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Lasagna Gardening

Have you ever been driving around town and noticed beautiful flower beds filled with native wildflowers? I'm talking different heights, shapes, colors, and textures. These beds look like something you would see in a magazine. Well, my neighbor happens to be a Master Gardener and her yard is just like this. I admire her landscape every time I leave our house so I thought I would ask her to teach me how she does it. Turns out it is actually pretty easy once you get your garden bed established plus you get to recycle your leftover newspapers in the process. Win-Win!!

Follow these steps to have your own beautiful landscape:

1. Right now, find a sunny spot in your garden for your flower bed, preferably one that doesn’t have great soil. A spot where grass refuses to grow is perfect.

2. Early this summer, outline your bed. Use a hose or a long piece of rope to get the curve that you want.

3. Next, dig out any Bermuda grass that might be living in that area. If you don’t have Bermuda grass, jump to step 4.

4. Make some lasagna, garden lasagna that is. Smooth down the grass and weeds with layers of newspaper or cardboard. Four to six sheets of newspaper will be good. Don’t use the glossy ad sections, just the black and white news sections. Water them to hold them down, then top them with 4 to 6 inches of organic matter – homemade compost is ideal, but you can purchase bags of it at your local nursery or gardening center. Top all of that with 4 to 5 inches of mulch to help stop weeds from sprouting.

5. Let this rest until the end of October and let Mother Nature do her thing.

6. Meanwhile, this summer, order your seeds. When you receive your seeds, store them in their original packages in the refrigerator. This is to keep them cool and stop them from sprouting too early.

7. Sow your seeds in late Autumn. We usually try to sow ours between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pull out any weeds or grass that have grown in your wildflower bed and then sprinkle your seeds on top. They will sift down into the new soil you have created and prepare to grow. You can water them in gently if you wish but usually, there is enough moisture through the fall/winter to take care of the seedlings.

8. Then wait, and in the spring Mother Nature will work her magic and Poof! You too will have a meadow of wildflowers. Each year your meadow should become thicker and prettier, provided you let the flowers go to seed, or you resow seeds each autumn.

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