Yes, you can set up a lasagna garden in the winter or spring and have it ready for planting. Truthfully it will break down better if started in the fall but you may not know you want a garden. I have even known a few people that create the layered garden that day and plant it immediately.
When starting a lasagna garden late in the winter or spring you will use the same process as a fall garden. But I add a few “cheating methods” to help it break down faster.
For those of you new to lasagna gardening its a method where you lay down layers of natural materials on the ground that will decompose and blend to make a rich garden soil. The benefits are you can improve your soil by using material you have on hand or get cheaply. You can also garden in an area where the soil is horrible, such as a newly grated, rocky construction site.
Getting started in no dig gardening.
Lay down two layers of cardboard or eight layers of newspaper. Wet the newspaper to stop it from blowing away before you have the time to layer it with another garden layer. I have started to lay down two layers of cardboard and either shed newspaper or crinkle the paper and put on top. Worms love newspaper and will be drawn to it and this will help my new bed to break down faster. To further entice the worms I place manure next. This is my beginning base to the garden area.
The next step is to create layers of brown materials and then green materials. Brown materials would be leaves, paper, peat or pine. Green materials would be vegetable scraps, grass clippings, garden trimmings. Make your layers 4 to 8 inches deep. Often between the brown and green layers I add a thin layer, one or two inches, of compost or well rotter manure. This will help the layers to break down faster. Top the garden bed off with a layer of compost or top soil.
Do not use any contaminated materials, meat or grease. And believe it or not you can use human hair or dryer lint.
In the spring I cover a newly layered lasagna garden with black plastic to attract the sun and create heat to break the materials down. In two weeks you can get a good start on the new bed.
If you are starting to directly plant in a new bed, pull the layered mix aside and add a bucket of soil to the bed. Plant your transplant in the soil. If you are using seed, I make a row about 6 inches deep and 4 inches wide and add soil. Plant your seeds in the soil.
The advantage of the lasagna garden is it is a “no dig garden.” Such a garden is better for soil structure and great for those who do not have a rototiller or have soil that needs extra amendments to be considered proper garden soil.
This garden style also lends itself to square foot gardening or raised bed gardens.
This week I will be setting up a lasagna garden to use for photographing for a seminar I am presenting at Come Grow with Us. I hope that it will be ready for planting in a few weeks. It will be my future cutting garden.