Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books; English Language edition (November 15, 1998)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #227,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #199 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Technique > Organic #591 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Sustainable Living
I believe that when it comes to books presenting new ways of doing anything, the only testimony that counts is that which comes from firsthand experience. Well folks, I'm here to tell you after a year of gardening the lasagna way that my firsthand experience shows this book is one of the wisest investments any gardener can make. Let me tell you about my 2003 garden.First, a short outline of lasagna gardening technique: soak b&w newspapers in water, then overlap sections in a single layer directly on top of premarked sod area. This smothers the weeds/grass underneath. Then put a 4 inch layer of moistened peat moss over that, followed by a moist layer of organic shredded green material, followed by another layer of peat moss, followed by a layer of moist compost or yard waste, repeat the peat moss/organic matter pattern until your bed is built up to at least 18 inches high. Finish with compost on top, then either let it break down for a few months for certain crops or plant seeds and transplants directly into the matrix by pushing aside layers and inserting. As the layers break down, the earthworms will be eating the sod and breaking up the newspapers, mixing the layers together for you. The final result is an organic, self-tilled soil that's rich and free of disease and weed seeds. It's so simple.Note: the author did neglect to mention the importance of wetting down each layer as you build the beds. I only figured this out because I had made compost before and I knew you needed moist materials for it to work.In late fall of 2002 I built a 5 foot by 25 foot border bed for perennial flowers the lasagna way after reading Patricia Lanza's book. It sounded almost too good to be true - no digging, no tilling, no weeding? What was the catch, I asked myself.
I really like the concept of this book. The author has taken practices of no-dig gardening, mulching and sheet composting and combined them to come up with an innovative method for quickly creating a productive garden without the back-breaking work traditionally involved.The first chapter of the book explains the lasagna gardening method -- which involves covering up the ground where you intend to plant with a layer of cardboard or wet newspaper to keep down weeds, then topping this with 1 1/2 to 2 feet of layered organic materials such as chopped leaves, compost, straw, grass clippings, etc. You can plant into this straight away, or cover the beds and wait for the materials to decompose. The lasagna gardening method is simple and really only takes 1 chapter to describe. The rest of the book offers good advice on growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, dealing with pests, and special tips and techniques for making your garden unique. This information is comprehensive and beginners will probably find it useful. But I already own a number of gardening books and didn't find a lot of new ideas here. I would suggest experienced gardeners borrow this book from the library first before deciding whether to buy it.I do have some reservations about the lasagna gardening method. I live in the city and have recently taken on a large garden plot which is overgrown with weeds and brambles. I have decided against pursuing lasagna gardening, for the moment at least. I don't have very much compost, leaves or straw on hand, and because I don't own a car it would be difficult and impractical for me to transport the large quantities of organic materials needed.
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