Lasagna Gardening: The Basics

by on April 9, 2012

What if I told you that you could have your dream garden anywhere you wanted it and you’d never have to dig or till to make it happen? Would you be sold if I told you it was almost weed-free as well?

Well my friends, it is not only possible, it has been happening for years as a process known as lasagna gardening. Patricia Lanza wrote the book Lasagna Gardening and published it in 1998, teaching countless people over the years a simple and foolproof method for growing healthy gardens anywhere by following a few basic steps.

What is a Lasagna Garden?

A lasagna garden is made by layering several different items one after the other, just as a lasagna is done. The layers never have to be tilled or mixed as the natural process of decomposition will do that work for you. This process is also known as sheet composting.

How is a Lasagna Garden Made?

To make a lasagna garden:

  1. Begin by selecting your new garden area. Cover the area with flattened cardboard or several layers of newspaper that have been soaked with water.
  2. Add a layer of “green”. This can include horse or cow manure, peat moss, vegetable scraps or lawn clippings.
  3. Add a layer of “brown”. This includes shredded leaves, hay, shredded newspaper or other similar materials.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the bed is between  1 1/2 feet and 2 feet tall.

Over time the bed will settle and begin to break down. If you begin your lasagna garden in late summer or fall it will be seedling-ready by spring. If you want to get started now, you may need to add composted manure and soil to give your plants a foothold.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary January 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM

This sounds perfect for my backyard. If I started now (mid-January) could I have a garden this summer?


Kathyann Larney January 30, 2016 at 5:32 AM

Hi, I really like and understand your idea and think it would work, do you think it’s to lake for this year for me, date is 1-30, I will be starting one for next year if so. Thank you, Kathy


Carol January 30, 2016 at 2:48 PM

Start it now and see how it goes. You can always add compost and extra soil if the lasagna layers aren’t ready. Happy Gardening!


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