Has anyone ever tried lasagna gardening?

Stormy . asks: Has anyone ever tried lasagna gardening?
I’m wanting to make a garden and my mom is being a pain and wanting me to do this thing she read about called “Lasagna gardening”
Its suppost to be really easy, no digging, tilling or weeding. But it seems to good to be true has anyone tried it?
Lasagna gardening is basically layering things such a news paper, peat moss, compost, manure, grass clippings, leaves and other things. It has NOTHING to do with the food.

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Answer by daniel l

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  1. Last I checked lasagna was a pasta and doesn’t grow when planted. However; if you get a lasagna tree (or bush?) please let me know. I like lasagna and would love to find an easy way to have lots of it.

  2. Have not tried it myself yet, but am going to. Have seen various shows on HGTV an DIY Channels that show how to do it and the Pros of Gardening this way. It looks very effective and a good way to vegetable garden.

  3. Yes, it is wonderful and all my gardening friends on Better Homes & Gardens have done this at one time or another. BUT it is too late for you to do this now as it is now time to plant. It must be started in the fall in order for it to decompose and be ready for spring 2009 planting. :o)
    Lasagna Gardening-No Tilling

    From gardener Arden:

    Create a new gardening bed without tilling or pulling up grass and weeds:

    Once you have a well defined garden bed, no need to clear it of grass or weeds, just layer about 6 or 8 newspaper sheets or cardboard over the bed area, water the paper or cardboard to the soaking point (this method will eventually smother whatever is growing there).

    Over this paper or cardboard, you can build up layers of organic materials by using already made compost from your own pile or bought in bags from a nursery, chopped up leaves, grass clippings, chipped up prunings, produce trimmings, aged manure (not dog or cat), whatever you can gather that will rot. Pile it on as thick as you can and be sure it is kept well moistened as if you are watering a garden each week. This is known as lasagna gardening.
    Or you can mix everything together and then pile it on top of the paper or cardboard if you prefer.

    If you would like to have a top layer, wood chips can often be found at your city’s Parks & Recreation Dept., or you can check with your local nurseries. This will make a good top dressing to keep moisture in and to keep wind from blowing away your lasagna.

    This material will break down and become a rich, loose loam. Keep adding to this each year and you will have a very nice gardening bed.


    And here is another way from gardener Merrybelle:

    Lasagna gardening:

    Lasagna gardening is simply a short cut to digging and tilling up an area for new beds. I live on a hillside and part of our now yard used to be pasture land , so not only is the land compacted, it’s also clay based with wild Bermuda in a goodly portion of it.

    To lasagna, you normally spray the grass with a grass/weed killer (I’ll get creamed by the environmentalists on this one).

    Then you lay down your cardboard/newspapers.

    On top of this you put compost, top soil, potting soil, shredded leaves, etc.

    You are now ready to plant your beds.

    When using newspapers, they need to be thick, that’s why I prefer cardboard. It suppresses the greenery underneath while decomposing, thereby enriching the soil. For some reason, the papers/cardboard draw earthworms like crazy, which is also good for aeration of the soil.

    You obviously cannot till in your dirt mixture immediately, that’s why most people let the topsoil/compost/potting soil/shredded leaves sit for awhile on top of the cardboard/newspaper layers, to give them time to decompose. This is esp. true if you are going to be digging holes for shrubs, roses, anything that required more than a minimum of root cover.

    Being the impatient person that I am, I normally plant immediately on top, but then, I’m planting shallow rooted things like lilies, etc.

    All of my beds are lasagna’d – ie, layered.

    So in a nutshell, lasagna gardening is layer gardening, a quicker way to create new beds, esp. for us older folks who can’t double dig, or who have very poor soil.

    Here are several very good above the ground/raised flower beds links for you:




  4. I have always gardened the traditional way and I had not heard of lasagna gardening before so I decided to do a little research on it.

    To me it sounds like there is alot of work in preparation which of course save work later on in not having to do so much weeding.

    It also sounds rather expensive to get started.

    Personally I think I will stick with tilling, mulching and irrigating.

    Good luck in what ever you decide.

  5. lasagna gardening is a great way to start a new garden!!!… Joanne has it right, tho…. you need to start one ahead of when you want to plant for the best results….. so do the usual thing this year and come late summer and fall, read up on how to and get a bigger one ready for NEXT spring…..

    I’ve done all my newest beds that way since I learned about lasagna… I’ll never till again!!!!

  6. As far as starting one season ahead, if you’ve read the book Lasagna Gardening, the author states that she has had much success with planting immediately after finishing the layering process. She points out that she is an impatient person and has just stuck plants into the bed when she’s done. So, it can be done. I’m in the process of setting up one for myself and I plan on following her experience, and just plant after I’m done with the setup.

  7. YES, YES, YES!!!!! I have done this and love it! When I first read about it, I too was skeptical, but after the backbreaking work of removing sod and trying to figure out how to get rid of it, I thought I would try it. I actually started 2 very long beds in the fall and let them sit through the winter and then planted them in the spring. Make sure you wet your newspaper down thoroughly before adding your layers of stuff and make sure you put the papers down thick. This will help smother the grass really well and prevent and growth from coming up. Also, newspaper makes an EXCELLENT weed barrier below the mulch. Instead of using plastic or weed clothe, use newspaper. It is organic, a great way to recycle and does a great job of keeping weeds down. Lasagna gardening is FANTASTIC and the only way that I start new garden beds now.

    One more thing, you do not have to be strict with the Lasagna ingredients. Use whatever is available to you. This can also cut down on your costs if you don’t go exactly by the book. If you have leaves somewhere in a pile (I rake mine in the fall and put them in wire enclosures to use in my gardens) you can use a layer of them. If you have compost, use a layer or two of that. If you can get your hands on almost any kind of manure, use a layer of that. If you have access to someplace where you can dig some dirt, add a layer of that. whatever it is, you don’t have to spend much money on it either.

    Good luck and your back will thank you!!!

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