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Friday, November 12, 2010

Gardening with Lasagna

Aaron and I have toyed with the idea of cultivating a garden since we moved into our house. I think every spring we have a conversation resembling this:

A: "Hey, do you want to start a garden this year?"
L: "Yeah! We won't need many plants for just the two of us..."
A: "We can borrow a tiller from my Dad."
L: "Oh. We have to till."

and immediately my enthusiasm wanes.

One day this past spring while Aaron was out running for a long time I went ahead and planted seeds for 3 vegetables and a fruit.

Since I tend to be pretty lazy from time to time this "garden" was pretty pathetic looking. Instead of digging and tilling I just scraped 4 rows free of grass, dropped some seeds, shook some soil from the removed grass clumps, added some potting soil (because we had some), and watered it. Then it rained a lot. I didn't have to tend to it much.

Once in a while I pulled some weeds from the rows. And when the plants started to grow, I thinned them. Before the plants got too stalky, I risked the future of my epidermis retrieving wire fence from vines and poison ivy. (Don't judge. Its on the property line. It is hard to tell whose responsibility it is.)

It actually worked out pretty well. The little sections of wire fence were held up with stakes and as the plants got taller, they would follow the wire up and over.

The first vegetable I got was a cucumber. It was delicious. So was the second one. After that though, they started to turn a deep orange color. Either the zucchini never came in, or a critter got to it before I could. I may have picked one baby yellow squash, but we didn't eat it.

Since I started everything from seeds at the same time, the tomatoes seemed to take forever. I guess I should have planted them earlier. When they finally did come in, I was starting to lose interest. Tomatoes aren't really a hot item in our household anyway.

Still, I consider my first attempt at a vegetable garden a success.

This year I am trying a different method. An actual method. It is called Lasagna Gardening. My mom (who loves bookstores and fresh food) picked up a book for us to share.

Last weekend when we returned from vacation I started my bed of lasagna. I laid down a combination of newspaper (love the Metro Pulse) and cardboard, then raked piles of leaves on top of that. I've since added vegetable scraps and "used" bedding material from the coop.

By the spring I should have a nice loamy and fertilized spot to plant some seeds and try again.

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