What Is Lasagna Gardening?

Lasagna Gardening is a super easy way to start a garden in your yard. it has absolutely nothing to do with the Italian lasagna dish, but it does have to do with layering just like you do in the dish. when you make lasagna for dinner, you layer noodles, meat, cheese and sauce and it basically melds together in a delicious dish.

This is exactly what you do to the ground in lasagna gardening. You layer materials to create a rich, fluffy soil that is so full of nutrients, you won’t have to fertilize a thing.

First Steps.

Put that shovel and tiller away because you don’t need it when you make a lasagna garden. You don’t have to remove grass or weeds either and you can build your lasagna garden on rocky or sandy soil – it doesn’t matter!

Your lasagna garden doesn’t need an edging, but some gardeners find that it helps to put bricks, stones or cinderblocks around the perimeter of the garden mainly because you build the materials up to 2 feet high and this can contain them.

Start by covering the area of your garden with cardboard or layers of newspaper. Put it down right on top of the grass or weeds. Flatten boxes and lay them down to cover the area or put down 3 layers of newspaper. Newspaper makes it easier to plant later because the paper just tears when you put in a plant or the seeds can grow through the newspaper.

With cardboard, you may have to cut a hole so the roots can grow down into the soil below. If you have strong willed weeds, you may need the cardboard.

Water this material down well and get it nice and soggy. Garden worms love paper and moist places and they will come crawling to the area and make the soil light and fluffy by happily tunnelling through it.


Now start layering material over the cardboard or newspaper. You want some brown layers and some green layers and there should be more brown than green. Brown layers or dried materials and green layers is anything moist and living.

  • Brown Layer
  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper or shredded paper
  • Dry leaves
  • Hay or straw
  • Peat moss
  • Dried chicken manure
  • Geen Layer
  • Fresh grass clippings
  • Plant prunings and garden
  • Fruit peels
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Pine needles
  • Coffee grounds

Layer some grass clippings over the newspaper or cardboard and then add straw, hay or dried leaves. Top that with shrub trimmings and pine trimmings. Add vegetable waste and fruit peels from dinner and the coffee grounds from the coffee machine. Top with some shredded paper from the office and more grass clippings. Water well after every addition. Keep layering until you have built the lasagna bed up 2 feet high. This might take a few weeks to a month and that is fine. Pretty soon the bed will sink down as everything decomposes.

When to Build the Garden.

You can make a lasagna garden any time of the year. If you make it in the spring, it might be ready to plant by June depending on the weather. The best time is in the fall because there is an abundance of brown and green material at that time. The garden will stew over the winter and break down into the most glorious planting medium ever.

There won’t be many weeds to pull and because of all the good stuff put intot he garden, water will hold in the soil better and not dry out as fast. The earth will be easy for seeds and plants because it will be loose and crumbly.

Lasagna gardening is also called sheet composting and that is what you are doing. You are creating a big, flat compost pile in which to grow things. It is good for the environment and just another form of organic gardening