The main reason people procrastinate on starting a garden of their own, is that it normally takes a lot of work, time, energy, and money. Lasagna gardening is an unconventional, organic, layering method you can use to generate better soil. It creates a nourishing environment for your plants for now and years to come. You save time and energy, because there is no digging, tilling, or removing of sod/grass. There are many different ways and opinions on how to create a lasagna garden. But I want to share with you the tried and true Blue Rock Lasagna Gardening method. It has proven to produce healthy plants year after year.
Select a Site
- Decide what plants you will be planting in the garden bed first.
- Research the plants to find out about their sunlight requirements (full sun, partial sun/partial shade).
- Chose a site close to a water source, or make sure your garden hose can reach it.
Build the Bed Footprint
- Decide what size the garden bed will be first. Smaller is easier to maintain. We prefer no larger than a 4ft x 8ft bed. That’s big enough to grow many plants, but small enough to walk around and be able to reach across the bed for harvesting and weeding.
- For the sides or borders of the bed, you can use whatever materials you have on hand. Our favorite to use are wood planks/lumber that are nailed or screwed together. Other ideas include, but not limited to: cinder-blocks, stakes with chicken wire fencing, bricks, large rocks, old tires, straw bales, large limbs, or fallen trees.
Assembling the Lasagna Garden
- Cover the bottom of the bed with two to three layers of cardboard. This will smother out any grass in that area, and the cardboard will attract lots of earthworms (bonus!).
- Gather small to medium sized tree limbs and sticks. Place them on top of the cardboard as the next layer. The sticks and branches act like a sponge. Water is stored and then released during drier times. The gradual decay of wood is a consistent source of long-term nutrients for the plants also.
- Next add a layer of any type of paper products (shredded paper, newspaper, magazines, office paper, etc.)
- Continue adding layers of other organic materials that you have available (straw, leaves, peat moss, sawdust, wood ashes, pine needles, coffee grounds, plant trimmings, animal manure, kitchen scraps-just not meat or cheese).
- When the layered materials are about 8 inches deep, you need to add a top layer of compost, dirt, or garden/potting soil. If you are using bagged soil, a few large bags should work.
- Water the layered garden bed thoroughly.
Now You Are Ready to Start Planting