I have a firm motto that you always give credit where credit is due. And in this case, there is a book I read years ago that really got me into gardening… it made me realize you didn’t have to spend hours and break your back to make your yard beautiful. This book is called, Lasagna Gardening, by Patricia Lanza. It’s a Garden Writers Association of America, Quilt and Trowel Award Winner.
The theme of the book is that you don’t have to dig up grass to plant a garden. Too good to be true, right??? It professes to be (and IS) “A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: no digging, no tilling, no weeding, no kidding!”
So you want to know how it works, right?! I won’t give away all that is in her book because you really should own it yourself. I bought my copy in a used book store that benefits my city’s public library’s children’s programming for $2. I was jumping up and down when I discovered it in there. It had been about five years since I checked it out of the library and I still think about it seasonally. That’s how I knew I had to have it eventually. But I was patient and found a great deal. YEAH!!
Ok, so here’s how I used Patricia’s theory… I have four raised garden beds that are 2′ x 2′. They hold my strawberries in my Children’s Garden. You can see the picture here.
This entire space used to have grass in it. I first built these beds before killing the grass because I didn’t want to spray the grass and then plant edibles over it. So I left the grass there and put down the raised boxes right on top. Then I used the following formula of materials to fill the boxes.
1) Smother the grass with wet newspaper or cardboard boxes. For these beds I used wet cardboard boxes.
2) Next add 2-3″ of peat moss to cover the paper or cardboard boxes.
3) Then add 4-8″ of organic mulch material over the peat moss. Anything will do. Purchased compost, or compost you create in your yard are great!
4) Add another layer of peat moss, and another layer of mulch, and so on until the beds are 18-24″ high.
THAT’S ALL!! This year I am making some new beds to grow a grape-vine over the arbor in front of my Children’s Garden. I’ll share pictures when they are finished!!
Cheers and Happy UNgardening!