Friday, April 9

Herb Bed Lasagna Garden

Lasagna Garden Made for Herb Bed
This is the step-by-step lasagna garden I'm making for my herbs and some veggies. If you keep your eye on the white skirting around the craft shop, it's a good measurement to follow. I'm only doing two series of layers for this garden, although all my others gardens had their layers repeated three times, until the height was around 24".
This is where the garden will go.  Pick a spot on your property. Just remove anything that sticks up and will get in the way. This is a great garden for rocky soil. If it's covered with rocks, you'll probably want to repeat the layers several times the first time you build your garden. Don't worry, it'll work itself down to about 8" in six to eight weeks. The white skirting is 15" high.

Just lay down your newspaper or cardboard to fit the size of the garden you want. A nice thickness is between 4 and 8 sheets. But don't use any of the colored magazine or sales inserts. The newspaper won't allow the grass to grow through and it's very inviting to earthworms. Lightly spray with water to keep the papers from blowing around while you're working.
Now,  give the papers a thorough soaking.
Add a layer of clippings and gently make them conform to the shape of your garden. This is from my pampas grass plants; but, leaves, lawn sweepings, small twigs, anything will work great. You just don't want to really tamp the layer down. It should be as though it just fell there, naturally. When it's shaped the way you want, water thoroughly.
As you can see, I've adjusted the sides of the pampas grass and evened out the bed before adding some wonderful old horse manure. [NOTE: The first step to successful lasagna gardening (or, any kind, for that matter) is to befriend anyone with horses!] I've made it more domed than evenly squared because all of this will settle and it's easy to move it around, later.
                                        
Water the manure thoroughly. Even though the surface looks wet, if you were to use your finger to just move a little bit of the wet top, you would find that the manure just below the wet surface is very dry. 
This dirt is from last year's Topsy-Turvys! Just lined them up where I wanted the dirt to go, then emptied and spread the dirt across the top. Since you have to start with fresh dirt each year with the Topsy-Turvy, it's a great way to recycle and build up your beds. Again, after the dirt has been spread evenly across the top, water thoroughly.
This is the bottom of the second set of layers. Had these leaves resting over the winter in a 30-gallon bag. I scrounge bags of leaves from all my local friends, too. You never have enough leaves, clippings, etc., once you start these gardens! Don't worry about the leaves kind of flowing down the side. You can straighten it up when everything settles down.
For this layer of manure, I used a commercial high-performance cow manure and spread it evenly across the top. But, it's not nearly as thick as the previous horse manure because it's pretty much reached its soil-like stage. At this point, you can choose to add plant food granules, or not.
The final layer of dirt came from the Topsy-Turvy planters!  Since you have to replace the soil in them every year, it made sense to recycle onto the lasagna beds. Again, don't worry about the leaves to the left. They'll be cleaned up at the end of the process.

This garden is about 15" in height and will work itself down to between 6" and 8" by the end of six weeks. Remember to water each layer thoroughly before adding the next. Total garden preparation time was 1-1/2 hours from start to finish, including taking pictures, and not a shovel or hoe in sight. Where are you going to place your next garden?

20 comments:

  1. I´ve never done this myself, but I have friends that have. They however did this in early winter mixing in what they could have pput in the compost and since they had horses back then they had fresh manure.

    The snow in winter covered it, keping the heat inside it, and when spring came they had perfect soil. This is a great way to get good soil on stony ground!
    Have a great day now!
    Christer.

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  2. I've done this before. We have tons of horse manure. We always add manure as fertilizer at the end of the season so it can rest over the winter because fresh manure can burn the plants when applied improperly.

    Your garden is going to be GREAT! Can't wait to see it when planted!

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  3. fantastic post. never tried lasagne gardening but that has potential.

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  4. Christer: It's a perfect gardening method for rocky soils and, once it's done, you just have to do a single layering group in the fall.

    Krista: I make sure the manure I get is from the old mound where it's practically black gold! Weighs next to nothing and is really dry. This is going to be for herbs and some tree tomatoes. Maybe some cabbages at the bottom. Will know more in about six weeks.

    GardenerX: I like both the lasagna method for ground gardens and the French Intensive for high containers. BTW, Welcome!

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  5. Just wanted to stop by and thank you for coming by on my SITS day and following! I'm returning the favor!

    I have a feeling I'm going to like your blog! I especially like this idea.

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  6. I can't keep any kind of plant alive so maybe I should be reading more here! Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

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  7. Terrific way to garden. I think more and more people are realizing the value of having their own garde, no matter where they live or what kind of soil and weather conditions they have to deal with.

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  8. okay, now I get the reason for the name Lasagna!

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  9. I am so impressed by this. I've always wanted to have a garden of my own, but have only ever lived in apartments. Hopefully one day soon when we have a house, I'll be able to try this!

    I'm quite sure that it won't be nearly as successful as yours will be though. :)

    Your blog is great! Thank you so much for stopping by mine!

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  10. Oh, what a cool blog.

    I never even heard of this.

    I love learning new things. I'm going to pass this blog on to something called "blogs of note."

    Have you heard of them? They recognize bloggers who blog with earnestness, sincerity, and substance.

    Your blog fits the bill on all 3 levels. They're on Words of Wisdom, aka "blogs of note."

    Thank you for the tip to stop over!

    You never know what life will show you.

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  11. @Girl With the Flour In Her Hair: Thanks you, SITSta! Welcome and thanks for following!

    @Hutch: If you try this, you will find that even you can have a green thumb. Thanks SITSta!

    @Terria: It only makes sense in these times and it's a task that everyone should know and understand -- for survival, if nothing else!

    @Christina: And, you're going to make one, right!

    @Salt: The thing about this type of gardening is that EVERYONE's successful because it's nature's way of getting it done. So, you, too, will have fantastic gardens!

    @The Empress: Thank you. I've seen it but wasn't really paying attention. You're very kind.

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  12. i would love to do this, what is the best time of year to do it, since i would need to coordinate getting the grass clippings(i have someone who mows my lawn), leaves and the horse manure. i live in new jersey, usa.

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    Replies
    1. Just happened to notice your post, Susan, going back over old blogs. I do it whenever, but do try for the fall or early spring so that I can get summer plantings in. By using the peat pots, it doesn't really matter 'cause the roots won't get to the newer soil until they fill the pot. It's hard to mess up with these.

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