Before we begin my art today I want to quote part of a post from May, 2015:
I've talked about lasagna gardening for so long, it surprised me that no one knew what I was talking about. So, before we look atAnd this is what I wrote way back in April, 2010:
the flower bedmy rocking horse journal cover, I'll explain what a lasagna garden is. It has nothing to do with what is grown in the garden, but how you build up and add layers of organic material that will "cook down" over time. Some call it sheet composting, but I like lasagna better. Think of it as a compost pile that is the size of your garden plot.
The benefits are huge, in that you don't have to dig or till, and weeds are practically non-existent. You begin by laying down a layer of cardboard and/or several layers of newspaper that you wet as you go. Be sure each layer is completely saturated before you go to the next layer. Think of it as the sauce between layers of lasagna.
Now it's time to add your green layer, which is anything you might add to a compost pile, such as fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves and bags, and grass clippings. Be sure this layer is completely wet before adding your brown layer.
The brown layer consists of hay, straw, pine needles, shredded junk mail, shredded newspapers, and leaves. Wet completely and start over again. This time, forget the cardboard, but add newspapers and manure (if you have it) before adding your green layer. Then add your brown layer. Do this as many times as you have sufficient fodder. Your brown layer ideally should be twice as tall as your green layer, but don't let that stop you. This isn't rocket science.
When you get ready to plant, there will be few, if any, weeds because the cardboard and newspaper killed any grass that was underneath, while the mulch you have created from above keeps other weeds at bay. You will water less because the composted soil/material holds the water better. You will never need to fertilize as long as you maintain the organic layers, which will soon turn into compost.
Now you know what a lasagna garden is. It's the only way to garden, in my opinion, but the limited amount of organic material I can get hold of each year has kept me from having the garden I truly want.
For those of you new to my blog, here's what my garden looked like last fall when I put it to bed. I began by soaking a ton of newspapers I collected from my friends. If you don't have access to friends with newspapers, you can always find these at recycling centers, along with cardboard, which is equally good. The newspapers keep weeds to a minimum and adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes. Be sure you get rid of any slick inserts or ads from your newspapers. These don't decompose well because there is some kind of plastic coating that prevents rapid decay.Now that you know what a lasagna garden is, feel free to ask questions in the comment section. I'll answer any you have on YOUR blog, not mine.
Wet and soak, soak and wet. When dripping wet, you are ready to proceed. Although most people in the know lay down a layer of peat moss over the wet newspapers, I have never done that. I simply begin laying down organic materials over the newspapers. So what organic materials do I use? Whatever I have on hand, and that's what you should, too. Remember, this is an EARTH MONTH post and recycling is the key.
I layer grass clippings, leaves, and compost in that order. I water well after each layer. Then I begin again with very wet newspapers, grass clippings, leaves, and compost. I lay down whatever wood ash I have from my chiminea, too. If I have sawdust, it goes in between the grass clippings and the leaves. Be sure you water between all layers. If you live by the ocean, you can even use seaweed or kelp. Since I'm landlocked, I don't have access to that resource. All these organic materials are what create a neutral soil pH.
If the bed is new, I recommend covering it with plastic to hold in the moisture and allowing it to cook over the winter months. That's not to say you can't start a bed any time of the year. Just don't expect to grow anything the first year, unless you start in the fall, so your bed has a fighting chance in the spring. And, keep adding layer after layer throughout the year.
Even if your soil has nothing but rocks in it, you can still grow a lasagna garden. And you never have to dig or rototill the soil. Just be sure the place you choose gets full sun much of the day.
Not much to show today because all I managed to accomplish was completing the cover for my rocking horse journal. Unfortunately, I had a terrible time with my tension. I'm glad this journal is for me, and not a gift. This is the outside of the cover.
My large rocking horse that I had removed too soon, then tried to sun dry again, didn't turn out too well, either.
This is the inside of the cover. The front will hold three pens or pencils, while the back inside cover will hold minutia I will add that holds meaning to me.
My favorite is the rocker on the pocket that holds the minutia. Although I love all my rocking horses equally, this lacy rocker is my favorite for sun dyeing.
Thank you for joining me today as I finish this second sun dyed cover. If it hadn't taken so long to complete, I might have been able to do more. By the time I fought thread breakage, rethreading my needle dozens of times, and messing with my tension more than once, it was one of those days I wanted to throw the project against the wall and walk away. However, since I had nothing else to share, I gritted my teeth and finished it. I hope you enjoyed this, because I'm sure I'll laugh about it in a year or three. Thanks again for your support of my art (and my lasagna garden).
This is Day 17 of AEDM.