Cheap and Easy Lasagna Gardening

Cheap and Easy Lasagna Gardening

Bamboo makes for one sexy garden bed. And I love the chop and drop cold composting (biodegredation) in place, however adding the cardboard to the bottom may not always be the best choice if your “compost” added on top has seeds in it like David’s kitchen scraps and almost finished compost might. This is why I prefer the cardboard/paper on top, and planting in holes method where you then add a mulch layer on top, like Morag does here in her forked grass garden.
I will leave you to decide if forking is not digging. Because at the time I write this, 48 downvote people think forking is digging. 🙂
I also know that David’s only renting and so probably doesn’t care how long his bamboo bed lasts, but if others want the bamboo to stick around longer than a couple of years the bamboo needs an environmentally friendly “fixing type” preservation treatment that isn’t affected by rain that is also safe to burn or mulch later on.
Treating wood isn’t always a perfect process as I found with some treated pine I used as a temporary walk way in one of my beds. It’s now covered by a lovely white rot fungi! It’s also covered in dog shit since my brothers dogs, chicken, canary & cat have come to stay…
Here’s an overview of different eco friendly preservation methods.
Traditional options include water leaching where bamboo is submerged in water for months, and smoke treatment is another. Another is transpiration where freshly cut bamboo is sat in a solution like copper sulphate 1:10 parts water, or boric acid and boron, soaked like you would cut flowers. The use of cashew nut shell oil and wood vinegar sound like other options. Any materials you have that don’t break down readily probably have natural oils in them you can extract. Shou-sugi-ban and pine tar may be other options. I’d try a combination and keep any biochar used to make the smoke and wood vinegar, for the garden bed.
In David’s lasagne bed he mentions the salty seaweed he added to the bottom. I’ve read of a farmer here in Australia using a layer of biochar in their orchard to reduce the salinity of soil caused by a saline water aquifer. So maybe a layer of biochar on top of the seaweed might help? It’d also catch and hold any of the nutrients biodegrading and leaching from above!

3 thoughts on “Cheap and Easy Lasagna Gardening

  1. I would like to see that biochar experiment with uncharged char. My bet is it was simple nutrient availability that made the difference.

    That said, my compost does have char in it. Loved seeing this post and your comments and additional vids today – will send a link your way tomorrow. Thanks.


    1. You caught that too… 🙂 I completely agree that the biochar experiment results were all about the nutrients the char was first amended with. I couldn’t find an experiment that had only used a charcoal layer, and this one appeared in my feeds the same day as your Lasagne garden and was too hard to pass up. 🙂 I just wanted to highlight biochar’s ability to hold nutrients. I found the reduced salinity in avacado trees article I mentioned and another Bushfood farmer’s experience with saline soils, biochar’s also been shown on cattle farm trials to significantly reduce nutrient runoff. I guess it’d just be how long you’d have to wait for virgin biochar to show results. It would likely depend on how much rain you had and nutrient leaching.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s