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a Flowerbed the easy way - lasagna style

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Project by Gone_Tropical posted 03-31-2011 02:59 PM 3482 views 6 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am sure everyone knows about the lasagna style bed, but since this is one of my most favorite projects (yes, I have bunches of lasagna beds in my yard) I decided to create a project page after all :-)

Since I discovered this method, I would never do it any other way. Especially here in Florida, a flowerbed created this way is ready to be planted in just a few short weeks.

No need to dig up weeds or grass, especially the tough Augustine grass, it will be smothered and turned to fertilizer.
Layering is the key, just like making a lasagna in the kitchen.
Layer materials can be: grass clippings, leaves, manure, compost, peat moss, but you must have newspaper.

First step is laying the outline of the new flowerbed.
I find having a firm edging will keep the flowerbed in the shape I want it, and it does keep the soil contained.

Creating this border with bricks is not that time consuming as one thinks. DH takes the big shovel and cuts along the outline, front and back of the bricks, lifting the grass as he goes along. Having created a trench, he then uses the hand shovel to adjust the depth to what is needed for the bricks to be buried about 1/3 deep.

Newspaper is most important and for me it works better than cardboard. It suffocates the grass underneath it.

I put down 4 (at least 4!) layers of newspaper, while DH sprays the paper with water, to soak it AND to keep it in place. There is always a breeze going in FL, the paper just wouldn’t stay in place without being moistened right away.

Careful, so not to rip the newspaper, we spread some grass clippings, leaves, followed by the compost. the next layer will be cow manure and some leftover potting soil.
All will be covered in a thick layer of mulch

With a soft spray, the new flowerbed gets watered well.

Watered daily and with the Florida heat, the flowerbed is ready to be planted in two weeks.

We did create such a bed in the wintertime, it took 8 weeks for it to be ready, not enough water and heat just didn’t ‘cook’ it fast enough ;-)

Here now the finished flowerbed done lasagna style. The layers are up to the top of the brick edging and mounded even a bit higher to make up for the settling of it all.

Work’s done, time for a break in the shade :-)

“Grass is a Flowerbed in Waiting”

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ



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Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 2436 days
hardiness zone 9b

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lasagna style flower bed

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19 comments so far

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1063 posts in 3104 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 03-31-2011 03:03 PM

Wow – I didn’t know you could do that. I have such a space that needs this sort of conversion, and now I know I won’t first have to dig out all the sod. Way too cool – thanks for posting this.

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

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Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 2436 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 03-31-2011 03:07 PM

honestly? you did not know about the lazy way to create a flower bed? cool! so it was worth it to type up this project :-)

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3354 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 03-31-2011 03:29 PM

Thanks, Gone_Tropical. This method is a proven positive means of creating the garden. Here, we often start in the autumn, and let it set during the fall and winter and early spring, and it is pretty much done by early June.

I was thinking of doing just that when I expand the front garden this spring / summer.

Thanks for the excellent tutorial.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 2986 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 03-31-2011 03:40 PM

Nice description of the lasagna gardening method. It is my favorite way to make new gardens as well.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3724 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 03-31-2011 03:51 PM

such a great way to create a new garden or path area.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 2436 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 03-31-2011 04:08 PM

ah yes J, makes sense. in the cold zones it takes a while to compost :-)

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

255 posts in 2798 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 03-31-2011 05:09 PM

Wow. i too have never heard of this. Wait this I tell PJ. Nice descriptive write and photos to help us all understand and enjoy. And who is DH…. “Da Husband?”

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

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Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 2436 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 03-31-2011 05:27 PM

no way, you did not know that either? yikes! ... and yes DH is Dear Husband

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3811 posts in 3353 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 03-31-2011 05:40 PM

Very nicely done tutorial with excellent pictures. This is my favorite way to start a new garden area, or to enlarge an existing one.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3504 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-01-2011 10:17 AM

Your new garden area looks great.I too like to start a new garden with this method.So much easier than digging up sod.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View GhostPumpkin's profile

GhostPumpkin

151 posts in 2367 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 04-02-2011 10:18 AM

Awesome….. I am SO doing this around the side and back of my garage! One question though: How do you know when it’s “ready” if it’s all covered in mulch? I live in Ohio, so i’m sure it would take longer than 2 or 3 weeks for it to meld nicely….

-- ~Many hands make light work~

View Gone_Tropical's profile

Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 2436 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 04-02-2011 10:27 AM

great, glad you like it Ghost Pumpkin :-)
To see if the bed has cooked long enough, I take my hand trowel and poke carefully. The newspaper should be disintegrated and the grass that was covered should have rotted away.

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3724 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-02-2011 01:23 PM

this year, my main goal it to join my trees with big piles of mulch. I’m going to try growing flowers in bags of soil “buried” in the mulch. Next year, I should be able to cut away the plastic bag and have a good flowerbed already started. that’s the plan. Will it work? I have no idea.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Gone_Tropical's profile

Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 2436 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 04-03-2011 05:37 AM

Debbie, a friend of mine did that trying to save the work of creating a flowerbed. he just laid bags of potting soil in a row and covered them with mulch. looked good for a week or so, but then the mulch slipped off the plastic bags :-/

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3724 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-03-2011 07:33 AM

I used the bags last year for my tomatoes. It won’t matter if they stay covered. But, perhaps a layer of newspaper over the bags would prevent that problem, if it was a concern.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Gone_Tropical's profile

Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 2436 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 04-04-2011 11:32 AM

I asked my friend, he said newspaper was just as slippery. he also said the rain collected in the bags even though he made cuts into the other side. it ended up a swampy, bagged mess.
I am very curious how the bags work for you Debbie, you certainly don’t have the torrential downpours we have here in our rainy season.

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3724 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-04-2011 12:16 PM

I made “big” drainage holes in the bottom. They worked well for me.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View sharad's profile

sharad

1671 posts in 2941 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 07-24-2011 01:05 PM

Gone_Tropical, your tutorial is very nicely presented and informative for us. What is the best material for mulch?

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 2436 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 07-24-2011 01:56 PM

Sharad, I guess the best mulch depends on your area. What is available to you?
We used shredded Eucalyptus since this is an invasive plant in FL, even though it is more expensive than the typical shredded Cypress. But pine bark fines would work equally well. Then there is the great option of pine needles or shredded leaves :-)

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

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