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BirdLover72
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Difference between raised and lasana gardening?

How are they different?

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Quietly Awesome
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BirdLover...
I am no expert here, but until one comes along, I'll give it a shot and tell you what I think, k? :D
To me, a raised bed is just that. A bed that is raised. A lasagna bed starts off raised, because it is layered. But as time goes by, and the layers decompose, it is lower than when you first made it. I made a lasagna bed a few years back. I layered newspapers, compost and grass clippings. If I remember right, about 3 or 4 layers of each. (Oh, my kids LOVED me!) LOL Now, it is level with the rest of the yard, but OH SO much richer!!! :D :D

opabinia51
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Well, you can do lasagna gardening in a raised bed.

A raised bed is just that, through some 2x4s or 2x6's down and fill with soil. Of course the better the soil is the better your plants will be and that is where lasagna gardening or lasagna compostosting comes into play.

One note I will make is that with raised beds you do need to water more often.

Anyway, lasagna compositing is when you layer down compostables directly ontop of the soil. I like to start with a layer of unmulched maple leaves to hold back any leaves (maple leaves will mat together forming a barrier).
Then you would lay down a layer of greens (manure, grass clippings, coffee grinds (used), kelp meal, blood meal, seaweed and so on). Next a layer of mulched leaves (apple, maple, beech, Linden and so on...) then a layer of greens then leaves and so on. Finish it off with manure. I like to use chicken manure for the final layer because it has a smoother texture and looks nice.

Vary the content of your different layers. I collect all sorts of different types of leaves;

Apple
Pear
Cherry
Hazelnut
Linden Tree
Cottonwood
Oak
and so on

And have layers of one type of leaf or a mixture.

I also collect used coffee grounds (by the bucket) from local coffee shops and I live next to the ocean and collect seaweed. There is a local chicken farm where I buy cheap chicken manure, local farms have dirt cheap horse manure that I use in the lower layers.

I also buy some Rock phosphate and spread it amongst the layers as well. It helps to form soil colloids and adds mineralized phosphate to the soil.

Also, when raking up the leaves, don't throw away all the twigs, break them up a little and add them with the leaves. They will help to form a stable, erosion resistant soil.

Using lasagna composting your plants will grow amazingly and be resistant to all sorts of disease.

You can also emply trench composting which is pretty self explanatory.

Lasagna composting is best done in the fall. If you have any perennials leave a few inches around the plants.

If you use this in your existing flower beds, the neighbouring lawn will grow that much better as well.

TheLorax
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I found a really great article on lasagna gardening here-
https://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1999-04-01/Lasagna-Gardening.aspx

doccat5
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Lorax, I love that book! I have all of her Lasagna books, just full of excellent information.

As for raised beds, been doing those for over 20 years, and use wide rows with that. We don't put sides on the beds, I'm too cheap to waste the wood, besides it's more flexible not to add stationary forms. We have a Troybult Horse, so tilling is a snap. We just till in add compost and other amendments, give it another go and shovel the dirt up to about 6-8 inches and start planting. Once we start getting plants in I mulch with grass clippings, leaves or whatever is handy and free :) I also use radishes as a marker between my wide rows, helps me keep track of where I left off planting. My beds are normally about 25 foot long and 3 foot wide. With a pathway inbetween, which I normally overseed with annual rye grass. Germinates fast, easy to mow, dies off in the winter and can become the base of a new raised bed for next spring, since it gives a slight nitrogen boost to the soil. I do use white clover as a cover crop under my fruit trees to attract more bees.

Frankly, this method is so much easier to use and your get much better production of both flowers and veggies.
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

TheLorax
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I don't have any of her books. I ran across that in a list serve for natural history of all places. I had read her article and had already deleted the e-mail but then I saw this thread and went back to my trash bin to restore it so I could post a link for BirdLover72.

I like the idea of lasagna gardening very much.

opabinia51
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Good article Lorax, the writer does use peat moss and I try to discourage people from using peat moss for several reasons;

One being, that the harvest of peat from peat bogs is an environmental problem

Two, peat contains very few nutrients for plants (at least no available nutrients)

Three, peat is very hard to wet. Even though the top and bottom of a clumb of peat may be wet, the middle is often bone dry.

TheLorax
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Good point that the harvesting of peat from bogs is cause for concern.

doccat5
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Well you can use coir as a substitute for peat moss if you can find it. I like it and found a little nursery that will order it for me in a bale.
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

TheLorax
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Oh what a tease you are! What's all this talk of whole bales of coir without sharing your source and the cost! Tsk Tsk! I pay through the nose for coir.

opabinia51
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You can also use straw, coconut shells (mulched) and cocoa bean hulls (a biproduct from the chocolate industry). But, leaves are great as well and they are free. With larger leaves like maple and cottonwood I like to run over them with the lawn mower first.

With smaller leaves like Linden Tree, apple, cherry, hazelnut and so on I just use the leaves straight up. And vary what you put into your compost.

Vary both the browns (leaves and so on) and the greens (grass, manure (I use different types of manure as well), used coffee grinds, seaweed, kelp meal, blood meal, vegetable scraps, weeds (that have not gone to seed) and so on.

CWSusan
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I just polished up my raised beds by using lasagna gardening techniques which is to layer different organic products. It's a great way to use things that I have around my little farm including hay mixed with goat droppings that I clean from my barn, wood ashes, chopped leaves and soil.

I have the Lasagna Gardening book which has lots of resources in it, including lots of other ideas for creative gardening techniques.

I will report back on the outcome! It was great to use up a lot of the stuff that would otherwise have to break down in the compost piles!

opabinia51
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And it makes the best soil that you ever saw! I started out (some years ago) with this barren sand based soil with almost no organic matter.... now, I have this rich, humus rich, biologically dynamic soil that my seeds germinate in and grow into huge plants laden with produce. It's amazing.

I also trench compost. And I have a compost pile that I spread over the garden each spring and I have leaf mold piles around the garden that I spread over it as well.

Most of the stuff is free, it's all cheap.

And it is great of the plants and local wildlife!

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cherlynn
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I too have a lasagne garden, my first one! I started it a bit late, but the composted leaves(mostly maple), some of which were mulched by our lawnmower and the other layers made a rich soil. I added quite a bit of coffee grounds, but not as much as opabinia51, and grass clippings mixed with small branches that my husband had run through a wood chipper I used cockadoodledoo, because I didn't know of a good sorce for organic manure. Oh yes, the base was thin cardboard.

Then, I decided that I wanted to plant more, so I turned some soil in another spot, but didn't add any compost. I have used fertiilizer around the plants, but the lasagne garden is doing much better than my garden planted directly into our soil! I'll be layering both areas next year! Hmm, I think that I'll throw some grass clippings around my "in ground" garden!

As for the raised bed question. Let's see if I have this right!? You can do a raised bed without making it a lasagne garden, but a lasagne garden will always be a bit raised!

I am a determined newbie!
cherlynn

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