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Lasagna Gardening & Shredded Paper

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Lasagna Gardening & Shredded Paper

Post  farmersgranddaughter on 2/9/2018, 3:14 pm

Greetings from Arkansas!

I recently purchased six Lifetime 4' x 4' high density polyethylene raised garden beds, stacking them to make three 18" high beds for easier accessibility (my husband has had multiple back surgeries).  We had 9" high wooden beds at our previous residence that were great until the third year when termites discovered them.

I've been looking at "lasagna gardening" as an alternative to filling the beds solely with Mel's Mix.  I have access to a lot of shredded paper (not cross-cut, but "noodle" shreds).  Would you recommend mixing shredded paper in with organics to make a 9" layer, topping it with wet newspaper, and then putting the Mel's Mix on top?  Or should I go ahead solely with Mel's Mix?  If we add paper, we're thinking of adding worms to aid in the breakdown of the materials as the bottom of the planter is covered with hardware cloth (to keep the pesky gophers out), landscape cloth, and cardboard.

By the way, I'm new to the forum and have truly enjoyed reading the posts.
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Re: Lasagna Gardening & Shredded Paper

Post  countrynaturals on 2/9/2018, 3:48 pm

@farmersgranddaughter wrote:Greetings from Arkansas!

I recently purchased six Lifetime 4' x 4' high density polyethylene raised garden beds, stacking them to make three 18" high beds for easier accessibility (my husband has had multiple back surgeries).  We had 9" high wooden beds at our previous residence that were great until the third year when termites discovered them.

I've been looking at "lasagna gardening" as an alternative to filling the beds solely with Mel's Mix.  I have access to a lot of shredded paper (not cross-cut, but "noodle" shreds).  Would you recommend mixing shredded paper in with organics to make a 9" layer, topping it with wet newspaper, and then putting the Mel's Mix on top?  Or should I go ahead solely with Mel's Mix?  If we add paper, we're thinking of adding worms to aid in the breakdown of the materials as the bottom of the planter is covered with hardware cloth (to keep the pesky gophers out), landscape cloth, and cardboard.

By the way, I'm new to the forum and have truly enjoyed reading the posts.
I'm not an expert on this, but if you do the worms and paper, I'd get coffee grounds from Starbucks to mix in for the worms. I'm sure someone who knows more will be along soon to set you on the right track.  glad you\'re here to the forum.
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Re: Lasagna Gardening & Shredded Paper

Post  sanderson on 2/10/2018, 1:53 pm

Here's my thought. If you use organic material (once living plants or by-products) as the fill, it will shrink over time. I would fill the bottom 9-12" with something inorganic, like washed sand, lay weed fabric on top of it, and fill the top part with Mel's Mix. Mel's Mix is 1/3 compost and it will shrink as it is converted to usable nutrients for the plants [a whole other topic]. MM has to be amended with new compost with every planting or season.

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