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#1
Posted July 29th 2011, 11:55am
Found this article very interesting, and perhaps a soultion for folks who have alot of clay/sand in their soil like I do. Or are looking to conserve water usage.


http://mywebtimes.com/archives/ottawa/d ... ?id=437294
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#2
Posted July 29th 2011, 9:57pm
There are several disadvantages to lasagna gardening, particularly on northern clay soils. In heavy clay soils a layer rich in organic matter tends to discourage deep root penetration. The heavy mulch layer slows warming and drying in the spring, so there are major problems with planting cool-season crops on a timely basis. The advantages are mostly on sandy soils, which seems to be the topic for the linked article. Over 50 years ago my grandmother used this technique in south-central Kansas on sandy soil where it did work well. However, spring-time warming is not an issue there while summer is hotter than in northern Illinois.

Keeping the soil cool in summer is good for some crops but not necessarily for crops that need heat such as peppers, eggplant or okra. Another problem is that the mulch layer with partially composted lower layers is an ideal habitat for overwintering flea beetles. Cucurbits susceptible to squash vine borer are more vulnerable to death by borers when the plants cannot put out roots at nodes on the surface of soil.

In northern Illinois clay-based soils incorporating a lot or organic matter in the soil with mulching later in the growing season is likely to work better. The mulch and plant residues can be incorporated into the soil by fall tillage which will do a good job of composting in place, getting the full benefits of freeze-thaw cycles and limiting winter survival of insects.
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#3
Posted September 1st 2011, 9:12am
I had a book called Lasagna Gardening. I used that for a while, it seemed to work well for me.

I put up retaining stones and built the garden up. I don't have that house any more, but I'm pretty sure it was a two brick high wall (you know those large retaining stones).

I'd say it worked best the year I dumped a lot of grass clippings in. Peat moss also works pretty well.

You do want to test your soil for chemical balance.

I wouldn't worry too much about the roots, the stuff you pile on top is supposed to soften the clay, and I had tomato plants going gangbusters. I can't comment on corn because some critter always ate my plants before they'd produce ears.

But basically, build up, add some like composted manure, mushroom compost, peat moss, glass clippings, and good stuff you can get. And maybe some other additives based on your tests.

Good luck and have fun - next year I guess....

Nancy
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#4
Posted September 1st 2011, 3:59pm
Nancy S wrote:I had a book called Lasagna Gardening. I used that for a while, it seemed to work well for me.

I put up retaining stones and built the garden up. I don't have that house any more, but I'm pretty sure it was a two brick high wall (you know those large retaining stones).

I'd say it worked best the year I dumped a lot of grass clippings in. Peat moss also works pretty well.

You do want to test your soil for chemical balance.

I wouldn't worry too much about the roots, the stuff you pile on top is supposed to soften the clay, and I had tomato plants going gangbusters. I can't comment on corn because some critter always ate my plants before they'd produce ears.

But basically, build up, add some like composted manure, mushroom compost, peat moss, glass clippings, and good stuff you can get. And maybe some other additives based on your tests.

Good luck and have fun - next year I guess....

Nancy



thanks for the book title, i will have to look into it next year, another summer gone. :(

The only drawback to the lasagna method I see is the 1/4 acre I would want to plant.

I am hoping to pay a visit to the gentleman in Utica mentioned in the article to get any tips for this type of garden as Utica & Marseilles have the same soil issues(clay & sand).
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