Lasagna Gardening

Lasagna Gardening isolates the edible garden from contaminated soil or concrete and adopts the do-nothing philosophy of Masanobu Fukuoka.

Objectives

When the soil of the site is poor, the enriching resources gathered in the lasagna will increase the production.

Lasagna beds are raised above ground, which makes gardening more accessible to target groups such as senior people or (if highly raised) people with reduced mobility.  This enables their inclusion into society through gardening.

The decomposing layers improve soil quality and reduce by half in height.  Geometry of the gardens should be considered for the irrigation systems.

Materials

  • Brown and green materials.
  • Wood or reeds.

Implementation

1st step: If you want to isolate your garden from contaminated soil, find a cheap material (like sand). Build a big box from local or recycled material (like wood) about 2m x 4m and fill the first layer.

2nd step: If your soil is not contaminated, put either brown corrugated cardboard or three layers of newspaper directly on top of the grass or weeds;   otherwise put them on the isolation material in the area you've selected.

3rd step: Put whatever you can find from these materials on top as layers: grass clippings, leaves, fruit and vegetable, scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves and tea bags, weeds (without seeds), manure, compost, seaweed, shredded newspaper or junk mail, pine needles, spent blooms, trimmings from the garden, peat moss.  Alternate layers of “browns”, such as fall leaves, shredded newspaper, peat, and pine needles, with layers of “greens” such as vegetable scraps, garden trimmings, and grass clippings.  In general, you want your "brown” layers to be about as twice as deep as your “green” layers.

4th step: Make it twice as big as you want it to be, it will shrink down a lot.  Cover with a layer of soil or wait for the lasagna garden to decompose for a season (e.g. in winter).

5th step: To maintain the garden, simply add mulch to the top of the bed in the form of straw, grass clippings, bark mulch, or chopped leaves.

Evaluation

  • Increase of the crop outcome & quality.
  • Development of new lasagna beds.

Tips

A smaller bed (1,2m x 2m) will enable people to fill the space, especially if they are unable to reach further out.

Instead of wood, use reed weaving as a simple method.

If you want to start planting already when it is not yet decomposed, dig a little hole, put the plant inside with a bit of compost around.