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Compost and Garden at the Same Time: Lasagna Gardening

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 152

Lasagna gardening is all about composting and planting in layers. The term is derived from the Italian meal 'Lasagna' where it is composed of layers of tomatoes, spices and pasta. Just like its meal namesake, lasagna gardening is an innovative gardening strategy which helps in creating a hassle-free, till-free, dig-free garden.This method of gardening benefits mostly home owners who are living in a cramped downtown area--where space is virtually next to none! Those who are living on rocky or severely clay ground also benefit much from this gardening method.

Making a lasagna garden is just similar to what you would do when it comes to piling up compost. The only difference is that you can already start planting in the layers you made as opposed to waiting for the compost to decompose before doing any planting.

The Procedure

Start by collecting old newspapers or corrugated cartons or card boards. Lay them on top of the soil that you plan to establish your lasagna garden on. At least three layers of newspapers are enough to cover the whole area (this is a great way to put your recyclable materials to good use!). Water the papers and the card boards adequately to jump-start the decomposition process. Never mind about any weeds growing on the soil beneath--they will be smothered by the [layers] and eventually rot.

The next layer you can put is a layer made up of greens like kitchen scraps or refuse (I do not advice on using leftover meats or fish for it will attract rodents). I suggest using ground coffee wastes, lemon or orange peels, crushed eggshells, and vegetable clippings. Alternate it with brown debris like grass clippings, dried leaves (crushed leaves rot faster), peat moss, and wood shavings.

Keep on adding up layers of green and brown materials until you reach the maximum height of 2 feet (2 ft.)or less depending on your preference. See to it that you make more layers filled with 'brown materials.' This is composed of the organic chemical carbon, which when decomposed, it provides the organic planting medium. When 'green materials' break down, it release nitrogen thereby supplying a slow-release of nutrients to the plants. The whole 'cooking down' process will be complete in a matter of around five to six months.

When sowing seeds, it is better to put a little bit of soil to hold them in place. When transplanting, dig some inches wider than the root ball of the plant to be transplanted to allow more space for its roots to grow.

Maintain your lasagna garden by adding mulch on top once in a while when plants are actively growing. It is essential to maintain adequate water content in all the layers, for lasagna gardening is pretty much the same as straw bale's--where water tends to dry out rapidly than usual.As the breakdown process is completed, you can enliven the garden by adding fresh layers on top of the old.

Learn more about gardening tips and ideas by clicking http://handy-gardening-tips.blogspot.com

Source: EzineArticles
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