Reminder: It’s easy to start new garden over grass in autumn in WNY

illustration for lasagna gardening by Stofko
Illustration by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

If you want a new garden in spring, prepare it now. There’s no digging involved and it will be ready for you when it’s time to plant. This works even if you have weeds and clay soil.

Use the lasagna gardening method. You lay out material in layers, like a lasagna. The first layer is cardboard or a thick layer of newspaper. Over the top of that, alternate layers of whole leaves, chopped leaves, manure, grass clippings and peat moss—or whatever you’ve got.

You need to build it up so it’s a foot deep, and that takes a lot of material. If you don’t have enough material on hand, start looking for it now. Keep adding more material as you get it.

Here are some suggestions:

  • You’ve got no cardboard because you recycle it every week? There’s time to save your boxes.
  • Do you get your newspaper online? Ask your neighbors to save their paper editions for you.
  • Do you need horse manure or cow manure? Ask around. Maybe a friend of a friend knows a farmer who will give you some. (Or you can buy it.)
  • Don’t have enough leaves? Pick them up now while they’re available. Take bags of leaves that people set out to the curb.
  • If you have taken all your neighbors’ leaves and still need more, start shredding your bills. Shredded paper works great in a lasagna garden.

See more details on lasagna gardening here.

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