Lasagna gardening

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.

If you do this in the autumn and leave it over the winter, come spring you’ll have lovely rich soil just waiting for you to plant your veggies.

I’ve got the cardboard, I just need to move the chickens off the patch so I can get going. But that’s a whole other story that requires a bit of patience before a post is written…

8 responses to this post.

  1. Yay! You’re listening to my mum!

  2. Best idea I’ve heard for ages 🙂

  3. Nice post and it IS a good gardening system!

    Can I point out a teenie tiny thing tho’? Grass clippings are “Greens” not “Browns” and so should be added mixed in with the veggie peelings ( and not to many at a time!)

    Greens are high Nitrogen stuff ( sappy weeds, peelings, grass) and Browns are high Carbon stuff ( dried grass aka hay, straw, woody shreddings, cardboard, paper)

    But you knew that!

    Cw xx

  4. Thanks for that 🙂

    I’ve never really had green fingers, despite growing up on a smallholding, so while I’m quite confident with animals, this side of things is a bit of a mystery to me and I’m very much a beginner. But I’m looking forward to changing that!

  5. I have read about lasagna gardening before and someday I’m going to give it a try.

  6. I’m almost ready to start, just need to shift the chickens and park the trailer somewhere else!

  7. Posted by welshpurpletree on 9 October 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Do you need anymore cardboard? I have a couple of very large boxes to dispose of.

  8. Lol, just read this – I put in a request on your blog for said cardboard without knowing you’d already offered!

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