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Lasagna gardening in CO?

Posted by smdmt z4MT (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 4, 13 at 19:00

I now live in Colorado near Longmont, formerly in Montana. My attempts at preparing a planting bed via lasagna prep in MT was a total failure! I have a spot at my new house where I want to put in a cutting flower bed. Will efforts in preparing lasagna layers be worthwhile?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Lasagna gardening in CO?

My attempts at preparing a planting bed via lasagna prep in MT was a total failure!

Please define "failure" ... did it kill everything you planted in it, or what?

How did you prepare the bed, and how long did you give it to do its thing before you planted in it?

Tell us that and we can probably fix the process.

RE: Lasagna gardening in CO?

I have seen many descriptions of "lasagna" gardening but few of them follow the instructions given by Pat Lanza, the original Lasagna gardener. Perhaps this link to her web site might be of some use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lasagna Gardening 101

RE: Lasagna gardening in CO?

Difficult to say whether doing a lasagna bed will be worthwhile for you. I've found doing a lasagna bed properly is a lot of work and requires a lot of material and it may not break down much over winter in your climate.

What is the soil like now in the area you want to do a cutting garden? If you were to add as much compostable materials to that area all winter and till or turn in spring it might be a good way to improve the soil. After planting you could do trench composting between the plants.

RE: Lasagna gardening in CO?

Thanks for everyone's response.
My failure is described as the grass underneath turning yellow and nothing else.
I have the book by Lanza and my layers were built as described. I think the dry climate and cold kept the microbes etc. from breaking down the material.
I am hoping to hear from any Coloridians if they have had any luck. If all else does not work, I'll double dig and prepare the bed the "old-fashioned" way.

RE: Lasagna gardening in CO?

The one issue to deal with in Colo is how dry the winters are - for a lasagna bed to decompose properly and in a reasonable amount of time, it needs to stay reasonably moist.

You can best accomplish this by getting the bed to the proper moisture (squeezed out sponge) and covering it with some sort of material that slows down the drying - that can be anything, even just another layer of leaves and grass clippings.

Its the same thing with making compost - it just dries out very quickly.

RE: Lasagna gardening in CO?

It just needed more moisture, and maybe a bit more time. Lanza was working in a higher rainfall area.

My mom piled evergreen prunings onto the garden beds to trap snow. Whenever we had a bit of a warm spell it melted into the garden. Without the snow traps, the snow would have been in ND.

A thick mulch of leaves covered by staked-down bird netting to hold the leaves down would work well.

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