your choice.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.