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Introduction to making a lasagna bed
I was making a lasagna bed yesterday. It’s also called a no-dig bed or no-till bed. One of the easiest ways to making a vegetable bed surely is making a lasagna bed. The system results in healthy, loose, fluffy soil with quite a bit of fertility in it.
If you want to see the video on how to make the bed, follow this link.
What is a lasagna bed?
Lasagna bed got its name because of the way the vegetable bed is made. The bed is made of several layers (like a lasagna) of brown and green materials that will compost over time and leave you with a perfect soil to plant your organic plants in. The layers of brown and green don’t have to be that precise. Just layering with what you have at hand, will also work. As long as you smother the weeds, it’s okay.
Easy vegetable bed
Lasagna beds are so easy to make as they don’t require digging, tilling, double-tilling or removing the upper layer of the soil, even if it’s a lawn or filled with weeds.
The first layer you put on top of the soil is corrugated cardboard or several layers of newspaper. I would recommend 6 layers of newspaper to be sure the weeds don’t break through. The reason you use these materials is to smother the grasses or the weeds. By smothering them, there’s no need to dig them out.
Besides smothering the weeds, this cardboard layer also gives a dark environment for the soil bugs to roam around in. Especially worms will be happy with the dark surroundings. To attract even more worms, I also add some kitchen scraps to the soil before I start covering it with cardboard.
What can you put in a lasagna bed?
In fact, you can look at a lasagna bed as a compost heap. The first layer of cardboard or newspaper is to smother the weeds.
On top of the cardboard or newspaper layer, you can just start layering organic materials in a green-brown fashion way. For example, on top of the cardboard, I put nearly finished compost.
My next layer is made of grass and weed clippings. On top of the grass and weed clippings, I put wood chips.
My bed consists of 4 layers. How many layers you want to make, depends on yourself. You can make a kind of a raised bed by layering high enough to level up the bed.
As long as you keep the cardboard layer as your first layer and use woodchips as the last layer, you’ll be alright.
You don’t have to use woodchips, you can use other stuff as well but if you use wood chips, you’ll have to use them on top because the wood chips will take away the nitrogen content in the soil if you bury them underneath other layers.
I personally do mulch with grass clippings on top of the wood chips I use. But I always make sure I plant my seedlings underneath the wood layer to make sure they find enough nitrogen in the soil.
Timing is everything
I make sure my lasagna beds are ready before winter to use them next spring.
You’ll have to calculate when you want to use your beds because they do need time to decompose. Looking at the decomposition, you’ll see the layers shrink and go down.
If you didn’t use wood chips on top, you can always add new layers as you go.
I calculated at least two months before I can start using my beds. It’s possible that you can use them sooner, or have to wait longer depending on your weather conditions.
I personally only use the beds in springtime and I make them during the summer of the last year so I have plenty of time in between making and planting.
How deep should I plant?
Depending on the period between the making of the bed and the planting of the bed, there are several answers to this.
If you use the bed shortly after you made it, it’s possible that the cardboard isn’t broken down yet, so it’s better to make holes in the cardboard and plant in the soil.
When making the bed a long time before you use the bed, it’s possible to plant as deep as you want. Once the cardboard is totally broken down, there will be no difference between the soil underneath and the soil on top of the cardboard, so it’s up to you how deep you plant as long as you stay underneath the wood chip layer if you used one.
If you find that there’s something missing, feel free to comment below the article.