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Belfrybat, question about lasagna vs. SFG

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Belfrybat, question about lasagna vs. SFG

Post  ander217 on 10/11/2010, 8:38 am

Belfrybat, I've been wondering how your lasagna beds compared to SFG boxes in your garden. Do you have a yields vs. labor conclusion you're willing to share with us?
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Re: Belfrybat, question about lasagna vs. SFG

Post  Retired Member 1 on 10/11/2010, 1:51 pm

I'm glad you asked! Yes, there was quite a bit of difference in the beds.

Standard MM beds were a bit easier to make: only three ingredients mixed with tarp and put in. Once I found the vermiculite, that is. And rather expensive.
The lasagna (L from here out) beds took more initial effort, but were cheaper. The edges were 16" high, so much more material to be layered in. Getting enough layering material at one time was a bit of a challenge. (I'll list the ingredients further down.)
Since I used found materials for both MM and L boxes, making the boxes didn't cost anything.
I planted all of them SFG except the L garlic bed, which I planted in staggered rows due to different sized garlics.

Once everything was well wet down, the lasagna beds held moisture much better than the MM. So overall I used less water in the L beds.

The overall productivity was better in the L beds, although I didn't raise all the same things in each. Of the plants I duplicated (summer & winter squash, bush and pole beans, tomatoes, peppers, and greens the L beds out produced the MM by about 1/3 more. I also did not add any fertilizer to the L beds but did to the MM.

Both shrunk a lot, the MM by about 1/3 and the L by half. I'm guessing that the extra height of material was a large factor in water retention. I ended up with about 4" of MM, but 8" in the L beds, which was pure compost. I am now in the process of dismantling two of the L beds and transferring the compost to the MM beds with a bit of additional manure.

My plans for next year is about the same as this: 4 MM beds (enriched with compost both from the L beds and the compost piles, and 3 new L beds since I can obtain plenty of fressh mater






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Re: Belfrybat, question about lasagna vs. SFG

Post  Garden Angel on 10/11/2010, 1:56 pm

Hi Belfry, for those of us who have perhaps never heard the term "lasagna bed" could you please explain what that is? thx.
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2nd half of response

Post  Retired Member 1 on 10/11/2010, 2:04 pm

The "reply" function is not working well for me, and I ended up typing the last paragraph blind since the reply box started jumping up and down. And I wasn't able to get to the bottom to edit it out.

My plans for next year is about the same as this: 4 MM beds (enriched with compost both from the L beds and the compost piles along with a bit of sandy loam, and 3 new L beds since I can obtain plenty of fresh material.

Advantages of MM beds (for me):
almost no weeds (some of the grasses I used in the L beds sprouted!)
easier to make as all (or almost all) materials are purchased
neater looking as boxes are 7-8" tall

Advantages of lasagna beds (for me):
better water holding capacity
all materials were free except for 1/2 bale of peatmoss
better productivity
fun in seeing what I could fine to make them

Ingredients in lasagna beds (layered 1 - 4" thick up to 18-22" high):

shredded leaves
fresh grass clippings
sawdust
cow manure (may have been source of some weed seeds)
dry grass clippings " "
peat moss
pine needles
wood ash sprinkled on top
paper and cardboard for bottom layer

OK - reply box is messing up again

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Re: Belfrybat, question about lasagna vs. SFG

Post  Retired Member 1 on 10/11/2010, 2:26 pm

Garden Angel wrote:Hi Belfry, for those of us who have perhaps never heard the term "lasagna bed" could you please explain what that is? thx.

See the second half of my post -- the reply function isn't working well for me so I had to split the response.

The ingredients I listed (and any other plant material/ manure) is layered on top of a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard in layers ranging from 1 - 4" depending on the fineness or coarseness of the material. Water each layer well. Alternate the materials until the pile is 18-24" inches tall and top with a finer material and wood ash. There's no need to use sides, but I do as it's much neater. Cover with a tarp or plastic and let "bake" for a few weeks. Then plant. If planting seeds make a trench or hole and use either MM or potting soil to give the seeds a base to germinate in. If transplants, just poke down into the "soil". I had some left-over MM so used that on one L bed for the last layer -- worked great for seeding.

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Re: Belfrybat, question about lasagna vs. SFG

Post  Old Hippie on 10/11/2010, 3:28 pm

I use lasagna style to make new flower beds. It saves having to dig up the sod. Is that being lazy or just efficient? LOL!

GK
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