Best Way To Keep Grass From Growing In Flower Beds Tips for Starting a Lasagna Garden

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Tips for Starting a Lasagna Garden

Tired of struggling with rocky ground or worse, clay? Growing lasagne in the garden requires no digging, so it is ideal for raised beds, making it perfect for the elderly or disabled.

You don’t even have to mow the grass to start your lasagna garden, it’s that simple. It is good to plan the position of your garden well, because it can be there for a very long time. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to maintain, and we all know it’s so healthy to eat homegrown vegetables. And lasagna gardens aren’t just for vegetables, you can also grow flowers and herbs.

Maybe you should gather some of the lasagna ingredients first. This can also be a lot of fun and you’ll soon realize that you’ve gotten rid of valuable organic matter.

Here is a short list:

• Animal manure

• Compost

• Mulch

• Mowed grass

• Shredded leaves (the bigger, the longer it takes to break down)

• Chopped twigs/small branches (put them through the chopper)

• Wood ash

• Sawdust

• Hay

• Seaweed

• Straw

• Kitchen waste (ground coffee, used tea bags, vegetable peels, crushed egg shells)

• Anything organic that was once alive – Do not include dog or cat droppings, bones, grease, oil, fish or meat scraps – they have a smell and will only attract rodents and flies.

Start small, once you get the hang of it, you can always go bigger. Mark an area approximately 1.2 m x 2.4 m that receives about 8 or more hours of sunlight per day. You can use ropes and wooden pegs or stakes or sprinkle sand – whatever works. I start with a thick layer of wet newspaper, with the edges slightly overlapping, either flat on the grass or covering the entire area you’ve set aside. This can be hard compacted soil, you don’t need to till it first – remember, it’s called no-dig gardening! This layer smothers the grass and weeds below, so it must be quite thick. You can also use flattened cardboard boxes. Now add a 50 to 750mm layer of peat or peat substitute to cover the newspaper or cardboard. Then spread a 100 to 150 mm layer of organic mulch material. Alternate layers of peat and mulch or compost. A layer of twigs creates some air flow. A scattering of bone meal and/or wood ash can be added between the layers for some additional phosphorus and potassium or some lime or sulfur if soil ph needs to be adjusted. Just keep alternating the layers until the bed is about 450mm to 600mm high. Your lasagna garden should be moist (like a wrung-out sponge), not wet. That’s it! You can start planting right away or you can ‘cook’ your lasagna garden first.

The cooking process helps break down the organic material. You need to put in about four times as much high-carbon brown material such as peat, hay, straw and chopped leaves, stems and twigs as high-nitrogen green material such as grass clippings, kitchen scraps and fresh manure. To cook your lasagna, just cover it with thick black plastic and harden the edges with bricks or stones. The materials will remain moist, and the sun’s heat will promote warming. You can leave the plastic on for about 6 weeks, by which time the mulch will have broken down to a dark, crumbly consistency that is a joy to plant.

Come on, give it! I hope you enjoy Lasagna gardening as much as I do.

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