Last year RWC-friend, Paul Letby, was nice enough to share his vermi-lasagna-gardening project with us (you can find a link to his posts >>HERE<<). Seeing what Paul was able to do in just his first season easily convinced me that this was an approach I really needed to try out myself! So, that's exactly what I'm going to do! Yesterday I set up a fairly modest "lasagna"-style test garden in my yard using an assortment of materials I had on-hand.
Once I had selected the site for the bed, I laid down some corrugated cardboard. Last fall, I actually stacked a fair amount of cardboard outside in the yard, so I had a nice selection of wet, partially-rotten material all ready to go for the occasion.
I also recently did some yard/garden clean up work, which left me with a nice mix of rotten sunflower waste, old straw, fall leaves, lawn thatch and various other dead/dry plant materials. I decided to use this for my “brown” bedding layers, including a fairly thick layer directly over the cardboard at the bottom.
My next layer consisted primarily of coffee grounds and filters. I decided not to go overboard with the grounds in this bed since it’s a fairly acidic waste material, and also tends to be a bit less “worm-friendly” in zones where a lot is added at once.
After watering everything down…
…I added another layer of “brown” wastes (still looking a tad unsightly, wasn’t it? haha)
Next, I added a fairly thick layer of material I often refer to as “compost ecosystem” (essentially aged-manure habitat material + worms etc).
Although I had a decent amount of frozen food waste available (have been saving it up for some time), I decided to only use a couple bags of the material – I have something else in mind for the rest once it thaws out. I’ll certainly be adding plenty more to the bed over time, but this should be perfectly fine for getting the ball rolling.
I then added another thick layer of compost ecosystem material along with some old straw…
…before covering the bed with a thick layer of new straw (as shown in the first picture above).
I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to grow in this bed. I thought some sort of squash would might be a good choice since they seem to thrive in compost-gardens like this. The only problem is that the plants will likely end up spreading all over the yard, which might be a pain. Will have to give it some more thought while I let the bed age prior to planting.
Speaking of which – the very earliest I’d be planting anything in the bed would be towards the end of May (likely later if the weather remains cooler than normal). I’ll be sure to provide a status report sometime between now and then, though.