Creating Fertile Topsoil Through Lasagna Gardening

If your vegetable or flower garden was less than stellar last growing season, it could be because of a problem with your topsoil. Luckily, you don't have to give up your dreams of gardening and fill your flower beds with pea gravel. Instead, amend your soil using a method called lasagna gardening so that it is rich and fertile in time for the next spring planting.

Lasagna Gardening Defined

Making a lasagna in your garden is much like making a lasagna in your kitchen. Layers of goodness are piled on top of each other and left through the fall and winter to break down into a perfect crumbly soil for your baby plants when the next planting season rolls around. 


It is best to prepare a lasagna garden in the fall once your planting season is over. Doing so will give the lasagna gardening materials months to break down. If this method is attempted in the spring, it likely won't break down quickly enough to benefit plants. In the fall, there also are plenty of materials just sitting around that are perfect for including in a lasagna garden.

The Method

If weeds are a problem in your garden, layer sheets of newspaper over the existing topsoil first. Wet them down as you place them to keep pesky breezes from blowing them away. If you do not have an existing garden, sheets of newspaper can also kill grass, which will give you a beautiful garden area in the spring with none of the back-breaking work that comes with turning over a large area of grass. 

After the newspaper should come a layer of green material. This can be grass clippings from your lawnmower, vegetation pulled from last year's beds, like tomato vines, and even weeds that have not flowered or gone to seed. Be sure that any green material you put in this layer is disease free. If something killed your tomatoes last year, don't put those vines in your lasagna garden because you'll have the same problem next year.

Next should come a layer of brown material. This can include shredded paper, ripped up paper grocery bags and all those leaves that fall in your yard. To hasten their decomposition, after you've raked your leaves into a pile, run over the pile a couple of times with your lawnmower to shred them. Then add these shredded leaves to your lasagna garden.

As the fall fades into winter, continue added layers of green material and brown material. Toss your Halloween pumpkin on the pile. Continue to layer those falling leaves on top. By the time freezing temperatures start to roll in, you should have a nice lasagna garden that will bake all winter, turning into a lovely layer of topsoil for next year's garden.   

For more information and tips on improving your topsoil, talk with professional landscapers companies, like L & L Excavation & Landscaping.