Introduction: How to Build a Lasagna Bed
Lasagna gardening is a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that results in rich, fluffy soil with very little work from the gardener. Creating a lasagna bed will result in soil that is alive with microorganisms, your plants will thrive.
Gardeners everywhere will benefit from this knowledge. Results will be increased yields, fewer weeds and fewer pests.
Requirements: To be able to complete this project all you need is the ability to bend and use a shovel.
The name "lasagna gardening" has nothing to do with what you'll be growing in this garden. It refers to the method of building the garden, which is, essentially, adding layers of organic materials that will “cook down” over time, creating a good soil full of life. The best time to start this garden is in the fall, so it has all winter to break down.
Materials you'll need are: Grass Clippings, Leaves, Fruit and Vegetable Scraps, Coffee Grounds, Tea leaves and tea bags, Weeds (if they haven't gone to seed) Manure, Compost, Seaweed, Shredded newspaper or junk mail, Pine needles, Spent blooms, trimmings from the garden, Peat moss, Cardboard.
One thing for sure, you will love your lasagna bed and what you grow in it!
Step 1: Step Plan Your Bed
This is an important step, here's here you decide the shape that you want your bed, square or round or whatever, and measure out, and mark your area for it. Previous planning will result in a good end lasagna bed!
Step 2: Prepare the Site
Using a square point shovel take out major bumps, hills and fill in holes to make the site as level as you can. Don’t worry about grass or weeds, these will be covered up and will not pose a problem. Measure our your site and mark the dimensions of your desired bed.
Step 3: Gather the Materials
Look for materials in your own back yard. Leaves, grass clippings, coffee grounds and cardboard are a few. What you can't find, you can call and have delivered. Compost, straw and manure are a few.
Step 4: Layering, 1st Layer
Start by putting down a thick layer of cardboard or newspaper. Cardboard will act as a ground cover and keep the weeds from popping up. It will completely decompose and actually add to your soil!~
Step 5: 2nd Layer
Time for the second layer, which consists of water-absorbent materials (these are straw, dried grass clippings, or bark), layer about 2-3 inches thick.
Step 6: 3rd Layer
The third layer is4 to 8 inches of organic materials. You need to build your layers with organic materials like grass clippings and compost as this is the layer that increases the productivity of your lasagna garden.
Step 7: Water
Sprinkle some water over the last layer.This will assist in the breakdown of the materials you used.
Step 8: Subsquent Layers
If you're lasagna bed isn't the height that you need, continue to layer, repeating layers 1-3 till it's the height you need.
Step 9: Paths
If you decide to have more than one lasagna bed then I'd suggest making a nice path between them. First line your path with newspaper or cardboard, then get some bark chips. I like the free ones that landscape companies deliver, they're big and coarse and work well. Shovel the bark chips into the paths, do it pretty deep, I'd say 4-5 inches will keep your path dry and free of mud.
Step 10: Covercrop
When your finished layering and the bed is the height you want, plant a cover crop in your bed. This can be crimson clover, or rye, something that overwinters well.
Step 11: Wait
Now wait till spring. This gives your lasagna bed time to decompose all winter and let the microbes do their job of making rich soil
Step 12: Spring Planting
In May your new bed will be ready for planting!
Step 13: Putting Your Lasagna Bed to Sleep for the Winter
After harvesting your crops from your lasagne bed be sure to put it away for the winter. Pile all your crop residue on top of your bed, turn it under the soil and plant a cover crop. Then next spring your lasagne bed will be ready for your next crop.
Step 14: Cautions
Cautions: Make sure you start with a level surface. If your surface is in anyway unlevel you could have runoff and erosion in your bed. Wear gloves to prevent blisters.
Step 15: Enjoy Your Lasagna Bed
The best part is eating all the wonderful yummy organic veggies from your lasagna bed!