Lasagna Gardening (book review)

Lasagna Gardening

By Patricia Lanza

Reviewed by Karen DesJarlais, Excerpt from Fine Gardening submitted by Marcie Burrows

imagesMaybe you’ve heard the term lasagna gardening but never really understood what it meant. It’s the method of layering for bountiful gardens without digging, tilling or weeding. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? If you know someone who already clearly understands how to do it, you can affirm or expand what you’ll find in this book.

It’s not too late to try the method now before snow falls. We have an abundance of leaves which is the most important component. Here’s how we do the layering. Sod is first, followed by newspaper, peat moss, barn litter if you have it, peat moss again, compost, peat moss, grass clippings, peat moss, chopped leaves, peat moss and finally wood ashes.

Lanza shares success stories about her gardens which should inspire us to try lasagna gardening. But there’s good advice about gardening in general, like cradling your cucumbers. Drawings of all kinds make it easy to pick up and use her advice.

Of special interest is the chapter on Lasagna Gardening in Fall and Winter. You’ll find crop ideas listed by zone. This includes flowers and herbs, berries and plants for a winter garden.

My favorite chapter is the one called Ignoring Problems. Use the hands off approach, she says, and many problems will take care of themselves. Basically, she says lasagna gardens aren’t troubled by pests and disease as much as traditional gardens are. That means that you’ll have healthy soil with plenty of earthworms. Companion planting is presented in an easily readable fashion which makes it easy to follow.

Finishing Touches is another chapter with clever ideas. The chapter on Containers offers more useful advice.

Learn what lasagna garden actually involves and you may be harvesting more than you imagined.

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