This type of gardening is advantageous in that it requires no digging, no tilling and no sod removal. Weeding and watering are reduced because of the heavy layers of mulch and due to the crops being planted close together. The lasagna method also builds nutrient-rich soils quickly leading to a higher garden productivity.
The layers of a lasagna garden are made up of ingredients like: grass clippings, hay, chopped leaves, straw, wood ash, sawdust, newspaper, animal manure, etc. The materials used vary according to what is available for the gardener locally.
The procedure of making a lasagna garden is as follows:
- Stake out your garden site and then start building up your garden layer by layer.
- Lay down something heavy over the sod i.e. corrugated cardboard or thick pads of newspaper. This first layer will suffocate and kill the existing grass or weed.
- The second layer will be made up of organic browns such as shredded newspaper, peat moss, coffee grounds, chopped leaves, or coir. The materials for this layer should be water absorbent. Make the layer 2-3 inches thick.
- The third layer will be made up of organic greens like grass clippings and vegetable scraps. This layer should ideally be 4-8 inches thick.
- Spread another layer of organic browns over the third layer.
- The fifth layer should be made up of organic greens.
- Keep on adding layers of alternating green and brown organic materials until the bed is 18-24 inches high.
- For the final layer, spread compost or manure.
After creating the layers, you have the option to ‘bake’ your garden. Allowing your lasagna garden to ‘cook’ will give the layers of mulch time to breakdown and create a higher quality workable soil. You can also choose to plant your crops on the same day you layer your garden.
When planting a lasagna garden, as already stated, no digging is required. You can transplant seedlings simply by pulling back the layers, dropping the plant in and then pulling the mulching back over the roots. When directly sowing seeds, just sow the seeds over the top layer of compost and then cover the seeds with a little more compost. Secure the seeds by pressing down on the bed and then water.
Lasagna gardening also works well for container gardening.
This type of gardening is indeed very simple and eliminates a lot of garden chores. It is a perfect method for people with age, physical or space limitations to use in growing their own food.