(Nevermind) I found definition of Lasagna Gardening

msmitoagainSeptember 25, 2008

Lasagna Gardening - What is the Lasagna Gardening Technique?

Lasagna gardening is does not have anything to do with pasta, unless you include the gardening of the tomatoes for your sauce. Lasagna gardening is a technique for raised bed garden construction, where the soil is built up in layers, a la lasagna.

Originally conceived by Patricia Lanza lasagna gardening and described in her book "Lasagna Gardening" is an organic gardening method which eliminates the traditional digging and tilling normally associated with vegetable gardening.

While it is an organic gardening technique, it differs from traditional gardening approaches by using a form of sheet composting. These layers in the sheet compost are built up in a manner reminiscent of making lasagna, hence the name lasagna gardening. By building up these layers of organic material over a period of months and years you create a soil mixture that is incredibly rich in nutrients, and because of the close plant spacing and natural mulching from the layers the effort is lower because of fewer weeds and less need for water.

Building a Lasagna Garden - Its really a straightforward approach, and is not too strictly "defined". The steps to making lasagna garden are roughly as follows:

Simply outline the area for the garden - DonÂt bother to remove the grass or sod in the area. If needed define the area with a string or a hose laid out in the shape of the garden.

Cover the area with wet newspapers, taking care to have the edges overlap to act as a mulch over the previous growth. Use a thickness of at least five sheets.

Cover your layer of newspapers with an organic layer, most often peat moss is used for this first layer. A thickness of one to two inches should suffice.

Add to that another layer of several inches of organic matter or compost. Then alternate layers of peat moss and organic matter until you have built up a bed that is at the desired depth.

Add water to the bed until you achieve a moisture content that gives the bed the consistency of a damp sponge

From here you start your plantings. Depending on the state of decomposition of the organic material added to the bed, it may be advisable to wait and let the bed "work" to decompose the organic material further, to avoid robbing the nitrogen from the soil.

The spacings of your plantings are along the lines of most intensive bed gardening techniques, where the space for rows is eliminated in the beds, and access is gained from the edge of the beds.

Advantages of Lasagna Gardening - There are a handful of advantages to lasagna gardening:

Reduced water needs - controlled drainage since itÂs basically a raised bed

Reduced weeding - Naturally mulched from the addition of organic matter, and the close plant spacing further suppresses the weeds.

Reduced maintenance - No tilling or turning, just add a steady stream of organic matter.

Improved aeration of the soil - Since there is no foot traffic on the actual bed, the soil is not compressed and the root structure of the plants are free to grow.

You can see that this modification of the raised garden bed approach has a lot going for it, and can be a great help for an area that has very poor soil.

Ms Lanza has written several other books besides the original book on lasagna gardening. She has modified the technique to better serve the needs of small spaces like container gardening, and the special needs of herb gardens as well. Most of these are available at Amazon too.

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Yes, I bought the book. Not worth buying. There's a forum on Garden Web---Soil, compost and mulch---where you can learn a lot more about sheet composting than you can from Lanza's fluffy book. Lanza irritates the heck out of me---copying Ruth Stout's gardening methods and never so much as a wink in her direction.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 9:00AM
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