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Friday, June 8, 2012

Part 2 of 2: Filling a 4x4 Vegetable Garden Raised Bed - Lasagna Style!

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The idea behind a layered or lasagna raised bed is to fill it with what you have available. It is designed to make filling a bit easier. In my design as can be found in Part 1: Layer/Lasagna Raised Bed, I built the frame and turned the earth over without removing the grass. I covered it with an inch or two of peat moss to provide organic matter and moisture control. That is how you set up a basic raised bed. This design allows you to plant quickly without the excess labor of removing all the grass. Next year when you turn it, all the layers will get mixed together.

A Layered or Lasagna Raised Bed Garden - The Rusted Garden

Once you turn the earth and add some basic organic matter you need to cover the raised bed with newspaper. You should use about 3-4 layers of newspaper. This will decay over the year. This acts as a weed barrier to the grass you turned.

Layer 1 is Newspaper in a Raised Bed - The Rusted Garden

The benefit of a layered or lasagna type approach to filling a raised bed is that you can use whatever you have available as filling matter. I used the edging I removed from my other beds. I left the grass and weeds in the soil I put into the raised bed. This saves you time and effort. The grass and weeds will die and become organic matter. The goal is to fill the bed with minimal labor and proper ingredients that will be mixed together the following year.

Edging is Used to Fill the Raised Bed - The Rusted Garden
Evenly Spread out the Edging - The Rusted Garden
Another Layer of Newspaper Lasagna Style- The Rusted Garden

Another layer of newspaper becomes a second weed barrier. It should also be laid with 3 or 4 layers. The next level is organic matter. I used my composted materials. You can used a bagged product if you wish. This layer should be filled with organic matter of your choice.

A Layer of Composted Material - The Rusted Garden

The final layer of this lasagna raised bed is soil left over from my containers and such. Add about an inch or two of good soil. I emptied my containers into the bed and add a few bags of basic garden soil. Level it out and mix it slightly into the compost. You now have a bed that can be fully planted for the year.

The Layers of  a Lasagna Style Raised Bed: (remember it can vary based on your materials)
  • Turn the earth over 
  • Add an inch or two of peat moss or organic rich matter
  • Put down a layer of newspaper
  • Add you fill dirt from around the yard
  • Put down another layer of newspaper
  • Put down a 2 inch layer or so of compost or organic matter
  • Put down 1 or 2 inches of decent soil from spent containers or bagged garden soil

A Completed Raised Bed Lasagna Style! - The Rusted Garden