Sunday, 4 February 2007

Lasagne beds 101

Ok, today i'm going to show you how easy it is to use a "no dig" system of gardening. The art of digging is a manly thing and seems to be pursued with religious fervour.
I remember doing the same myself, coming in the door on an evening, exclaiming about how hard i'd worked, with a few slipped discs to prove it..

But that all changed when I discovered Lasagne Beds. This way of preparing a bed for planting is a part of "permaculture": Permanent Agriculture" do a search on the web, you'll find tons about it.
Basically it's emulating nature as close as possible with everything you do in the Garden.
Nature has it all worked out, ever seen a worm with a slipped disc? exactly.
Anyway to start a lasagne bed (or sheet mulch) you start with the plot you want:

You then decide on the size, a good size for veg is about 2-3 foot wide, as far as you can reach from 1 side twice.
Lay down cardboard in the shape you desire. This will help stop weeds coming up.

Then you need some sustenance for the plants. A mixture of Manure, straw and seaweed is good. But anything organic can be used.
Manure goes down:

then i add some straw and seaweed on top to keep away slugs and it's all ready for some spuds. FOr most other plants you need to wait a month or 2 before planting into fresh manure. Or else add a layer of soil onto the top and plant into that.
There you go, it takes a fraction of the time, enriches the soil and not an aching back in sight!

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