Saturday, October 3, 2015

Garden Lasagna

Yes, you have read that correctly....Garden Lasagna, not the kind you eat of course...silly gooses!

Two of our raised garden beds have been infiltrated with bermuda grass for years.  We are over it and ready to really use our garden beds to be as self-sufficient as we can be on our little 7,000 sq. ft. lot. 

We have tried several times flooding the beds and pulling as much as we can with the soil being soaked and it still continues to return....URG

Doing research and asking other members on a few gardening pages I follow on facebook, several people recommended layering the beds.  AKA Garden Lasagna or the Lazy Gardener method by Ruth Stout.  

I weed whacked all the bermuda grass down as close to the soil as I could get so that there is a nice somewhat flat surface.

First layer is cardboard, paper bags, newspaper or other type of barrier you are choosing to use to block the weeds/bermuda from returning.  (we do not recommend the landscape plastic unless you are planning on removing it).

The second layer is straw about 3-5 inches thick.  This breaks off into about 3-5 inch flat plate type chunks this also helps to make sure that you have it tight in the garden bed. (fewer weeds to sneak through)

Third layer is manure, the stinky kind, whats the point of having a garden if you can't enjoy the smell of manure.  Boy oh boy, did my eyes burn layering this down, it also didn't smell real pleasant up close and personal either, but keeping fingers crossed this method works, if it does in the end it is well worth it.

I see one of our dogs photo bombed the picture, silly girl!
Water a little each day, this will help it to start breaking down and turn into a compost. Whatever barrier you used will "hopefully" kill off the bermuda grass, and any other weeds, while providing nutrients back into your soil.  This is a hot compost so make sure you water it daily to keep it hot so it breaks down.

We are only trying this in the two raised beds that have the worst amount of bermuda grass.  Since this is an experiment only at this time, we left the other beds be, that way we can definitely plant our fall garden in them while this breaks down.

We've tried just paper bags in the past, with no straw or manure, just the paper bags seemed to work to control the bermuda grass in the other planters, only purslane (which our girls loved) keeps returning, but it isn't too bad and we can stay on top of it.

Total cost for this reconditioning was about $30, and covered about 120 sq. ft. with a thickness of about 4-5 inches when all was said and done.  We used 2 bails of straw (@ $8.50 each) we bought at our local stock shop and 16 bags of manure ($1.09 each) that we bought at homies.

Here's hoping we can keep the dogs out of the beds now....and that this method works, we promise to keep you updated on the bermuda grass issue in these beds, and hopefully you can try it too!

M & S
Uptown Grange

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