I told Mom I'd collect some "lasagna gardening" information for her. It's also called "no-till gardening" and "sheet composting." It's also very easy to do organically. (Which is nice cuz organic's nice, but also cuz those chemicals are expensive!) I never felt the need for feeding or spraying my garden & it's not because I'm such an expert! I tried it out this summer & it works great! Even though I didn't build my bed as deep as most of the sites recommend building it, and I built it in the spring, rather than the fall, it worked great. I weeded 2-3 times this summer, and when I did weed it was mostly pretty easy. I'm planning to build up my bed a bit more this fall: some people I know who went whole hog on this only watered their garden once, when the planted. They say they got the best harvest ever! I know I did well. (Except for the peppers , & almost everyone I talked to had a poor year for peppers.) I was gone for almost 3 weeks, twice. I also don't enjoy weeding so much that I do it terribly often. This picture of my garden was taken about a month and a half ago. It's a bit bushy, but not overtaken by weeds.
Basically what you do is pick your garden spot, then lay down a bunch of newspapers. My friends used cardboard on their walk-ways, and avoided weeds there too. On top of the newspapers you put layers of brown & green types of stuff. Leaves that fall & dry straw are browns, crass clippings & kitchen waste is green. It "cooks" over the winter, which is to say that it decomposes into compost, which is fabulous for planting in! Next year you plant, add more mulch, and it's the easiest garden you've ever worked in.
How to Make a Lasagna Garden
- This one has really clear directions.
Lasagna gardening & planting instructions - the directions for building the garden are less complete, but they have great tips on how to grow some common veggies.
Here is a long, but fun article about how one woman discovered lasagna gardening.
This is a list of things you could add to your compost pile. Or your lasagna garden.