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The Lasagna Garden Brigade

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

Hello all! Welcome to the Lasagna Bed Brigade!

A few of us on the Seed Trading Forum have gotten together and are attempting to build Lasagna Garden beds this fall. They can be used to grow anything from Annuals to Bulbs to veggies.. is all up to you, but its a simple till free, less weeding way to start a garden bed.

newbies feel free to garden along with us and we'll do our best to answer any questions you may have!

here is a simple list of things you will need to get started on your Lasagna bed. You can go as fast or slow as you wish. You can accomplish this all in one day and plant immediately, or you can build it over time and plant in Spring.. it's entirely up to you!

be sure to check out the links I have provided as all are good resources of information on Lasagna gardening!

List of items:

Cardboard or several layers of Sheet newspaper
Layers of 'Greens" (see list below)
Layers of 'Browns' (see list below)

GREENS

Grass clippings
Tea bags
Vegetable and fruit Scraps (No Onion)
Coffee grounds and Paper Filters
Old bedding annuals
manure from herbivores (no meat eaters poo in the lasagna bed)
Pond Algae
Pine needles (sprinkle lime on this layer)
Seaweed
Peat moss
Fresh leaves and fresh hedge trimmings

BROWNS

Finely crushed eggshells
Cereal Boxes - shredded
Composted manure
Corrugated cardboard packaging - shredded
Toilet tissue and paper towel roll tubes - shredded
Dried leaves and hedge clippings
Straw and hay
Ashes from wood, paper, lumpwood charcoal
Cotton threads
Cotton string
Dryer lint (from natural fibers only like cotton or wool)
Shredded Newsprint ( no shiny inserts)

What NOT To Put In Your Lasagna Bed

Meat or meat by-products ( cheese, eggs, etc)
Grease
Salty Cooked Food
Pet Waste
Citrus or citrus peels
Onion (this seems to be a matter of preference, use your own judgment)
Any grass or hedge clippings that have recently been treated with insecticides or fungicides (if using bed to grow veggies)


Once you have gathered some or all of your materials you can begin building your beds.

here is what to do:

Decide the location and area of your lasagna bed. Lay your cardboard or several layers of newspaper down in the shape and size you want your bed to be, yup, right on top of the grass!. be sure to overlap edges. This is your initial weed barrier.

Now, wet your cardboard or newspaper with water to hold it in place. if its breezy, place rocks at edges to keep it from blowing away.

Now start layering your 'greens' and 'browns' in thick 1-3 inch layers. Alternate your greens and browns until your bed is 12 - 18 inches high. Top off your bed with a nice 3 - 4 inch layer of Topsoil mixed with composted manure. be sure to wet your bed in between each layer. Dont saturate it, but it should be moist like a wet sponge.

You may choose to edge your garden bed, but i left mine as is and it is holding up nicely.

You can plant right away. as the materials break down, they feed your plants, this makes closer plantings possible as your plants wont be competing for nutrients. This close planting makes for less weeding as well.

if you chose to wait until spring, then keep your beds covered and moist. this aides in the breakdown of the materials and by Spring, you will have a nice rich planting bed to start with!


here are a few links to help you get started!

Websites:

How To Build A Lasagna Garden - About.com
http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/lasagnagarden.htm

Lasagna Gardening 101
http://ourgardengang.tripod.com/lasagna_gardening.htm

An Introduction To Lasagna Gardening - thriftyfun.com
http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf582744.tip.html

Videos:

Lasagna Gardening; Part 1 - Youtube.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpfB6lkbSwc

Sheet Mulch Garden (lasagna gardening) - Youtube.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfYmazZ2L_Q

Happy Gardening!



This message was edited Aug 24, 2009 8:31 AM

This message was edited Aug 27, 2009 4:25 PM

Great job Cue! Now we have a place to post our pic! Thanks a bunch.

Arroyo City, TX(Zone 9b)

Cue you did a great Job! This took all the ends and tied them together in one simple step by step, plain, straight forward post. Thank you! You've made it easy and a whole lot more fun now. Thanks again.

Montrose, AR(Zone 8a)

Im starting to collect all the things needed to make me one...Sounds easy enough for even me... I have a couple of huge peices of cardboard not I have to gather enough stuff to cover them up...Thanks for the info and the links Cue...

(Kim) Philadelphi, PA(Zone 6a)

Thank you!!!!! I have the perfect spot : )
I have a ? why no onions??

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

You guys are welcome. I figured it might be easier on the newbies to find info and ask questions if everything was all in one place:)

Im not real sure why the 'no onions' but seems its pretty much unanimous that these are not good for the compost bed. Could be the acidity in the onions themselves, or could be smell/critters/fungus... but regardless, just to be on the safe side, dont put them in. This goes for citrus as well... Too much acidity... and possible risk of fungus :)

Florence, KY(Zone 6a)

This is great! I've just decided that lasagna beds are the way to go in my back yard so this forum is going to be a terrific help.

Litchfield, ME(Zone 5a)

See She is a genius. Thank You Cue

I've also read that if you use pine needles it would be good to use a bit of lime. They are acidic and the worms don't like them very well. Worms do like onions and I use them in my worm bin as well as my compost tumbler all the time. Can't imagine why they couldn't be used. Some chemical compound they have? Do we have any chemists? More research I'd say. Hummmmm

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

good point about the lime Seray, I'll go back and edit to put next to pine needles :)

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

ok.. I researched a little about adding onions to compost.. and while many sites will tell you NOT to add these, they dont give any explanation as to why. so... i will say it's up to the individual gardener whether they want to add this in or not. But i will keep it on the list of 'Do Not Add' just in case.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

My understanding of the onion and citrus thing has to do more with vermicomposting (worm bins) than a traditional compost pile. There is some type of oil in them that can harm the worms. In an outside pile the worms can get away, but not in a worm bin. Both onions and citrus also take a long time to break down, but I chop them up and use them in my compost all the time. If you can eat it and it's a fruit or veggie, you can compost it. Also, since onions grow underground from a bulb, you may from time to time find one trying to grow in your compost - seriously. Same thing with potatoes and tomatoes - lol. But they all will break down with time.

That's my experience too Loca. Although I encourage the black soldier fly larva in my bins. They will break down all the coarse stuff. They won't hurt the worms and they are truly the master composters. I imagine if you dig around in your lasagna beds as they cook you will see them. :) I don't put citrus or potatoes in there and unless you want a thousand tomato sprouts they stay out also. LOL

Middleton, TN(Zone 7a)

What an awesome job you did on putting this thread together Cue... I also had wondered about the onion thing. I am going to try an experiment to see what will happen. I have an old aluminum rusty little trough that I am using to make a lasagna container bed. I DID already put some onion in it. I will check it out in a week or so and see what I have going on.. Yesterday I finished setting up my daylily bed along the fence.. My son (poor guy) and I raked leaves and forked horse manure most of the day to get those layers on. So far I have a Vegetable lasagna bed started, the daylily bed started, a "general" lasagna bed and yesterday started a new area where I am going to plant Surprise Lily bulbs and Iris rhizomes. I have these huge pine trees across the street, so I just rakes along the road and the ditch a little and got a whole wheelbarrow of pine needles! Now I see that I need to add lime for those.. How do I do that? Lime Juice?

New Milford, CT

How funny, I was outside starting a new lasagna bed and came in out of the 80% humidity to browse Dave's, and found this thread!

I have three beds already that I made with newspaper, and layers of compost and peat, based on a "recipe" I found somewhere last year. I'm only having marginal success with them, so I'm now trying the brown-green recipe. I need a new bed for the butterfly bush I grew by accident, from the seeds labeled "Foster Holly" that was donated to me. :-D

I just finished the first two layers on top of cardboard. I used the grass clippings from today's lawnmowing for green, then a mix of leftover peat and finely-crushed straw, stuff I had lying around in my shed. (Side benefit: Now I can get to the pot ghetto I need for a plant swap, and my winter-sowing jugs!)

Next weekend I'll add another layer of grass clippings and compost for brown. I'm hoping to get the lush growth I've read about from other people!



This message was edited Aug 23, 2009 2:50 PM

Hi Mechelle

Lime juice is for Newbie mojitos. Go to the garden store and get a bag of garden lime. Just spread it on the needles. They'll give you the rate on the bag.

Now about those other limes...... LOL

Welcome CrabgrassC!

You're in the right place. We decided as a group from the Newbie thread to start our beds and share the photos.

I just finished my fourth layer with Starbucks coffee grounds and leaf mulch. LOL I'm doing 3-4 brown layers then a green. We'll see how it works. (fingers crossed). Cue's ahead of us and has planted hers with veggies already.

Love to see your pictures!


This message was edited Aug 23, 2009 2:12 PM

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

I'll take pics of mine today (you'll have to forgive the not finished rock border tho, tried to use remaining flagstne, but didnt have quite enough) but once the veggies are done, this bed will be evened out, more layers added and will become my memory garden.

Mifflintown, PA(Zone 6a)

I made a lasagna bed last yr. planted a c ouple things last fall the rest this spring. Have a trouble spot because of too many pine needles. I got bags of my sons leaves and when I used them, several were all pine needles. I topped mine off this spring with a load of mushroom soil. Here is a pic.

Thumbnail by oriole
Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

That is gorgeous! Wish I had to start a new bed for something other than iris. Soil that good might be overkill for those tough old things:lol:

Now that's inspiration! So pretty. Any tips for us newbies?

(Kim) Philadelphi, PA(Zone 6a)

Beautiful!!

Mifflintown, PA(Zone 6a)

Thanks all. just dumb luck. I really had trouble finding green. But it still seems to be doing real well. I made the bed to move my peonies. where they are now it is getting too shady.
I couldnt get any help with the digging so no go.Was on DG and someone was giving dahilias for postage. I put them in the center of the bed and just whatever else I could find on the cheap.
I planned it for all perennials. But I just used what I could to fill it up. I did plant 4 iris last fall and they did nothing. 2 didnt even show up.
I started with wet newspapers. bagged leaves. chicken cleanings full of straw, a few grass clippings, veg scraps,some cleaning from someones barn. Than this spring I topped it off with some mushroom soil.

This message was edited Aug 23, 2009 6:33 PM

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

oriole - if you use barn manure, be sure to let it age before planting in it. using fresh manure can actually burn and kill some plants. its a good idea to let it set out int he sun for a couple of weeks before using it in garden beds.

It looks really great. I think finding enough green is going to be my problem as well. I'm thinking of buying some russian comfrey roots and planting them in the back of my property. They say they are prolific, huge and are the best green fertilizers you can get.

Anyone tried it?

Litchfield, ME(Zone 5a)

I have comfrey Seray....Ill send you one...Dmail me

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

New Auction:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1030568/

Middleton, TN(Zone 7a)

LOL Newbie Mojitos.. I could go for some of those! I had never heard of garden lime before. Ya learn somethin' new everyday here on DG! :)

Robin you have dmail. ;)

Mechelle: We have newbie Mojitos (some go for the margaritas) when we can't figure out the latin scrambles. And then we have them when someone does. LOL

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

in other words... we have them at every possible opportunity ;)

LOL We wait in anticipation for confusion and misunderstandings and then it's Mojito time!

Middleton, TN(Zone 7a)

So I guess any day that ends in "Y" will work then, lol

Now you've got it. LOL

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

OK.. didnt get a chance to take pics of my lasagna bed yesterday, will try and snap a few today.

The are the bed is in is actually round, but i layered in a rectangle... Im slowly building up the outter perimeter to make it round again for the memory garden once the veggies are done. I didnt have enough grass clippings so saw my neighbor mowing thier grass. i walked over and asked if it was ok for me to rake up a bit of the grass clippings to use for a mulch/ compost. They gave me an odd look but told me to knock myself out.

I was always taught that if someone is allowing you to take something of theirs, its best you do all the work. So.. I let them know I wasnt going to rake their entire yard for them, just take what I would need...lol. Turns out.. I took it all anyway...LOL, but hey, it was free... right? But I always clean up messes.

Example... my lawn mower broke... I had to ask my neighbor to borrow his. So when I had finished mowing, I took and old cloth, wiped the mower and blades clean, and then filled the tank with gas before I returned it... this ensures the item I borrowed is returned in the same, if not better condition than when i used it and next time if I ever have need to borrow it, the neighbors wont hesitate! Same with asking for yard clippings and such.. i want it, so there for, I work it...and make sure i leave the yard neat... and my neighbors will always be willing to help me out :)

Litchfield, ME(Zone 5a)

Great borrowing rules Cue...

Montrose, AR(Zone 8a)

LOL ... Next time you need some grass clippings just come see me.... Ill let ya rake all ya want... Huney

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

I don't have any grass ;^(

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

LOL... your the lucky one loca.. I wish I didnt.. i absolutely hate to mow.. BUT.. the clippings do come in handy

Monticello, KY(Zone 6b)

Hey Cue meant to tell you I read somewhere to put those things on your shoes to keep you from slipping on ice or wear those sport shoes with cleats to help you stay on steep slopes when mowing supposed to help you keep stablized

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

DH works all over the city and he's always on the lookout for grass clippings in the neighborhoods or at the golf courses - lol. Unless I know there are no chemicals used the clippings won't be used for edibles. I can also get leaves and grass on freecycle :o)

I'm debating once I have my garden areas planned out that I might go for a small patch of grass in the backyard, mostly for the doggy to play so he'll leave the plants alone - lol.

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