Saturday, November 14, 2009

Making New Garden Beds

Over the last week, we have added two new garden beds to the front yard, over on the other side of the driveway. We are making them following, approximately, the Lasagna Garden method (the linked article, by Patricia Lanza who originated the method, is very detailed!). The boards that define the beds are cedar, the ground inside is covered with cardboard and newspapers, and the middles are filled with layers of organic matter.

Right now, the layers are horse manure that I picked up at a stable in the next town north of here, in our little truck, and leaves from the yard across the street from us. We will be adding more layers over the next few weeks, so that in Spring there will be enough composted organic matter in the beds for planting.

To locate a source for the horse manure, I looked in the little local phone book, in the yellow pages under "stables." There were two, and I called the first one. The person who answered said they would LOVE for someone to come get some of their manure, and that for $5 a guy would fill my truck for me, using a backhoe. This worked great.

My truck (a Ford Ranger xlt) was very full when I left the stable, and clods of horse dung fell off here and there along the way home, but I had fun seeing all the horses at the farm and then watching in my rear-view mirror on the way home to see how drivers reacted to following such a fully loaded truck. Not too surprisingly, there was no tail-gating.

The original Lasagna Garden method uses quite a lot of peat moss, which I would rather not use. I will, instead, be using a lot more leaves.


  1. I just worked on adding a new bed today too. So far the new area is covered in newspaper and some leaves. I think I know a source for horse manure, I just have to convince my mom (the garden is in her back yard and its her truck) to help me get some. She has PLENTY of leaves to help cover it all up.

  2. More evidence for how great minds think alike! This really is a good time to start new garden beds, and I am glad that you were able to get one started, too.

    Originally, Joe (husband) wanted to rent a rototiller and create the beds the "old fashioned way," but I wanted to try the no-till way. After reading Patricia Lanza's book (my county library system has several copies), I am thinking that this will work.

    The hardest part about the horse manure for me was cleaning out the truck when we were done unloading. The ground is so wet from all the rain that I didn't want to hose it out, so I used a whisk broom to get everything out from between the ridges in the bed-liner. We've had rain since then, and the truck looks (and smells!) just fine now.

    -Amy, NW of Atlanta


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