If you are new to gardening, you may not be familiar with advanced techniques like tilling the ground and digging for certain types of drainage. In this case, a good method to use is called lasagna style gardening. This type of gardening is often referred to as layer gardening. This style of preparing the soil and planting your seeds is also a great way to teach kids about soil. Here are some things to know about this method of planting.
The Basics of Lasagna Style Gardening
To know what a lasagna style garden is, think about an actual lasagna. if you’re not familiar, it is a type of casserole where there are layers of ingredients. You have a layer of sauce, a layer of noodles, a layer of meat, and a layer of cheese. You keep repeating the layers until you reach the top of the dish. Lasagna style gardening is the same way, except you are layering the building blocks of good soil. It is similar to composting, but works faster and instead of adding material to a bin, you add directly to the soil in layers. This is an easy way for beginners learning how to growing their own food.
Benefits of Using This Method
There are quite a few reasons to use this method. First of all, lasagna style gardening can be started any time of year, although fall is best. So if you are having a mild winter without frost, but you aren’t planting until spring, go ahead and start creating your layers. By the time spring comes, you have the area prepared for planting. The layers will have decomposed into rich soil perfect for your vegetables. It really does make it a lot easier.
Another benefit is that you use up a lot of yard waste and food waste that would otherwise have gone to the garbage, as well as other materials that frequently end up in the trash can or dumpster. It is like an automatic recycling system that also helps with your gardening efforts.
Materials to use in your lasagna style gardening
Now you’re probably wondering what materials go in these layers. This can be just whatever you have on hand. You might have cardboard at home, so you can start with that, then add a layer of old leaves, followed by a layer of straw or newspaper, and a layer of grass clippings. There are many ways to do this with whatever you have on hand. You can also add layers of coffee grounds, seaweed, wood chips, veggie or fruit peels, prunings, and just about anything you would normally add to compost. Instead of mixing them together, you are layering them one by one, like a lasagna casserole. You can see a step-by-step tutorial for how to do the layers. It is easy and your kids can help you.
Involve your kids
Lasagna style gardening is an excellent opportunity for kids to learn about soil. Some questions you might talk about together include:
- What is soil?
- How do vegetable scraps and newspapers become dirt?
- What does “good soil” mean?
- How do the nutrients in soil get into the plants?
- Why do earthworms like some soil and not others?
Find out the science behind composting so you can discover the answers together. That way, you can learn how to help the process along even more and appreciate how God recycles everything.