Friday, March 29, 2013

My Lasagna Garden

While Ed's focus seems to be on watching an inordinate amount of NCAA basketball, I prefer to spend my time planning my garden. If a game gets really exciting, I've given him orders to call me in to watch the last minute or two.

This morning, I attempted to create my first lasagna garden. It's something new I'm experimenting with this year on just a small portion of my big garden. It's a no-dig, no-till, organic gardening method that I am hoping will discourage the humongous weeds that overtook the far side of my garden last summer. Maggie is my number one encourager and was out there this morning helping get me organized.

Even though I plan to grow all kinds of things that will find their way into a pan of lasagna, the name refers to the method of building the garden by adding layers of organic material that will "cook down" over time, resulting (I hope) in rich, fluffy soil.

Like with lasagna, we started with a base (sauce) of compost, that we spread straight on top of the dead-weed portion of my garden. We followed it with water-soaked cardboard (the noodles). Then added another layer of compost (sauce).

From there, it was followed by 8 inches or so of straw (filling), followed by another layer of compost (sauce) and a final layer of straw (cheese).  Here's what it looks like at ground level.

I'm planning to let it cook down for a couple of months before planting anything in it – perhaps a crop or two in late summer. If it works, I hope to expand it to a larger portion of the garden, and eventually, I'm thinking, it would be great to have the whole garden done this way. Time will tell. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I'm searching my favorite cooking blogs and cookbooks for vegetable lasagna recipes.  I've asked the Easter Bunny to bring me Deborah Madison's new cookbook called Vegetable Literacy. I bet she's got a good one in it.

I think I hear Ed calling me. Evidently the Michigan/Kansas game is getting excited. Better go check it out.

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