A few weeks ago, I was watching WZZM’s “Greenthumb” segment. Rick was talking about making a “lasagna garden” to use up fall leaves and clear away sections of grass or weeds (http://www.wzzm13.com/news/specials/greenthumb_story.aspx?storyid=139097&catid=64). As I am planning a new flowerbed, I was very intrigued and decided to learn more.
A “lasagna garden” is essentially composting at its easiest. You select an area of your grass that you want to convert to a flower or vegetable bed. Spread newspaper over the area, 3-4 pages thick. (Improve your “hort-folio” – use the stock pages or the “Wall-peat” Journal! 😉 ) You will want to pick a calm day or have a “partner in grime” help you. If it’s breezy or you can’t find a friend, wet down the newspaper a bit to prevent it from blowing away.
Next, spread leaves over the newspaper, 6 to 12 inches thick. Any leaves will work but maple leaves tend to decompose faster than oak leaves. You also want to grind the leaves up, if you can. Smaller pieces break down faster.
Finally, cover the leaves with soil or peat moss (don’t be stingy!) and mix in some fertilizer. Some good choices are Miloganite (it will kick-start leaf decomposition), Lawn Restore, the TONE brand fertilizers (an organic option), or Master Nursery’s Master Start (sold exclusively in this area at Flowerland). Then you wait for the snow to cover it and let it “cook.” In the spring, mix everything together and wah-la. The bed of soil you can sink your roots into!
One of the advantages of “lasagna” is that it elevates the soil, meaning the soil will warm faster in the spring. You can also use lasagna gardening anywhere, like in flowerbeds where grass as begun to encroach on your plants.
This sounds easy enough and I’m all about easy. I’ll let you know how things “grow.”