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Starting a “lasagna” Garden

One increasingly popular garden method, sometimes also termed “no-dig” garden, is lasagna gardening. This technique utilizes permaculture practices to build up and help maintain soil organic matter. In Florida, where our soils tend to be sandy and lack organic matter, this gardening technique can be a good asset. The term lasagna comes from the way that one layers carbon and nitrogen layers in the garden to build up your bed. You start out by laying down a thick 4-6in layer of newspaper/cardboard to help smother grass and weeds. Wet down the newspaper/cardboard and you can proceed to the next layer. Add a couple of inches of compost/manure [the nitrogen layer], followed by your “carbon” layer of leaves, straw, or sawdust. Continue to add alternating nitrogen and carbon layers until you have reached about 18”, or even taller to 3’ if you are filling a raised bed. The bed will decrease in height over time as the materials decompose.  You have the option to plant directly into the mound, or wait for it to decompose first before growing in it. If you are interested in the later, start the bed in the beginning of summer and it will be ready to garden in by the fall planting season. For more information on creating a no-dig garden visit, E. Santiago-Gomez, Community Gardens Program Assistant, Pasco Extension


Fig. 1. “Lasagna” garden bed                                         Fig. 2. “Lasagna” garden bed layer diagram

Photo credits: UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County

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