The Austin organic garden club is one of the largest in the nation. They have adopted lasagna bed building as their method of choice for new areas. Here's what they do:
Note to Austin members.
We are applying the mulch gardening technique to the new garden plot area which we have been solarizing for the past several weeks.
We will be doing the following:
Wet the ground thoroughly, preferably an hour or so with a soaker/mister. If you intend to install plants in high summer, you might leave the soaker hose in place to facilitate watering.
Scatter a light layer of vegetable scraps and a little manure or cottonseed meal.
Cover the area with one to two layers of cardboard or eight to 10 sheets of newspaper and wet well. You can extend the paper layer beyond the planting area by a foot or so and cover with wood chips to prevent the lawn from encroaching.
Now add layers of mulch (one to four inches thick), watering each layer as you go and adding sprinkles of cottonseed meal. Use what's available for a mixture of nitrogen (manure and/or kitchen waste, excluding meat or dairy products); carbon and microbes (decomposing materials such as half-done compost or leaf litter); carbon (grass clippings, dry shredded leaves, husks, shells, coffee grounds, etc.). Do this several times, building the pile to about 18 inches. (It will eventually shrink to six inches or so).
Then add the finish layer, straw or hay (not coastal Bermuda) or leaves or pine needles.
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 4:33 pm Posts: 526 Location: parker county, texas
I built a lasagne bed three years ago, and it worked pretty well. I did have to keep it covered with plastic over the summer, though, to keep it from drying out excessively. I punched holes in the plastic to help aerate it, and it took about three months to reach the point where I could plant in it. The soil where I had the lasagne bed is probably the best garden plot I have now. When we are through building our house, and I have my life back, I would like to do another one.
EEEKKKK! Plastic? Isn't that what mulch is for? Putting plastic down, especially in the summer can greatly increase the temp in the soil and kill all the beneficial goodies in there. I would stick with at least 3 inches of a good mulch.
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