In my case, we have thick, lush sod - which looks beautiful but is a major pain to remove and dispose of.
That's it, I am planning ahead this time.
Rather than wait until next spring to clear away the sod, I am going to smother it instead.
This year I decided to make a lasagna garden.
No, I'm not referring to a garden where I'll grow all the ingredients to make yummy lasagna for dinner. I'm referring to an easy way to create a new garden space by layering rather than digging.
The idea is to pile layer upon layer of organic material on top of the sod or weeds. The organic materials (including the sod and weeds underneath) will break down, creating rich soil that's ready for planting.
|First layer of lasagna - cardboard|
(If you do this during the summer, mow the grass and weeds in the area down as low as you can before starting.)
It's easier if you wet the cardboard or newspaper down so it stays put while you are adding the other layers.
If necessary, you could use bricks to hold down the cardboard until the layers are wet and heavy enough to hold everything in place.
|Lasagna layer two - dirt over cardboard|
Layer over the top with anything you would put into your compost bin...
grass clippings, leaves, dirt (recycled from summer pots), peat moss, organic mulch, compost, pine needles, coffee grounds, yard waste, manure, straw...etc.
You can also use kitchen scraps, but I'll stay away from using too many because I'm worried I'll attract unwanted pests (like raccoons!).
|Another layer of lasagna|
Ideally, you'll want to alternate layers of “browns” such as leaves and pine needles with layers of “greens” such as garden waste and grass clippings.
Keep layering on top until it's several inches thick.
In the spring, I will add a nice layer of compost to the top before I start planting.
That's it, no need to dig up or turn your lasagna garden. Just make sure it stays moist (snow will be great for this).
My biggest challenge was finding enough stuff to layer on top.
Fall is a great time to start a lasagna garden, the grass and weeds have gone dormant and the organic matter will have all winter to break down.
Once the snow melts in spring, most of the organic material will have broken down and the area will be ready for planting.
This technique would also be great to fill up a raised bed or amend the soil of an area with poor soil quality.
If you plan ahead, you can have a new garden area with lush, rich soil and start planting your garden right away without breaking a sweat. That's what I'm talking about!