By Vanessa Richins
One gardening method that works very well for urban gardens is lasagna gardening.
I’m not talking about growing tomatoes, oregano and basil together (as heavenly as that sounds right now).
Lasagna gardening, rather, is a bed preparation technique that requires no tilling or digging. You won’t need a separate compost bin, either. It can also be used for containers.
The name lasagna gardening refers to the layering technique used to build up the bed. First, you select the area where you want to construct the bed. If there’s sod or weeds, they don’t need to be removed.
Next, you spread a thick material like layers of newspaper or flat cardboard over the plot. This will kill any grass or weeds underneath.
Follow this with a layer of peat moss or coir(coconut fibers), about 2-3″ thick. After this comes a layer of organic material 4-6″ thick. You want to have a mixture of carbon-rich matter and nitrogen-rich matter, at about a 25:1 ratio. Common carbon-rich materials include leaves, newspaper, cardboard pieces, and dryer lint. For nitrogen, use grass clippings, algae, non-invasive weeds, and manure.
Continue layering between peat/coir and organic materials until the entire plot is 18-24″ high. Once this is finished, you can leave it to start decomposing if you like, but you are able to plant immediately also. All you have to do is push the layers aside to plant, then cover when finished. As the plants grow, the materials will decompose, producing nutrient-rich compost for your plants.
If you want to make it decompose even faster, add in some earthworms. You can also buy special composting worms from garden supply stores and websites.
Lasagna gardening is a great way for those with limited space to create rich soil.
Has anyone ever tried it in their own garden?
Let me know.