Lasagna Gardening

You may have just moved in. You may have been here a while. Life might be slowing down and you’re looking about for more things to fill the time. Why not try gardening? Wait, gardening in Florida? Absolutely! There are plenty of ways to grow...

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You may have just moved in. You may have been here a while. Life might be slowing down and you’re looking about for more things to fill the time. Why not try gardening?

Wait, gardening in Florida? Absolutely! There are plenty of ways to grow beautiful vegetables and flowers easily in Florida. It’s all about planning.

Perhaps the digging and mulching seems intimidating to you. Perhaps you don’t have a lot of space. There are a couple solutions to that. One is what is often called lasagna gardening. This consists in building compost layers on top of the soil, which will gradually break down, turning the soil underneath into a luscious, fertile habitat for growing things. Do digging required. University of Florida has excellent step-by-step instructions for constructing your very own lasagna garden.

  1. Plan when and where you want your garden. It’s best to start several months before you want to plant things to let the materials cook. You can build a frame for the materials if you like, which will help contain everything. Just make sure to use untreated lumber.
  2. Mow or clip the grass and weeds in the area where you want to garden and leave them where they are. This is the “green” layer, and can be made up of any nitrogen-rich materials such as grass, weeds (if they haven’t goneto seed), and vegetable scraps
  3. Cover the green layer with a brown layer, such as shredded cardboard, newspaper, junk mail, pine needles, or leaves, anything that’s high in carbon. You can even use sawdust or straw. Wet the whole thing thoroughly.
  4. Add another layer of compost. Manure would be a good choice for starting out. Made sure it’s two to three inches thick.
  5. Add another brown layer and keep alternating brown and green layers till the garden is as tall as you want it. The recommended height is anywhere from eighteen inches to three feet tall. Don’t worry, it’ll shrink down as things decompose.
  6. Cover the garden with burlap or a top brown layer of bark, newspaper, or leaves. Make sure to water well.

As I said before, it takes about two months for all the components to ferment into the perfect environment for growing things. However, if you want to plant something right away, just add two or three inches of store-bought garden soil to the top and go for it.

Stay tuned for more information about small-space gardening and what things to plant when.

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