Sunday, 13 March 2016

Lasagne Gardening...

 
 
It's been a beautiful weekend here in the UK, our first proper spring weekend. My first proper gardening weekend too. I've even roped in my other half as well, and that's no mean feat. Lots of you have commented about my raised beds. They are made from galvanised steel, and are produced by an Australian company Birdie. They look handsome don't they. I'm hoping they last for quite a few years as the aren't cheap, they are now £100 each, these were a bit cheaper than that, thank goodness. I purchased them from Sutton Seeds, but I do know that you can get them from other suppliers.
 
I thought I would share with you how I've filled them, using the Lasagne method, or No Dig method. I was very pleased with how well the beds did last year. You can see from the first photo that the contents of the beds do settle somewhat in their first year, so will need topping up again before planting. This winter I'm thinking of sowing some green manure in the beds, to increase the fertility.
 
Lasagne Gardening is all about building the beds up in lots of thin layers of nutrients, to feed the plants. You don't have to dig the beds, just put a new layer or two on, each year, to keep the soil healthy. The photos above show the stages I went through to fill mine up.
 
1. It's important, if you are putting your bed onto grass, to put a thick layer of cardboard on first. This kills the grass, and stops weeds coming through. Give this a really good soaking, that will then encourage worms to come up. It's best to cut the grass first but I couldn't be bothered!
 
2. Next a layer of newspaper, and another good soaking.
 
3. Then a layer of straw.
 
4. Now for the fun bit. I emptied out one of my compost bins...slimy yucky mess! I was a bit distressed at this point as there was loads of slugs in the compost. I tried killing them but it was a bit of a pointless task. I think I'm going to have to put some beer traps in the beds this summer!
 
5. Another layer of newspaper...this was just to make it look neat, I know crazy, but that's just how my mind works.
 
6. I then popped a layer of top soil on, left over from our last lot of garden works.
 
7. Finally I've put some shop bought compost on, if I hadn't used my own compost up, then I would have used that instead. I'm hoping next year I will just put a few inches of well rotted home compost on all the beds.
 
8. Now it's ready for planting.
 
 
Talking of compost, mine was a yucky, gooey mess. I try my best to put equal layers of green and brown waste in. I noticed that there were very few worms in it, not healthy at all. Probably because they are new compost bins, although I had put some from our old bin into the bottom, as a starter. After doing a bit of research I've ordered some compost worms from eBay. I can't believe a girl who is afraid of worms is buying worms...think my husband will have to be the one to put them in the compost bin though ;) I will let you know how it goes!
 
The good thing about this type of gardening is you can use up all sorts. Layers of bark chipings, coffee grinds, clothes even, if they are just natural fabrics. Great for recycling. You just have to alternate the brown and green layers, to balance out the nutrients...and that's as scientific as I get!
 
We've also put one of the arches up. This is one of a pair I've got from Agriframes. They weren't cheap, but I liked how sturdy they are. The instructions were pretty poor, and they are a fiddle to put together, when will manufactures learn to make instructions clear? Eventually they will have roses growing up them, but maybe beans/pumpkins this year, until the roses get going.
 
And that's it, a good weekends work...we also fitted in a garden centre visit. I've got lots of seeds to sow, and some raspberry canes too. My little greenhouse has been cleared out to accommodate all those new plants. Gosh, I do love to garden!
 
 
Amanda :) xxx
 
 
(This is NOT a sponsored post).
 
 
 
 
Oh and Otto, most helpful...running off with essential screws, and getting wet with the hose pipe!
 
 

 

30 comments:

  1. I'm really enjoying your garden makeover, the raised beds do look great! I tidied out our greenhouse today and it was full of cobwebs, ooh I hate spiders. I can cope with the worms, isn't it amazing what you can order on the Internet. Sarah

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    1. I think it's bonkers I'm buying some, they make me feel sick...however I know they are a gardeners friend! ;) xxx

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  2. I love what you have done with your garden, such a simple layout and easy to maintain xx

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  3. Dear Otto, he's so very adorable. I love the no-dig / lasagne idea, I really wish I'd done something like that when I put my raised beds in. Your raised beds are brilliant. My wood ones are rotting now and will no doubt be a pain (and expense) to replace. I can definitely see the advantage of galvanised steel, and they look really smart. Wishing you a good week of gardening. CJ xx

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    1. I just hope they last a decent amount of time...ideally I would have had brick ones built, in reclaimed bricks, but that's just a fantasy! ;) xxx

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  4. All the best to your garden!!!! ;oD
    .... Otto is amazing!!!!
    xxxxx Ale

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  5. your garden is coming along so well, so much easier nit having to remove the grass before building up your raised beds. I too have a composter, mine is pretty dry must give it a stir today as it has been neglected this winter, just throw veg peelings etc and paper in then rush back inside. Your trellis is going to be beautiful when the roses are in full bloom

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    1. I keep thinking I wish we had a composter closer to the house, when it's raining there's only me willing to dash out! ;) xxx

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  6. Your garden pics are lovely. Spring is here 😀 we have had issues with our lawn this winter and having had a Greenthumb visit, we have been told we have 'leather jackets' which basically mean the lawn is naff.... It has been eaten by daddy long legs larvae! Think we will need to replace it.. Never heard of this before, but your garden is an inspiration xx

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    1. Hi Sue- Our 'lawn' is doomed, May bugs have got it and now Otto, digging and weeing on it! Hope you manage to sort yours out :) xxx

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  7. oh it is exciting seeing the beginning of these creations. Really look forward to their progress. I feel a bit like you with the worms and one year my daughter ordered live meal worms for the birds, I was absolutely delighted when the robin came and fed from my hand. enjoy your week.

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    1. How wonderful...I really must get a bird table and start to look after them properly again, mine got smashed in a storm and I've never got around to replacing it :) xxx

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  8. You have the cutest helper!! I hadn't heard of the lasagna method but it sounds like my sort of gardening ;-)

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    1. Cute but deadly...I've just realised he's chewing all my plants, roses, peonies! Think I might have to put a garden ban on him! ;) xxx

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  9. What a lovely post, all the good things of spring and summer to come. Serious raised bed envy! They look fab. I also love your little helper, Mine likes to pinch things when I'm not looking and hide them. Oh the joys of pets, wouldn't life be boring without them? x

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    1. Otto like to pinch my gardening gloves...I wouldn't mind but I can't even find one of them, goodness knows what he's done with it! ;) xxx

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  10. Dear Amanda, you have had a busy and rewarding weekend and have achieved so much...pleased the sun was shining. Thank you for the information and photos of each step of the Lasagne gardening, most helpful, I have bookmarked this page for further reference. I don't mind worms they are so good for the soil. It was lovely to see your photo in Instagram, so nice to put a face to your name, by the way I love your scarf. Little Otto is so sweet helping out, my cats used to love helping when they were outdoor cats but now they live inside as there are snakes here and I don't want the many birds and other little creatures to be hunted.
    Have a great week!
    Hugs
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. HiDianne, thank you for your kind and encouraging words...I've just come in from the garden where Otto has been helping me by hiding the seed packets and my gardening gloves! I really need to learn not to put anything on the floor! ;) xxx

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  11. Otto has probably buried your glove somewhere in the garden. Are those two little piglets in the last photo with Otto? How cute!
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Found behind the studio! The piglets belonged to my mum, they aren't something I would have picked out myself but they are very special...looking a bit worse for wear now though! :) xxx

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    2. I thought at first they were real as they look quite life-like and very cute. Since they were your Mum's then they are very special and lovely to keep.
      xoxoxo ♡

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  12. Your garden is so interesting! I tell people about your metal growing areas. I'm going to buy some watering tanks that you use for cows and horses and see if I can garden that way. They are quite deep and I think that you could grow potatoes, carrots, etc with no problem. It's a little early here in Indiana yet but that is my plan. I've been to the farm store and looked at them and we'll get composted soil from the city (it's free and on certain days they will load the back of the truck for you). My son-in-law has a truck which is helpful to get all of these items home. I love your back garden and your studio. Keep going with your blog as I love to hear what you are up to and see I have a new way of gardening this year due to you!! I'll let you know how it all turns out.

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    1. Judy they will be fab. They were my first choice but I couldn't find any old ones anywhere, well not at a reasonable price. Your garden plans sound wonderful, yes please let me know when you've started to put it together, I'd love to see your ideas. I'm glad I've inspired you :) xxx

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  13. As I have said before, your big garden asks to you a lot of work, but...with the supervision of that "gardener"...ha, ha, ha... ;-)))
    Miriam

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    1. He thinks he Head Gardener Miriam ;) xxx

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  14. The lasagne method looks a great idea! We too have struggled to create perfect compost it is always to soggy. Good Luck with your worm compost, we always find that the worms make a bid for freedom! Sarah x

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    1. I fear mine have too...headed for next door no doubt! ;) xxx

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