Country Chronicles: Lasagna Gardening (aka too lazy to double dig)

Feddersen Garden 2012

Oh what a magnificent ‘pause’ I am having. Naps. Baking. Gardening. This week wins (save a trip to the dentist for my very first filling of my life…worst).  All the fun projects we dreamed about all this long cold winter also got started over the last week. Joel flattened my garden area and I got to work digging the soil. I spent a solid 12 hours picking rocks and turning over the soil and do you know what I found? More hard soil, more massive rocks. So to honour the lazy gardener that I am I remembered what I heard on the radio about “lasagna gardening” or layer composting. Apparently you can start your garden anywhere,  while skipping the double dig. This method is thought to be better at reducing weeds and water use as well. It made sense to me (plus I could stop picking the ginormous rocks).

Newspaper layer

First you select where you want  your bed then just go ahead put on a three layers of soaked newspaper. This will apparently draw the needed earthworms to your patch. Next you toss on a layer of peat moss.

Peat Moss

Next a layer of hay. (Abin? I might need to steal your saw table…).

Hay layer

Next a layer of bark mulch.

Bark Mulch

Then repeat. If you are doing this in the fall (which is preferred) then you can just leave until planting. If you are doing now (like me) then you will need to also add a solid four inches of good soil on the top. I want to get this bed ready as soon as possible as I want to plant some early crops now (peas, lettuce, spinach). I think this method will be expensive this year as I am needing to buy most of the layers, in the future you can just use whatever you have around the house alternating between brown (shredded paper, fall leaves, hay) and green layers (raw compost, grass clippings, trimmings from plants). The top photo is the layout for our garden this year! Click the image if you want to create your own garden or want to read more about my planting plan. If you want to read more about this method you can read this or watch this. I will let you know how things grow! I have a feeling that the ‘above ground’ veggies will do great, while things like carrots won’t enjoy having to try to navigate down through my rocky ground.

Also at our house this week? BIG excavation! We’ve had a lot of work done on our switchbacks. While it wasn’t the miracle that Joel and I had sort of hopped for (you know, like suddenly our driveway was 10 feet long and flat?) I think it will help. The grade is reduced a little and now all of the corners are flat (you are not climbing steep grades whilst still turning a corner). We have gravel coming in too and hope things will be much better by next winter!


Hey gardeners out there…what do you think? Do you think I will get a crop with this method? Love to hear any tips you have!!!


9 thoughts on “Country Chronicles: Lasagna Gardening (aka too lazy to double dig)

  1. We did something similar a few years ago layering newpaper, with torn out sod turned upside down but it was in the fall. I wasn’t planting vegees but my shrubs and flowers loved the nice soil that was there in the spring. I guess it will depend just how quickly those worms work. You might want to go and buy and little bag of “red wigglers”, I think that’s what they are called. When we first started our compost bins at home 12 years ago our neighbor’s daughter was selling them as a fundraiser. They are still busy in our compost pile…hmmm maybe you could just get some of ours. Maybe “Abin” can bring some up next time he is out our way? Spread them around between the layers maybe?? IIt’s worth a try.:)

  2. What a fun way to design a garden plan! I am going to miss plotting out my own veggies this summer. It’s so satisfying! Glad you’re getting a chance to breathe and rest this week. I’m still very much a rookie gardener, but I do remember reading quite often that corn needs at least 3-4 rows for cross pollination. Plant more = eat more!

    • I’ve already done like three plans for the garden and now this one is outdated too! You are right about the corn~ I forgot about that. I will plant them last and see what I have room for. THANKS! Hope you all make a happy transition over these next few weeks and that your house sells!

  3. Pingback: Country Chronicles: My thumb might not be green « one thing blog

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