Do NOT Copy

Do NOT Copy

Building My Accidental Lasagna Garden's Soil

Upon the well-educated advise of my wonderful blogging pals, I have foraged ahead with my lasagna garden. I started to fill my new veggie bed with inexpensive, good soil and other free amendments found laying around my yard. Not only is this a cheap way to build up dirt for my garden, but it will help to suppress weeds and gives me some organic fertilizer too.

I didn't want my new garden to be any wider than 4 feet wide so the soil wouldn't get compacted when I work in the garden. I can work from the edges and reach the middle without a problem. I was told to make my garden small, a 4x4 area and work my way up from there.

Those of you who know me know that I can never do anything small. It's only 3 times larger than the advised size at 4x12. If all goes well, I will expand next year, adding 2 more raised beds. If you're wondering why I am doing raised beds I have a lot of tree roots in my yard. Along with the fact that my "soil" is pretty much pure sand so amendments need to be added no matter what.

The carrots and potatoes will be kicked out of the garden this year, I hear they do well in sandy soil anyway. I want to save space for the plants that need better soil.

Would you like to see my work?

I raked the area I wanted to place my garden in order to eliminate grasses and other weeds from the garden. This isn't necessary with the lasagna-style garden, but the weeds were easily pulled out of the sand with two swipes of a rake.

In order to suppress weeds, keep in moisture, and attract earthworms to my veggie garden, I added a bottom layer of cardboard. Newspaper is another alternative that can be used. Either of them should be wet ted down before proceeding. I used small buckets to catch the snow that was melting off my roof since it is still cold outside and didn't want to turn the exterior spigots on just yet. Hopefully someday I will be able to get rain barrels.

After wetting the cardboard, I added a layer of pine needles, leaves, and grass clippings. They had begun to decompose in my new compost pile. It smelled wonderfully rich when I was pulling the materials out to put into my garden. I also grabbed several loads of leaves from the woods. Such a sweet, earthy smell, it was like heaven on earth!

After putting in a nice layer of mixed browns and greens, I started to use my reserves of topsoil topped with sphagnum. I didn't have much of either leftover, but it was enough for a thin layer. I also emptied any containers I wasn't planning on using this summer to add to my topsoil layer.

As I was emptying my 2 bags of sphagnum that were both half full, I found a mouse nest in one of them. There were 4 babies in it along with their mom. Cheesehead wanted me to kill them but I refused. MIL thought I was crazy, but I took the bag off into the woods and released the family quite a way from the house. What an ordeal!

Working in small sections, I added a thin layer of sandy soil from my yard onto the soil that I had placed in the bed. It took quite a bit of time to dig up this soil from my yard, especially when I couldn't get to my wheelbarrow to make the job easier. I only did one corner with this sand since I was using our spreader to carry the dug up dirt. It worked okay for a small amount, but I really wouldn't suggest using it for a big job like this. How could the shed be so messy after such a short period of time? I had to take some time off to uncover my garden tools by cleaning out the shed.

After all of that hard work I got my new plants so this project was put on hold for a few days.

On top of the layer of sand I added another fine layer of pine needles, grass clippings, and leaves. Then it rained for several days.

Today I finally got a break from many days of rain, so we got back to work on the garden. After I got back from my second day of full day subbing in a row, I saw a wonderful present was waiting for me in the truck. (YAY!). I needed the garden cart for the surprise Cheesehead brought home for me, so we had to empty out the rocks. Wasn't Peanut helpful? I think she's getting too big for this job anymore.

What was my surprise? A pallet of broken bags of miscellaneous soils, manures, and composts. Hurray! Now I don't have to dig up more dirt. At times like these it's nice that he works at the garden area of his store! He told me it only cost him $12.50. Not bad for so much good soil and stuff, right?

The whole family pitched in this afternoon. Son was more than happy to putter around on Cheesehead's tractor while hauling the dirt. It took much less work than the wheelbarrow would have.

Peanut helped me even out the piles of poured broken bag contents in the garden. Isn't it wonderful? Whew, is my back sore! Tomorrow night it's supposed to rain off and on for a few more days. I'm hoping to get some of the direct sown seeds into the ground tomorrow morning.

Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. Please leave me a message, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Cindy
Post a Comment