Lasagna Gardening, Is It The Enlightened Way To Grow Or Merely A Passing Fad?

Lasagna Gardening, Is It The Enlightened Way To Grow Or Merely A Passing Fad?


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Home Page > Home Improvement > Lasagna Gardening, Is It The Enlightened Way To Grow Or Merely A Passing Fad?

Lasagna Gardening, Is It The Enlightened Way To Grow Or Merely A Passing Fad?

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Posted: Feb 26, 2010 |Comments: 0

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In recent years the term lasagna gardening has become a wildly popular catch phrase in the online gardening community. Promising simple and easy construction with very little work. But is it really a viable option for homeowners who want to start their own victory garden this year? For those unfamiliar with lasagna gardening it is described as the layering of organic materials such as leaves and grass, shredded paper and vegetable scraps. The theory is that as the material breaks down it creates rich fluffy soil for your garden without any work.

There is a never ending supply of new ways that promise easier and faster ways to yield results. The basic fact that nature works on her own design continues to elude some of the best intentioned. I have been writing for years that gardening is a process, not an event.

I am not a person that is easily distracted by passing fads. I am an organic gardener at heart for the simple reason it is the way of nature. I view every new idea for gardening with a dubious and skeptical eye. When you are working in harmony with nature you can’t help but be successful. Conversely, when you try to circumvent the process you are doomed to failure.

The classic example is the gardener who is obsessed with growing tomatoes. He wants the biggest, brightest fruit in the shortest amount of time so he decides to use a synthetic chemical to force the plant to mature at an unnatural speed. Yes, they can get some incredible results. Sometimes. The only thing miracle-like with these chemicals is that people continue to be suckered by all the deceptive marketing and pretty packaging. Unfortunately, there is precious little thought about all the chemicals that plant has absorbed and how much of it we are ingesting. Do NOT tell me that you care about the environment when you are using toxic chemicals. The cumulative effect of consuming food that is laced with toxins is evidenced today in most peoples health.

My experience watching others who have jumped into this fad has been entertaining at times and has provided numerous teaching moments. What I typically see is a homeowner who has essentially built an anaerobic compost pile that stinks and everything planted just rots right along with it. While there is merit in using shredded organic materials around plantings in your raised bed gardens to control weeds and converse moisture, it is folly to think that you can plant in this media with any degree of success. It is true that all these layers will decompose and contribute to the fertility of the soil, but they do NOT create soil in and of itself.

Fertile soil is a complex structure of humis, organic matter and an array of minerals. It is comprised of natural elements such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. It also contains diverse populations of micro-organisms such as protozoa, fungi, bacteria, nematodes and earthworms. This is not going to be replaced by the layered or lasagna method, no matter how well intentioned.

A better approach to gardening is the raised bed method that is constructed directly on the ground and filled with a correct soil mixture with a pH level balanced correctly for the intended crop. Then use only one layer of shredded paper or grass around your plantings. Now if you have been planning on building a lasagna garden this year and have been saving newspapers and cardboard, use them in your new compost pile instead. Next season you can mix it all in with your existing raised beds to increase the nutrient and organic matter levels. The bottom line? I recommend sticking with methods that are tried and true and save the lasagna experiments for Garfield.

Copyright 2010 Greg Traver

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Gen Wright
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Copyright 2010 Greg Traver. Greg Traver is a freelance copywriter with a passion for nature. His work is featured on thousands of websites and blogs worldwide. To contact him or to learn more about becoming successful gardener simply visit http://www.organic-gardening-for-life.com.

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I just collected some apples from my grandmothers tree. she just passed away and would like to start some trees with the seeds. what is the best way to get them to grow?
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I am 13 years old and all my friends are almost 5″8 and I am still 5″1 I am very depressed on my growing ability and I would like to know some ways/methods

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Copyright 2010 Greg Traver. Greg Traver is a freelance copywriter with a passion for nature. His work is featured on thousands of websites and blogs worldwide. To contact him or to learn more about becoming successful gardener simply visit http://www.organic-gardening-for-life.com.

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