Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens

Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens

By Patricia Lanza

This week I want to talk about an older book that is still a frequently used font of information around my house. “Lasagna Gardening” (1998) provides information for implementing one of the simplest methods for a creating a garden bed that I have ever come across.

I was first introduced to the method at a Master Gardener class two years ago. We were in the process of putting in a border bed along our fence line, but we had no intention of planting it until the following year. We were strictly in the construction phase of the project. Unfortunately, this stretch of ground had been ill-treated and was filled with bits of gravel and the soil just wasn't that great.


Author Patricia Lanza gives detailed instructions on the method, which is a form of sheet composting. You begin with a weed blocking layer. We used strips of soaking wet cardboard in our border bed. You then layer compostable material on top, including grass clippings and fallen leaves. The book details exactly which materials you need in what amount to get the microbial activity for healthy composting.


The best part is when you come back to plant. You don't need to till, dig or amend the bed. The lasagna layers of compostables result in a rich, loose soil just right for planting as-is. This was a boon for us, since the first planting of the new border had to fit into an already full spring gardening calendar. In fact, I liked this method enough that I used it last summer when we installed a few more vegetable beds in our garden.