Lasagna Gardening-05-18-11

Quick update on the lasagna gardening front. Nothing too earth-shattering to report, but a few bits and pieces for those following along.

I have added some more wormy material to the bed since setting it up – motivated more by the fact that the material needed a home than by a desire to boost my worm population (that’s just an added bonus). Based on my limited explorations with a small hand rake, it does look like there is a decent Red Worm population in there already, but I’ll need to survey more areas of the bed in order to be sure.

Yesterday I decided to add some more food waste to the bed. I had two bags of aged material ready to be used, and the lasagna bed seemed as good a place to put it as any. Rather than burying the material (which, in hindsight, may have been a better approach), I simply dumped it on top, then started covering it with some rich material from the raised bed that sits next to it.

The more of this dark, earthy material (hesitate actually call it “soil”) I added, the more I liked the look of it! In the end I decided to add a nice layer of the stuff over top of the entire bed! I’m sure I’ll end up with another covering of straw before too long, but for now I’m content to keep it looking like more of a “normal” garden (and I’m sure my neighbors won’t mind either – haha!).

When we recently visited a nursery (mentioned in my last blog post), I grabbed a variety of seeds for this year’s backyard crop-growing extravaganza – including some potential candidates for the lasagna bed. I seem to recall referring to the 2010 growing season as the “year of the tomato” or something like that (as some of you may recall, I ended up with a serious surplus of tomato plants). Well, I think 2011 is destined to become the “year of squash” – and this time I’ll be growing them on purpose – not simply relying on the squash “weeds” that invariably seem to pop up in my beds.

As recommended by two of our readers (who made comments on the last lasagna gardening post), I made sure to grab a packet of “Delicata” (“Sweet Potato”) squash – although I’m not sure I have the right ones. There was mention of a “bush” variety, but the one I have mentions growth on “short vines”. So, I may need to grow these ones elsewhere. I also have “Italian Ribbed” zucchini, “Vegetable Marrow” bush squash, and “Golden Summer Crookneck” squash seeds – so I think it’s just going to be a matter of deciding on two for this bed.

Oh, and just in case you were thinking that I was be a wee bit dramatic with my “year of the squash” claim – I should probably point out that I will also be growing regular zucchinis, “Spagetti” squash, “Sweet Dumpling” squash, and my usual jumbo pumpkin plant! The good news is that I probably won’t need to mow the backyard at all this summer with all those squash plants roaming around! haha!

Anyway – should be fun.
Stay tuned!

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    • Laura
    • May 18, 2011

    That sounds like a fun garden, but when you have five bushels of zuchini and your friends already have enough your enthusiasm might be a bit squashed.

    One thing that has me curious: Where do you get all the food scraps for your worms? I have only had my worms for about 4 months and I’m running low on stuff to feed them. Not that they’re dead of hunger yet, but not all are as fat as they should be. They have just expanded in population so much that there’s not quite enough food to go around, I think. I give them coffee grounds, rotten squash, horse and goat manure, plus plenty of bedding and they seem to like it but there are thousands of worms. Any suggestions?

    • Anna
    • May 19, 2011

    I bet your squash will go nuts (in a good way) in your lasagna beds. Perhaps your neighbors won’t mind your beds so much when you’re providing them with your extra squash???

    I’m interested in your description of your previous squash crops as “weeds.” Down here in the land of beer and cheese, we refer to them as “volunteers.” Afterall, I’d hate for them to feel unwelcome!

  1. Like the garden you got going. I am out of room in my garden so I am go up with my vine plants. I us pipe, EMT, re-bar and old hay bale twine to hang my plants on. It save me about 80% of my space.


    • Paul from Winnipeg
    • May 20, 2011

    Hey Bentley! Good to see you’ve taken the plunge into your Lasagna!(Yum!) Your worms will love it. Squash does really well in these beds, so get ready!

    I’ve been adding more organic matter to mine, and the worms are doing well. Cold hardy crops are started and it’s time to thin today.

    • Bentley
    • May 20, 2011

    LAURA – No worries, we have lots of people to give produce to so I think it will be fun no matter what. haha
    We produce a lot of food scraps ourselves, but I also pick-up coffee grounds from a local shop, and periodically get batches of manure as well.
    ANNA – You are absolutely right about “volunteers” and I feel exactly the same way. My comment was meant to tease those who feel otherwise (some people don’t welcome these “volunteers” the way we do – haha)
    TJAYVAN – That sounds like a great strategy. One of the squash varieties I am growing actually mentions that it would work on a trellis so I may attempt a vertical approach with that one so as to save a bit of space.
    PAUL – Good to hear from you! Glad to know you are back at it again with own lasagna gardening efforts – hope you keep us posted!

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