Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dave and I watch Volunteer Gardener on our local public television station every Sunday. (Tennessee is the Volunteer state, which is why this name is attached.) Two weeks ago or so we saw a segment featuring Patricia Lanza doing her Lasagna Gardening demo and we just loved it.

The idea is to lay down wet newspapers on the new garden spot. Right over the grass or weeds or whatever. Then layer grass clippings, peat moss, compost, shredded leaves, pine straw, or just about anything organic, and plant something in it. Usually it is a started plant, not seeds, but in a few years I am sure seeds would work too.

I loved this idea, being already sick and tired of digging into the rocks and clay here in my yard.
I have only one problem. No newspapers. Hmm.
So I called my one neighbor, but she tosses hers out as soon as she is done reading them, so I couldn't scrounge any from her. And as for the grass clippings, if I lived in suburbia I could probably just drive along the street any weekend and pick them up in bags off the curb, but I don't live anywhere near where people do this.

We do have plenty of leaves, and an already started compost pile, plus twenty 40lb. bags of composted manure, which I am sure will speed up the process to almost instant garden bed.

So switching directly to the solution: yesterday I had to go to the post office and mail an overnight parcel and wouldn't you know it, the P.O. was closed. Darn. But on the counter inside was a stack of freebie newspapers. I grabbed them right up. Hurray! I am ready.

And while we were out getting our landscape timbers I found the necessary summer version of garden shoes. They are dotted with ladybugs. Cute!

PS.In the comments yesterday I was asked why I don't like my formica countertops. They hide both the dirt and the clean. I like to see when my counters are sparkling clean, and I just can tell with these.


  1. Anonymous8:50 AM

    I am fighting waist-high grass and weeds in my disbanded vegetable garden. I want to bring my vege garden back and this is so depressing. I have decided to purchase straw and with tons of newspaper....maybe I'll take a trip to the nearest printery and collect some leftover rolls....I am going to make such a vege garden again. I have dug deep holes in the garden and am burying the weeds and then upon those comes the newsprint and then the straw! Weeding year after year is such a self-defeating task!

    Keep your purchased compost in a self-contained place. A few years ago I purchased compost from our municipal composter and happily spread it all over my garden. The following year I had weeds like I'd never seen before and it has been ongoing. If I were ever to purchase compost again, it would go first on my compost heap for another 2 years before I spread it in my yard.

    Can you tell I am not having a happy gardening season...LOL!

  2. Anonymous8:53 AM

    Look for a "Recycling" sign. Usually out in the county you'll find that the sign points to a road leading to large containers for people to drop-off their recyclables. Newspaper has to be separated from plastics, so there's usually one container just for newspaper.

  3. Just pick up a Sunday newspaper and you'll get the news AND lots of paper. I have Patricia's book "Lasagna Gardening for Small Spaces". My dad said I could have any of the gardening books he had when they moved to the independent living home. I guess I should read it!

  4. I am so lazy...compost? Nah... of course what caught my eye? The ladybug shoes!

  5. I've practice Lasagna Gardening for about six years now and I can tell you it really works. Now, I've just read "Gardening Without Work" by Ruth Stout; long out of print, but perhaps you can find it at a library. Or her first book, "The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book". She just covers EVERYTHING in straw or old leaves or any vegetable matter and never weeds or tills. My new gardening adventure!

  6. Ah, lasagna composting or sheet composting: the lazy girl’s method. Once you’ve sheet composted, you’ll never go back to a pile (or a bin, or anything else). Corrugated cardboard and (as far as I’m concerned) all kinds of biodegradable packaging works great. The bottom layer should act as a barrier but it should be able to eventually break down, too. Have you discovered the Garden Web forums? There is one on soil, compost, and mulch and lots of threads about the lasagna method.

  7. I had an elderly neighbor years ago who always started her garden each year with a good layer of newspaper, followed by organic mulch. She said "the weeds succumb to the weight of public opinion" when you cover them over with the newspaper! I loved that.

  8. love them shoesies Babe!


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