Lasagna Anyone?

There are many ways to create a new garden bed – digging up grass, tarp the area for a season, or lasagna gardening.  I am a big fan of lasagna gardening, especially since I avoid the slog of digging up turf.  I also believe that grass holds lots of nutrition and supports an ecosystem that can become the base for your new garden.  If you are not familiar with lasagna gardening, it is layering on top of existing grass to build a raised bed.  The approach can vary depending on your garden bed plans.  The easiest approach is to plant shrubs for now, planning to add perennials next year.  The shrubs can be planted into the grass, being sure amended soil with no grass roots is used to fill around the new shrubs.  If you have old leaves, compost or other organic material, this can be spread on top of the grass.  With shrubs now in place, a layer of newspaper (3-4 sheets thick) or cardboard is laid over the grass to cover the entire area of your new bed (leaving a good 3” ring around the new shrubs, where you should remove any grass roots left after planting).  There should be no grass roots above newspaper!  Edge a good trough around the perimeter – I ‘double edge’, or edge two good rounds.  Then top the newspaper with about 3”+ of soil, and then about 3”+ of mulch (I prefer natural shredded cedar mulch).  The following year you can dig into the bed to add perennials, amending soil as needed.  This same approach can be used without pre-planting the shrubs.  It would just be more of a raised bed, adding 12”+ of triple mix on top of the newspaper, which you can then plant perennials as desired.  And it is so satisfyingly pleasant to plant in fresh triple mix!

Posted on July 3, 2014 and filed under Guidance.