need help with lasagna gardening

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)May 5, 2011

I have a 20' x 20' plot but the soil there is horrible; it's not fertile; tried to grow stuff in it last year (using the soil that was there without amending it) and it was a disaster.

I asked if I could just put the soil mixture I use for container gardening onto my existing plot (it's a mixture of fine pine bark mulch, spaghnum peat moss, vermiculite, dolomite lime, sand and a slow release pelleted fertilizer).

The sand IS NOT sandy soil, it's just normal, beige sand.

This is where somebody suggested lasagna gardening. I normally do container gardening but I realize how difficult it is to grow stuff like melons and squash in container gardens; even the bush types sprawl.

I was recommended to hold the soil mixture in, I should frame it with bricks or wood. This is going to seem like a really stupid question, but if I'm framing it in, wouldn't this be like a container garden? This is something I'm trying to avoid to give the plants the room they need to sprawl.

Is lasagna gardening a form of container gardening or is it raised bed gardening? I've really only done container gardening. I've heard of raised beds and lasagna gardening, however I've never actually done it myself.

When you make the frame with the lasagna gardening how tall does it need to be? Does this depend on what plant is being grown in it?

If so the dimensions for all my squash is a 3-5 foot spread; my butternut has a height of 10"-12", and my spaghetti squash has a height of 18"-24". Unfortunately I don't know the dimensions of my other squash, which are kabocha (Japanese pumpkin, much smaller than American Pumpkins) and my melons. With the melons they'll have a spread of about 3-5 feet, and their vines are about 5'-6'


How many layers do you use per lasagna garden? I was just thinking of doing one 'frame' for each plant being grown in it.

Since lasagna gardening is supposedly a form of raised bed gardening are hills necessary? Also even if the hills aren't necessary would you be able to do 2-3 plants per raised bed or not?

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I live in a small space, in suburban Chicago, and the soil is so bad that I had to dig up the bad soil, then replace it with good soil before I could plant anything. What we dug up literally looked like the management company used any junk they could find to build up the area. There was also a lot of rock & clay. Needless to say, it was back breaking, and dumping the bad dirt I dug up was a problem too. This is the solution I have come up with. Next paycheck I'm going to Menards and buying 4 logs of treated timber. They come in various lengths and they will cut it whatever size you need. My garden is going to be 8'wide and approx 12' long. I'm going to attach the sections w/my drill, & the screw/rebar, whatever the recommend. Then I'll dig up all of the plants I planted last year. I'm going to attempt to till/turn the earth as much as I can, in case I have a plant that needs to be planted deep. Then I'm going to fill in the bed with peat, and composted manure that I buy at Menards. It's inexpensive and I've had good results evrytime I've used it. The final step will be to re-plant everything. This is all going to be done in a weekend, and I'm doing it buy myself w/little or no assistance. I hope this helps you in some way, good luck!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Cougarvamp, be careful of using treated lumber. It will leach nasty chemicals onto your plants and into your food. Cedar is more expensive but lasts for YEARS and is naturally resistant to insects.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 4:16PM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

Lasagne gardening is a terrific way to garden where the native soil is less than optimal. You might want to invest in the book to get a complete picture of the process. You can use boards or bricks to define the plots, but you don't need to. If you use the right materials for the layers, you really don't need to worry about moisture. The materials will hold all you need with normal watering. The sides just make it look nicer.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 5:57PM
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