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Arrowwind
16th February 2011, 21:22
For those who are not aware of this method of gardening I thought I would put up a post about it. This article will present everything you need to know about making a no till garden that does not requrie a compost bin to nourish it.

If you have never gardened before are want a rich garden fast this is the answer. I did my first this past summer and it was amazing... just overflowing with stuff in my pathetically short growing season, high winds and my overall lack of knowledge.

I hate compost bins.. they are hard to turn for me, and require more attention that I wish to give to a pile of garbage, especially in bad weather. You will never need to do a compost bin again between bokoshi and the lasagna gardening method.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1999-04-01/Lasagna-Gardening.aspx?page=5

and a youtube video. She has 9 videos to track her progress.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqIgmWfi4pw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqIgmWfi4pw)

king anthony
16th February 2011, 21:34
This is the kind of thing people need to (re)learn.

9eagle9
16th February 2011, 21:38
Ah a thread worthy of eternity. You are only the second person I know who does lasagna gardening the other person introduced it to me. I started one last year. have an overgrowth of spearmint taking over and it helped reduce that a lot. I'll be adding to it this year, as I need to do some soil reclamation but it is so much easier and abundant than the old way. I decided to start a raised tire garden and will attempt to apply the lasagna gardening principals to it too. I also used in the decorative beds around the foot of the house to keep down weeds which saved me a ton of work. If you got any tricks or tips keep me updated, I'm new to this too. I'll post as my experiments succeed or fail.

Arrowwind
16th February 2011, 21:57
I had to go looking for this old dames name as I forgot it. Routh Stout had great ideas on gardening and she became a legend in the northeast.. this page will take you to several articles about her work.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?search=ruth%20stout

I also used a tire for my tomatoes, a large tractor tire..it worked pretty well. The next thing I may try is growing potatoes in tall bins.. a no dig method... I grew lots of potatoes last year but its hard for me to dig due to my back... so I want a way that I don't have to bother my husband about it... I have a page on my home computer at home that shows is a 3 x 3 x 3 wood box designed so one side can easily come off. Now potatoes can easily grow in compost and straw, so I would fill it mostly with that. You want your soil nice and loose so it falls out when the sides come off. I'll post it when I get back but there are ideas on youtube also for similar projects...with the tall bins they can be developed so potatoes load up from the bottom to the top... but you add soil to the top every few weeks to force your potato plant to grow tall putting lots of potato shoots out. Never harvest your potatos until about 3 weeks after the first frost..When the greens die that pushes them to triple the size of the potatoes. Potatoes also grow well in 5 gallon buckets but they don't get so big.

I think the only compost bin I may likely keep will be a bin for making leaf much.. which generally has to sit around for a couple of years before ready. In the lasagna bed the leaves are added directly so this would be for putting around bushes and other neeeds.

Arrowwind
16th February 2011, 22:07
Its kinda funny.. Routh Stout figured out how to a garden without expensive tools nor the help of a guy... and she developed a powerful system of production... I'm having a hard time getting my husband to see it despite my abundant success last summer... guys just love trucks and tools.. and when he's on his tractor he's in heaven!

Pam
17th February 2011, 03:32
I had a conversation with my optometrist this morning and he grows potatoes in tires. He tosses the potatoes on the ground and covers them with leaves. As soon as he can see green sprouting through he adds more leaves and then continues the process. He says the potatoes are very clean with thin skins - good enough to eat raw!

Our city collects leafs from the residents several times a year and they put them in large piles to breakdown into mulch. Then they give it away to anyone who wants it.

Arrowwind
17th February 2011, 03:48
There is a video on youtube about growing potatoes in a bale of staw... hard to imagine where they get their nutrients from.. I might give it a try just to see for myself.

panopticon
17th February 2011, 04:19
G'day All,

Seems it's similar (though slightly different) to Esther Dean's 'No Dig Garden' method from Oz in the 70's which is big amongst Permies.
http://www.camden.nsw.gov.au/files/environment/no_diglr.pdf
If interested Masanobu ***uoka also had a system similar called "Natural Farming" developed in the '30's.
** OMG! System changed his name! Surname is: F u k u o k a

Just as a note it is no longer advised (by Permies anyway) to use tyres in gardens due to the risk of leaching.
Here is a thread on it: http://forums.permaculture.org.au/showthread.php?6021-growing-potatoes-in-car-tires&p=46604

Kind Regards,
Panopticon.

Arrowwind
17th February 2011, 06:05
What do you mean by tyres? raised beds? I used natual untreated redwood,, we got a deal on it as it was all bent up.
Stout did not raise her beds.

panopticon
17th February 2011, 08:31
What do you mean by tyres? raised beds? I used natual untreated redwood,, we got a deal on it as it was all bent up.
Stout did not raise her beds.

Thank you for the information Arrowwind.
I was surprised by your response...
I believe you said you've used tyres here:

I also used a tire for my tomatoes, a large tractor tire..it worked pretty well.

Pam said she knew someone who used tyres here.

I had a conversation with my optometrist this morning and he grows potatoes in tires.

I'm sorry to have made a remark that obviously offended.
It was not my intention and I only wanted to point out other similar methods for home garden use.
I'm glad you go some cheap untreated wood.
Congrats.

Regards,
Panopticon

**Addendum**
Comment removed.
Argumentative and pointless.

9eagle9
17th February 2011, 12:45
I may try this. I've been wanting to do some more deck growing--- tomatoes and things of that nature in pots on the deck out of reach of the hens that ravaged my tomatoes last year when my back was turned. I'll try a few up on the deck too.



I had to go looking for this old dames name as I forgot it. Routh Stout had great ideas on gardening and she became a legend in the northeast.. this page will take you to several articles about her work.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?search=ruth%20stout

I also used a tire for my tomatoes, a large tractor tire..it worked pretty well. The next thing I may try is growing potatoes in tall bins.. a no dig method... I grew lots of potatoes last year but its hard for me to dig due to my back... so I want a way that I don't have to bother my husband about it... I have a page on my home computer at home that shows is a 3 x 3 x 3 wood box designed so one side can easily come off. Now potatoes can easily grow in compost and straw, so I would fill it mostly with that. You want your soil nice and loose so it falls out when the sides come off. I'll post it when I get back but there are ideas on youtube also for similar projects...with the tall bins they can be developed so potatoes load up from the bottom to the top... but you add soil to the top every few weeks to force your potato plant to grow tall putting lots of potato shoots out. Never harvest your potatos until about 3 weeks after the first frost..When the greens die that pushes them to triple the size of the potatoes. Potatoes also grow well in 5 gallon buckets but they don't get so big.

I think the only compost bin I may likely keep will be a bin for making leaf much.. which generally has to sit around for a couple of years before ready. In the lasagna bed the leaves are added directly so this would be for putting around bushes and other neeeds.

sister
17th February 2011, 13:32
[QUOTE=9eagle9;143589]I may try this. I've been wanting to do some more deck growing--- tomatoes and things of that nature in pots on the deck out of reach of the hens that ravaged my tomatoes last year when my back was turned. I'll try a few up on the deck too.
QUOTE]

Tomatoes grow really well in large pots, in my experience. They are easy to stake and you can get them really deep, which they seem to like. I would be very interested in knowing how lasagna gardening does in raised beds, too. If you do it, please let me know what your results are. This will be my third season with the square foot method and I hope we have all the kinks worked out by now. First year, we didn't follow the instructions closely and just winged it. Last year, I had a problem with the tomatoes going all leggy, and a powdery mildew on the squash. This year I will keep the tomatoes in separate pots, and try to keep the squash and cukes from crowding each other out. Live and learn! We are going to try strawberries on the deck this spring, an effort to keep the squirrels out. They destroyed our berry patch and a small corn crop in just 2 days last summer:(

9eagle9
17th February 2011, 13:50
I'm putting too small plots off near the woods for weeds and snitch critters. The weeds have their own garden I've made for them specially. Then I remind them when invade the garden that they have their own place. A small plot for the critters to eat from. I scatter a lot of corn to keep the snitchers out. Plus they are more inclined to raid the hens leftovers than the garden. I make agreements with the local wild life. It keeps the mice down, the hawks from buzzing the hens, the crows from my corn. Has worked pretty well so far. I have a fence around my garden mostly to keep my hens out but they'll prowl the perimeter and snatch up any destructive bugs. When I put my first layer of paper down to kill off weeds, and then lifted it several days later there were just massive colonies of ear wigs and the girls had a feast.

sister
17th February 2011, 14:19
I hear you eagle9. We saved a black racer from certain death last April and it continues to make its home in the bromeliad garden. I think it keeps the rodent population down, but the squirrels are too large and numerous for one snake to manage. Snakes are one reason I am reluctant to try raising chickens here. Owls and hawks, too. I tried some of the techniques in the Perelandra gardening method last year, and got mixed results. This is probably another topic for discussion, though. I'll just say that it will take a lot more effort from me in order for this to work, and a lot more faith to boot. I like the idea of a weed patch:) Thanks for the idea!

Pam
17th February 2011, 14:47
I am actually trying the square foot gardening this year. Following the book my Mel Bartholomew. I have put in two beds already and have mixed the peat moss, vermiculite, and compost (each 1/3). Time will tell to see how it comes out.

I also have a farmers almanac and it gives a chart on companion planting. Something I have never thought about. So I am going to make sure I watch what goes into each bed.

sister
17th February 2011, 15:29
I am actually trying the square foot gardening this year. Following the book my Mel Bartholomew. I have put in two beds already and have mixed the peat moss, vermiculite, and compost (each 1/3). Time will tell to see how it comes out.

I also have a farmers almanac and it gives a chart on companion planting. Something I have never thought about. So I am going to make sure I watch what goes into each bed.

Hi Pam!
Good luck with your square foot garden!
The only real problem I had in ours was with the tomatoes, we just couldn't get them deep enough. I have better results with large pots.
I try and follow the "signs" while gardening. Got that info years ago from the Foxfire books and talked with my grandmother about it, too.
The almanac is a big help with that.

What are you going to plant in your beds this season?
--sis

Pam
17th February 2011, 16:17
Thank you!

Cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, peas. We live on a hill so some of the beds are much deeper than others so in those will go carrots, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. I also want to put in beans and okra. I have another area that is not raised beds for cucumbers and squash.

I may be getting in over my head! My dad has a garden every year - tilled and mixed with manure. My mother canned over 100 quarts of beans last year so I am going to have to bring her over to give me instructions when the harvest comes in!

I also started herb seeds last night indoors. I still have rosemary, lavender, sage and chives still growing from last year.

Arrowwind
17th February 2011, 17:37
What do you mean by tyres? raised beds? I used natual untreated redwood,, we got a deal on it as it was all bent up.
Stout did not raise her beds.

Thank you for the information Arrowwind.
I was surprised by your response...
I believe you said you've used tyres here:

I also used a tire for my tomatoes, a large tractor tire..it worked pretty well.

Pam said she knew someone who used tyres here.

I had a conversation with my optometrist this morning and he grows potatoes in tires.

I'm sorry to have made a remark that obviously offended.
It was not my intention and I only wanted to point out other similar methods for home garden use.
I'm glad you go some cheap untreated wood.
Congrats.

Regards,
Panopticon

**Addendum**
Comment removed.
Argumentative and pointless.


I saw no offense and took none. Tyres are not tires to me.. I really didn't know what you were talking about... so I was just trying to clarify the best I could.. when I saw the word tyres I started thinking tiers which put me in a whole new place.. Im glad you removed your comment. Sometimes when communication goes askew or one think they are being offended it is better to ask for clairification first. I guess I could have asked you what a tyre was... but I thought you meant tiers....this is all just part of trying to communicate in the written form with out the benefit of linguistic editors

Arrowwind
17th February 2011, 17:42
I am actually trying the square foot gardening this year. Following the book my Mel Bartholomew. I have put in two beds already and have mixed the peat moss, vermiculite, and compost (each 1/3). Time will tell to see how it comes out.

.

Lasagana method often calls for peat moss but I have not used it because of its cost..
If you think of it Pam, when you dig around in your garden this spring let me know how the peat moss holds up. Did it comppost down to next to nothing?
I have not really seen the need for the expense but some soils may really do well with it. I will continue to look for it on sale.

Pam
17th February 2011, 20:05
I will let you know how it works. Yes it can be expensive if you have large beds. Unfortunately our soil is red clay. No nutrients at all! I was told to that I could also use shredded black and white newspapers in addition to the mulch. I may try that in some areas also.

Arrowwind
17th February 2011, 20:50
I would not consider giving a garden to the weeds. We have lots of noxious weeds here and they damage large crops and pastures... so no way am I going to help them along. Seems to me that all it would do is promote the making of more weed seeds to blow around.

Placing cardboard or thick newspapers under your lasagna beds will prevent weeds and the few that come into your newly made lasagna soil will be very easy to pull out.

If you place cardboard or paper in the spring over the weeds they will kill the weeds that already have roots in the soil. If you place it in the fall the weeds will laugh at you and come up next spring anyway. Laying carboard in the spring summer is the best way to kill unwanted grass and weeds. So I will be building a lasagna garden about 15 x10 this spring and there is nasty spreading grass on the site. Will just cover it all with cardboard and start my layers right on top.

I still have not learned how to manage a large lasagna or layered garden, like 30 x 60 feet .... going to be thinking about that this spring.. mine so far have been two 4 x 12 and two 4 x 4

This 30 x 60 area is for growing corn and potatoes and thats what we had last year. The soil is not too bad and I am trying to decide wether to lay cardboard on top or not.. there are no perennial weeds there so maybe not.. I might just lay a bunch of hay down, till it in and then start my layering on top.. and that should be it for the tilling, no more ever needed...It will certainly take a few years to get the soil where I want it to be.

We purchase compost by the semitruck load.. then sell it to neighbors by the yard... this way we get what we need for soil building for a while at little cost...but this compost we purchase is mainly for developing pasture... but that mixed with about 2/3 topsoil and placed on top of the lasagna beds at two inch thickness is what I put my seeds in.

Its a good little business if you think you have neighbors that would be interested.

panopticon
17th February 2011, 22:57
I saw no offense and took none. Tyres are not tires to me.. I really didn't know what you were talking about... so I was just trying to clarify the best I could.. when I saw the word tyres I started thinking tiers which put me in a whole new place.. Im glad you removed your comment. Sometimes when communication goes askew or one think they are being offended it is better to ask for clairification first. I guess I could have asked you what a tyre was... but I thought you meant tiers....this is all just part of trying to communicate in the written form with out the benefit of linguistic editors

G'day Arrowwind,

Thanks for the clarification.
I get so used to people screaming that I forget mistakes sometimes happen.
I remember reading ages ago that much confusion between english speakers and americans would have been alleviated if a dictionary had been included in the manifest on the Mayflower. :o

Kind Regards,
Panopticon.

nomadguy
18th February 2011, 05:41
here is an extra tip - to rid the nasty or strong smell from a compost, or lasagna garden, add 1-2 tablespoons of tea tree oil to a bucket or two or water and pour this over the top of the compost pile. The Mycelium seems to love the oil and is encouraged and then breaks down the compost faster and the tea tree smell tends to end up giving your compost a nice minty scent. after you pour the oily water over your compost add a thin layer of dry grass or mulch.
Cheers
C...

Nenuphar
2nd March 2011, 01:26
This is great! Thanks for pointing me in the direction of these YouTube videos. I'd heard of lasagna gardening before but didn't know what it was. Can't wait to learn more!

Nenuphar

Arrowwind
6th March 2011, 14:28
Gee, nomadguy, I had no smell in my lasagna garden... but if micro-organisms like tea tree oil it might be worth an experiment..But I do think it was not necessary.

but a compost pile might be a different story.
My neighbors put the bokoshi newspapers in their compost pile and it helped.