Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lasagna Gardening

This year I joined a fantastic program called Yes in my backyard (YIMBY). It is run by an organization called The Stop Community Food Centre, YIMBY connects people who have land to offer with people who would like to garden. I have always wanted to start a veggie garden in my backyard but lacked the knowledge and confidence to start. When I heard about YIMBY I signed up right away. A couple of months later I was connected to Linda. Linda is an experienced gardener, landscaper, midwife, mother and I'm sure a dozen other things that I am not aware of yet. She is wonderful and lovely and I am so lucky that we were partnered up. Linda and I decided that we would try putting in a lasagna garden:

Lasagna gardening is a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that results in rich, fluffy soil with very little work from the gardener. The name "lasagna gardening" has nothing to do with what you'll be growing in this garden. It refers to the method of building the garden, which is, essentially, adding layers of organic materials that will “cook down” over time, resulting in rich, fluffy soil that will help your plants thrive. Also known as “sheet composting,” lasagna gardening is great for the environment, because you're using your yard and kitchen waste and essentially composting it in place to make a new garden.

This weekend we held a workshop at my house and started layering. The ingredients we used were newspaper, compost, egg shells, straw, bone meal, manure, vegetable scraps, litter from a bunny cage, cedar mulch and seedlings. The cost was about 40 dollars. That's Linda in the first picture followed by all the ingredients we used.

We found the sunniest spot in the back yard and layed down newspaper.

We shovelled compost that we picked up free from the city (glass shards included) over the newspaper.

Straw for the next layer.

Lots of lettuce scraps

Bone meal.

A few more layers and I started planting. We decided on 2 types of tomatoes, rainbow swiss chard, zucchini squash and 2 types of cucumbers. When they are ready to harvest we will share the food with both of our families.

Some cute shots of the boys helping.

All done! Linda you rock!

Eventually this mound will flatten out and become one with the ground. I am so excited by our project. I will keep you posted with our progress.
Linda has started her own Gardening and landscaping business called Green Goddess. More info. to follow in an upcoming post.


  1. When I started planning my garden I actually remembered reading this post and I was meaning to come back and take a look: thanks for the post! Do you remember what layers you did exactly? Did you need to do anything to the ground under the layers or did you just start on the grass? I'm so interested.....
    Thanks again!

  2. I put about 5 layers of newspaper down and then soaked it. You can start the layers on grass, soil, plants, almost anything. I heard of one person who converted an old parking lot in the back of his building into a veggie garden using this method. As for the layers we followed the recipe from this book:
    Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding! By: Patricia Lanza


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