my experament in "lasagnia gardening"greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Last August I decided to take the plunge and try to improve my raised beds. I had read about this kind of gardening and figured what do i have to loose. We have clay soil in this county: good for ponds, bad for gardens!THe big plot is 4'x18', small plot 2'x6'.
In the large plot I put down a layed of wet paper (I had to wetten it so that it didn't blow away)and in one section put down a flattened pizza box. Then spred 20# of gypsin. 20- 5 gal. buckets of "cow dirt". Then 10- 5 gal. buckets of rotten grass clippings. I watered this down when i thought of it. Oh, and I planted 50 dafadell bulbs.
Yesterday it was in the 50's so felt like poking around in the large plot. Where the pizza box was lots of earthworms. where the newspaper was very few worms and the newpaper didn't brake down as well as the cardboard. I'm pretty happy with this experament.
I'm composting my vegie and fruit peels in a 3 tier ring so we'll see how that experament goes this summer. happy gardening !!!
-- cindy in MO (email@example.com), March 27, 2002
just wait 'till you see the results of all that humus on your plants this summer & fall! that's when i get the most questions on " how come your tomato plants are still green & setting fruit & mine are just crispy brown vines?" aug. & sept. are not kind to gardens down here! viva la ruth stout!
-- bj pepper in central , MS. (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 27, 2002.
Thanks for posting this Cindy! I thought the cardboard and worms was really interesting. Are you thinking that you would totally line the bottom of a raised bed with cardboard then? I truly would like to try this this year. Any more hints would be really appreciated.
-- Sher (email@example.com), March 27, 2002.
If your newspapers are layered one on top of another with no space or gad between them, that may be why they are not breaking down, the cardboard with it's waffer center allows break down to occur easier, or that is what I have observed.
-- BC (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 27, 2002.
Fun and interesting, glad you are sharing. Ahhh Ruth Stout, a true pioneer and what a trip she was! :) LQ
-- Little Quacker (email@example.com), March 27, 2002.
I have used this method with great success too. I usually build mine during the summer when I have lots of materials. One thing that I do and it works real well is to but a nitrogyn source (I use grass clippings) on the cardboard and then build from there. I have used cardboard and newspapers and the cardboard always breaks down the fastest.
-- Lynelle SOwestVA (X2ldp@aol.com), March 28, 2002.
I've been doing this, too. I invested in a paper shredder. Have been shredding the junk mail, after pulling out the bad stuff. What a mountain of shreds! I'm going to try that when I build some new beds this spring. I also used a layer of leaves last summer which decomposed quicker than I thought it would. Lots of worms, too. I have nasty, post-construction soil that needs lots of amending! Have you guys seen the video on Ruth Stout? OMG! what a hoot! She's my hero. Amy
-- Amy (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 28, 2002.