Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lasagna Gardening

I KNOW I have been a very negligent blogger lately - over a week without a post. It seems that life got in the way of blogging and I have barely been on the computer. I am here to fix that!

I have done a lot of applique, but I can't show you as I have been making wall hangings from designs my dear friend Anna has made, and they will be published, hopefully soon! Her and I work so well together, and our designs mesh so well.

In fact I do most things she suggests, so who was I to say no when she told me I must make a Lasanga Garden?! Now I am not much of a gardener. I made a nice one when we owned a townhouse but our piece of land was about 20ft x 20ft square. Not very big. Now we own a quarter acre and the previous owners were obviously not gardeners either, so I get to start from scratch. Anna, in addition to being a fabulous quilter, is also a fabulous gardener. It is right up there with quilting in her list of obsessions!

For anyone who has no idea what Lasagna Gardening is, (I didn't!) have a look here and here and here. Basically you put layers of materials on top of your sod - no rototilling, no digging, just layering! You can put down pretty much what you want, such as leaves, grass clippings, compost, manure, hay, whatever!

So I have taken pictures to show you my work so far. My bed is about 4 ft wide by 10 ft long.

First I put down a layer of flattened cardboard boxes. Wet newspaper layers will also do the trick. Sorry I don't have a better photo of this - I didn't think to take photos at this point, but luckily my daughter was playing with my camera! You can see it (and me) way off in the background). Then I put a layer of Peat Moss on top of the cardboard. The author of the method swears by it - Anna says it is not necessary as it has no nutritional value and really just holds water. So since I will be out of state for 6 weeks in the Summer (kids and I are flying to Utah to visit family!) and hubby will be responsible for watering, I figured my garden needed all the help it could get!!

Next I did a layer of chopped up leaves. I just used my mower to do this. We didn't have one with a catcher until a week ago and now I swear I will never rake leaves again - I will just mow them as the fall and plop them right into the bags ready for my garden.

Then I put down a layer of hay/cow manure which I collected from an animal stall at our local farm stand last year. It's been 'maturing' for a few months now and wasn't smelly at all. I was a bit worried to open that bag!

Then came the bag of grass clippings we got this last weekend with our new mower!

And next is a layer of hummus/manure which I am sad to say I had to buy. I would rather collect it from the source so to speak, but anyone I know with any animals lives so far away that it would cost me a fortune to get there with the way gas prices are right now. So for now it's the bagged stuff!

Next I will do another layer of leaves, since I have a TON of them - all the neighbors loaded me up last fall. Thank you neighbors! And lastly, for now, another layer of Peat Moss. Next time we mow I'll add the clippings to the top and that will be it.

Tomorrow, the plants go in. Tomatoes, melons, cucumber, basil, cilantro, all sorts of goodies! Yes you can put your plants straight in here. It will naturally compost itself and turn into beautiful rich dirt without you doing another thing to it.

I have no idea if this will work, but I trust my friend Anna - she has done this many times over. If any of you have done it, I'd LOVE to hear your experiences with it - good or bad! I will keep you all updated on this new project of mine. Hopefully it will work and we will have yummy things to eat this Summer and Fall. Either way, you will know! I am rather excited to be going away for 6 weeks and to see what has happened when I get back. Best case scenario - everything is growing and thriving. Worst case, dear hubby has neglected it and everything is dead! I hope you are reading this darling :)


jacquie said...

How fun is that! And then at the end...fabulous homegrown lasagna. WOW. I would be a very polite dinner guest!

Lisa said...

Wow! wanna come and start a garden for me? I want one but am not as motivated to get it together! I'd rather sew!

ZONE F DG TEAM said...

I'd heard of it... but it's so much easier to envision when you see pictures. Hope your successful with it.

There is nothing like homegrown produce.

crafty diane said...

Wow! This sounds and looks really neat! Good luck with it! Can't wait to see the results. Am gonna tell my hubby about this. He loves to do things in the yard. Not me, like upstate lisa said I'd rather sew!
Hope you have a great vacation!

SO I'M Anna Fogg, an eclectic kinda gal said...

First off, glad you posted. I check you everyday. Secondly, I am SO PROUD OF YOU! My little fledgling has left the nest. And you're flying high. I assure you, this works people. If I ever get it together, I will put in shots from my garden last year. I started it in April, and in July I did 2 photo shoots of my youngest girls right in the middle of it. It was pure lawn before we came. And this year my 9 & 11 yr old began their spot to plant tomatoes, zuchinni and flowers. I have done this no less than 6 times, and it hasn't failed me yet. Good Luck, Joanna. Soon we will talk of aphids, and pinching and harvesting & not just needles and Kaffe and patterns!

Marie Rayner said...

I had never heard of a lasagna garden before! Sounds really interesting and the pictures were fab. I wish you great luck with this project! Can't wait to see some pictures as it progresses!

Stephanie D said...

I'd never heard of this either, but it's perfect for an area I wanted to make into a raised bed garden. Looks as if I won't even have to put in boards or anything to begin with. I am definitely going to try this! Thanks!

Teresa said...

Good luck with your garden. I just love fresh veggies out of the garden but have never had any luck growing them. I might have to try this technique or at least show it to my children and hopefully they will give it a try.

Nanette Merrill said...

Wow that is very cool. I've never heard of it but what a great way to make a small garden! Lovely idea. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to see its progress.