Anyone who has tried lasagna gardening will be sure to tell you how much easier it is than traditional methods of preparing soil. It is a procedure for building up soil, usually in a raised bed for a flower or vegetable garden, that basically involves layering different organic materials on top of each other – perhaps separated by cardboard or newspaper – in a manner similar to making a Lasagna.
Making a lasagna garden is a great way to build quality soil for your vegetable garden on the cheap. Rather than buying expensive soil mixes from Home Depot or Lowes, you can just deposit the basic ingredients of a soil mix into your garden bed and let the processes of nature take care of mixing them together over time. Earthworms and bacteria work for free after all!
If you have ready access to free materials such as compost, lawn clippings, manure and dead leaves, your soil will be practically free. Even if you don’t you will find that purchase compost to supplement what you do have is a lot cheaper than filling an entire bed with expensive Miracle Gro.
A great thing about a no dig gardening method like this is you can just do it on top of an existing lawn area. Simply start with a layer of cardboard to slow down the lawns growth – this should keep it under control until it gives up on trying to grow back and dies due to the lack of sunlight.
A great benefit of lasagna gardening to create a raised bed is that all your gardening will be done a foot or two above the ground. This eliminates a lot of the crouching involved in most gardening, and makes life a lot easier on your back. When I used to do row vegetable gardening I would dread getting outside and pulling weeds, as my back would always complain about it the next day!
Layering with cardboard is great for the aisles between raised beds too. Weeds will grow anywhere given half a chance, but placing a sheet of cardboard between seeds and sunlight will prevent many of them ever seeing the light of day.
Whether you are a new vegetable gardener getting involved in square foot gardening, or just looking for an easy way to expand your beds, lasagna gardening is well worth looking into! I recommend this book if you want more information.