One of the best ideas I had this year was to put a small vegetable garden right in front of the eastern end of our house which faces due south. The soil here drains very well and thaws out very early in the spring. If you want to see the ‘lasagna garden’ method I used on April 4, click here. The planting bed next to the house included a yellow loosestrife and ‘Terra Cotta’ achillea next to the front door steps (never used) and clumps of pink cosmos and more yellow loosestrife on the other end. In between I planted Ruby and Emerald Duet lettuces, red and green, from Renee’s Garden. These lettuces are quick to grow, tender and beautiful.
A cardboard-topped-with-woodchips path separated that planting bed from another lasagna bed that I planted to broccoli and nastursiums. The nasturtiums were right on the crest of the bank that is now the daylily bank. I was harvesting broccoli out of this bed right into November. Can I find photographic records? No. But this is how I’ve prepared the bed above for spring.
Because the lasagna method worked so well, even though it doesn’t keep out air borne weed seeds during the growing season, I began by laying compost on top of the cleaned bed. Then I laid feed bags on top of the compost topped bed.
When I visited Daniel Botkin at Laughing Dog Farm he showed me how he planted in rotting hay, which fed the plants, and smothered all weeds. I had rotting hay left from my failed experiment of planting right in haybales, and thought I would use it here, instead of covering the feed bags with soil.
I had just enough rotted hay to put a deep layer on the bed next to the house. I gave it a watering, but happily for me it rained the next day. That not only wet the hay, but the feed bags and the compost and soil below. All ready for planting early in the spring. I’ve mashed up the lasagna technique with the rotten hay technique, which is not so different, because I wanted to make best use of that hay. We’ll see how it all works in the spring. And we’ll see if I can file my photos more effectively.