P-A Community Garden Update

& The Amazing No-Dig No-Till Lasagna Garden Method

Wayne, Waitie, Rachel & Dilys marking out the community garden plots with strings. The garden is behind the bandstand next to Legion Street in Andover

Wayne, Waitie, Rachel & Dilys marking out the community garden plots with strings. The garden is behind the bandstand next to Legion Street in Andover

The Perth-Andover Community Garden is now ready to go! It’s been tilled, and plots are marked out and several plots are still available and are free!
The Community Garden has a Facebook page for meeting notes and updates, and if you are interested in joining the garden leave a message here. When I posted the notice announcing our last meeting on June 10th I mentioned that we’d be watching a short video on the No Dig-No Till Lasagna Garden Method.

Normally, when I post a garden meeting notice on Facebook only a few people read the message, but this particular post got shared with over 200 people!
I can only speculate that it was the no-dig no- till bit that caught everyone’s attention, and with good reason: If you’ve been thinking about growing your own food lately you need to explore this method of gardening!

Food prices are sky rocketing, and to add injury to insult, much of the produce available in our stores is loaded with pesticides and herbicides.
lasagna-gardenA head of cauliflower, right now today as I write this, is priced at $4.99. And this is not organic, artisanal cauliflower I’m talking about, either. Although, in its defence, commercially grown cauliflower generally contains much lower residues of dangerous chemicals than the infamous so-called “Dirty Dozen” vegetables and fruits.

The world is shifting in strange ways these days. Weather has gone crazy, with droughts and floods playing havoc with agriculture around the globe so many people are becoming more interested in learning how to grow their own food in their own gardens.

But, if you’ve ever stuck a shovel into the average yard around here you know it’s exactly how that old saying goes: A tough row to hoe!

I found this out myself some years back when I bought some lovely Old Rose bushes to plant in front of my house, when it was still in its former location. I’d picked a spot out in front near the steps, and went to work with gusto figuring it would take me, you know, an afternoon or maybe two to dig out the plot and lay in the compost and plant the roses.

First I carved out the incredibly tough grass roots, which were hard enough to dig through with my shovel.

And then the going really got rough when I discovered that the ground underneath was actually a rock quarry. OK, just kidding, but there were more small boulders than dirt under the grass, I assure you. I laboured away at the project, though, and eventually got my roses planted some two weeks later.

Over the years I thought about putting in a small vegetable garden, but simply could not imagine being able to dig one without using a little back hoe!

Eventually I began learning about raised bed gardens, which you can erect right on top of your existing yard by building a frame and filling it with soil.

But it appears that for sheer ease and convenience you really can’t beat the lasagna garden method. You can make one with a frame, or not, but you can build one just about anywhere you like as long as it will get enough sun and water, even on top of gravel!

It can be, and should be actually, totally organic, and you build your garden from the ground up using multiple layers of materials, hence the name. You can make a lasagna style bed any size, whether it’s a full size bed or square foot gardens.

You begin by laying down layers of saturated cardboard or wet newspaper to cover and kill existing weeds and grass, then begin building from there.

Depending on the ingredients you use, you can build a lasagna bed and plant it within the same day. You can also make one with more green clippings and vegetable waste in the fall and then allow it to compost over the winter to plant next spring.

The accompanying illustration is only a suggestion of the ingredients you can use…. You can toss in coffee grounds, ashes from your wood stove, crumbled dry wall, dead leaves, grass clippings, or watch an informative brief video here. A lasagna garden offers a way to make a low maintenance garden and recycle your yard clippings and vegetable scraps!

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