Lasagna Gardening/Wildflowers

Bobby ParksAugust 4, 2004

My SO & I are interested in starting a lasagne bed to be planted with a high quality wildflower mix. If we started the bed now and gave it a couple months to mellow down, could we seed the bed yet this fall? Seems to me to be a good method by letting the seed overwinter and come up in the spring in a prepared bed. This is all new to me so would welcome your thoughts/suggestions.

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joepyeweed(5b IL)

i have native wildflower plantings and have started some lasagne beds for the first time this year too. i was wondering the same thing. i worry about the seeds being eating by critters or digested by the compost - i know that typically seeds are not digested by cold compost, which is what lasagne gardening is... but for some reason i am still hesitant.

i have been thinking that i might seperate the seeds into groups and will 1.)sprinkle some seeds into the lasagne this fall, 2.)cold stratify some seeds in the refrigerater over the winter and sprinkle them into a different lasagne next spring... 3.)some of the cold stratified seeds will probably be started early as seedlings in the house to plant as plugs too... so i am kind of doing some test plots to compare the fall lasagne seeds to the other...

i know i always have the better germination rate with my refrigerator stratified seeds than ones that i sprinkle in the fall... my guess is that mice and birds get some of the outdoor seeds ... but that is only a guess...

i would be interested to know if anyone else has put seeds into a lasagne bed in the fall....

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 8:57AM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Here you go ;)


Here is a link that might be useful: Prairie Moon Nursery-Planting Guidelines

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 4:50PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

i am familiar with pmn - i see anything on that link about lasagne gardening? but i didnt read it word for word either... i dont think its a problem - i will keep you posted on the results of my experiment.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 12:30PM
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mina(Z5 Chicago)

if you want a garden rather than a wildflower meadow\prairie you might be interested in winter sowing, which is starting your own seed outdoors in fall for spring plants.

see the winter sowing forum. I have been doing it for three years now, it's fantastic.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2004 at 10:05PM
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shelley_r(7b NC)

I did winter sowing for the first time last year. This winter I plan to do more. I figure I can set out a couple dozen seedlings of each plant I want and let them reseed themselves from there.

I was wondering about putting compost around the young plants from this year. I've heard that you should NOT put compost on wildflowers, but I have no idea why. My soil needs some help.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2004 at 8:37PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

i dont think putting compost on wildflowers would do any harm. they "should" not need it, but it wouldnt harm them. if you have some bad soil and are having problems with that area then i would probably go ahead and add some compost... some fertilizers can be harmful to wildflowers so that is maybe why someone would think that you sould not add compost... but compost is not really fertilzer, very low in NPK - compared to commercial fertilzers...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2004 at 10:40AM
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joepyeweed ,
Any updates on your experiments with Wildflower on Lasagna beds...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 2:19PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Wow talk about memory lane!... Well, lets see that post was from three years ago, which was the year we moved into a new house - and why I was starting new lasagna beds... to kill grass and plant wildflowers.

We had fenced in the rear yard of the new house for our dogs. And I created lasagna beds all around the fence line with the intention of growing tall plants for screening.

Some of the wildflowers did very well and look great today. Cupplant (which is a pretty hearty aggressive flower) probably faired the best. But I also have rosinweed, ironweed, purple coneflowers, wild geraniums, NE asters, big leaf asters and some showy trefoils that are growing quite well in that bed. (Some things that were planted that didn't show were compass plant and prairie dock.)

That year was really hard on my planting plan for the new house, because I had transplanted a bunch of stuff from our old house to the new one, and we ended up having a severe drought that year. So I lost a lot of transplants and a lot of the seedlings that I had germinated indoors... but it was mainly due to my inability to water as much as they needed.

If I recall I did have more species of seeds in that bed, than actually germinated and grew. But I think that was due more to the drought than anything else. My experiment was severly tainted by weather.

Moving into the new house, doing some remodeling and I ended up having surgery that year, took a toll on a lot of plants and gardening plans that year.

This year my gardening focus has been on woody materials. I decided that I had tons of perennial vegetation and plenty of mature trees, but I didn't have enough under story or smaller woody growth. So last fall I put in a service berry and pagoda dogwood to go along with the redbud that I already had. This spring I added some NJ tea, some Illinois rosa, and a witch hazel.

I am in the process right now of killing all the grass on the south side of my house and I am going to turn the south side yard into prairie grass.

I do my landscape in phases. Getting one area established and looking nice, before I move on to the next.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 2:16PM
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