Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lasagna Bed notes

     I love Lasagna gardening.  It's a lot of work to setup, but the maintenance is so much easier than a tilled garden it's ridiculous.  I will most likely never till again.


     The Lasagna beds were started in 2010, the first spring after we bought the house.  The two strawberry beds, closest in the pic, were put in first.  We used a cardboard kill layer right on the grass.  We really only put down about 12" of layered material as opposed to the recommended 18" to 24", but we put about 3" of mushroom compost on top.  We planted the strawberries in late spring, and amazingly got about 2 dozen berries by summer.  The plants took off and By June of 2011 we were harvesting about a gallon a day for a little over three weeks.

2011 Strawberries


MMmmmmm......  Berries..........


Back to 05/07/2012

     The next bed over to the right is asparagus.  This is not a lasagna bed, it was tilled in 2010 before planting.  In this picture, there is a fresh top dressing of mushroom compost.  The bushy plant in the back is a holly hock, which supposedly attract insects beneficial to asparagus.

     An asparagus seedling.

These are potato onions I ordered from Southern Exposure last year and planted in the fall.  This is in the next row of beds on the far left side.  This bed and the next one over were built up to the recommended 18" or so.  It is mulched with wood chips mixed with sawdust from a stump grinder.  The far right bed in this row is Raspberries.

     Our sad lonely Bing cherry tree is sitting at the end of the row with the onions.  They are a favorite treat of the Japanese beetles, and this one got completely defoliated last year.  This year 1/2 of it came back.  One good thing about the extremely hot dry weather this year is that the beetles haven't been nearly as bad as last year.  Hopefully it will be able to get a foothold.

     The big bed in back.  This started as a tilled garden in 2011.  We did the entire thing as a 3 sisters with Anasazi sweet corn, Delecata squash, and garbanzo beans.  The corn grew well but didn't taste very good.  The squash did pretty good, and seemed to resist the squash bugs that wiped out our acorns and zucchini.  The garbanzo beans don't climb so they got shaded out.  Not a good choice for a three sisters garden.  Last fall I covered it in cardboard and build a lasagna bed up in three large rows.  There is a rock garden in the middle for habitat.  The front row is squash and radishes.  The cover is an attempt to keep the squash bugs off.  The far back row is bush beans and potatoes.  I covered the beans so they wouldn't get eaten as seedlings.

This lasagna bed next to the barn was built up in early spring.


     Here is the same bed after planting. 

     The potato onions are doing really well.

The hollyhock we stuck in with the asparagus is growing up.

     We were able to harvest and graze well off our mixed salad patch in the middle of the second row.  It thrived, despite the heat, while the lettuce in the square foot gardens was stunted, bitter, and bolted early.

     A potato

     I planted two peanut plants in the big lasagna garden just to try something new.


     The bed by the barn is starting to grow.

     When the strawberries start to ripen we cover them with bird netting, otherwise the robins eat them all.

     The hoops are just lengths of 1/2" pex tubing.  We use bricks to keep the edges of the netting down.
     Brassicas and Rhubarb on the left, onions and celery in the middle, cherry on the end.

     Carrots on the left, salad and garlic in the middle; Valerian, ground cherries, and gooseberry on the end.

     The raspberries are doing pretty well.  They were started as a lasagna bed in late 2010.  We are letting a volunteer mulberry come in on the far end.

     Back row of the big bed.  Hot peppers and tomatoes up close.  Potatoes and bush beans further back.

     Potato onions are starting to swell at the base.

     Kale (curled blue scotch) is looking good.

     Valerian standing about 6' tall.

     Honeybees really seem to love the Valerian flowers.



     The holly hock is now about 9' tall and is blooming.

It has beautiful antique white flowers.

     Strawberry spinach blooming in the salad patch. 

Brassicas are starting to fill in, except for a few holes.  Rhubarb on left, just getting established.

     Garlic scape.  

    Potato onions now showing nice bulbs.


     The bed by the barn is really taking off.  The center is dominated by two cherry tomato plants (Gardener's Delight)  There are some Sweet Pepper's (Margaret's) on the left, and Gladiolus on the right.  The row of Onions (yellow Spanish sweet) didn't do a whole lot.  We got small bulbs from the tiny bulbs I grew from seed last year.  Maybe next year they will grow into something usable.

      Nikki standing in front of the one mortgage lifter tomato I picked up at a local nursery.  That thing is a monster!  I am definitely going to have to do better trellising and pruning next year.  The large heavy duty tomato cage has fallen over since this pic, and the plant is sprawling all over the place.  There are tons of fruit, but they are way too difficult to see and get to.  Still, the couple of good ones I have tried so were great.   A huge meaty pink tomato with a wonderful taste.


     Hooray!  We finally got a lupine to thrive.

   And how cool that it can be part of the cherry guild.  Assuming the cherry survives.

The celery finally started to grow after staying the same size all spring and 1/2 the summer.  Need to get it in earlier next year, and figure out a way to blanch it.

     Amaranth (Mayo Indian) towering over the rest of the big bed.  Marigolds in front.

The pink petunias and some radishes left to flower are the only thing left in the first row of the big bed.  The squash and zucchini were decimated by squash bugs after a pitiful harvest.  Going to weed and tops dress it for fall garlic and potato onions soon.

      The 4 Roma tomatoes I planted are doing really well.  They are only 2 feet tall, but are loaded with fruit.

These are hybrid Romas from Burpee that we started from seed.  Planning to try the Amish paste next year.

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