This is what I’ve let one of the best spots in my yard become. A real shame because sun is at a real premium around here and this is one of the sunniest areas.
The real reason for this neglect (besides laziness) is the soil is puny. Gravelly, dead, sandy, weak soil.
I decided the best thing to do would be to start over. Just cover it all up and lasagna it.
If you’ve never heard of lasagna gardening it’s a method whereby, instead of tilling and digging in soil amendments, you cover the turf as is with newspaper, cardboard, etc., and then layer over that compost, leaf mulch, grass, manure, barn sweepings, and so on and let it sit and decompose.
The idea is that the organic matter decomposes, earthworms tunnel up through the paper and into the layers of organics, and everything cooks up into a rich, loamy soil as the weeds underneath are smothered. No shoveling or roto-tilling required.
It’s good for my spot because it was overrun with weeds and since it’s Fall, I can start it now and it will be ready for spring.
Here’s the cardboard I found dumpster diving. Missed a few spots.
Then wet newspapers. Missed a few more spots.
Compost. Wish it were thicker, but this was the biggest space I’ve ever lasagna’d.
Almost 40 bags of mulched leaves and grass, the result of a frenzy of curb robbing.
This wasn’t enough so after this photo was taken, I added a bale’s worth of straw chicken bedding and about six more mega bags of leaf mulch.
Ideally I would have layered in another strata of compost, but I didn’t have enough.
Notice the hose. I wet down each layer as I put it down to speed up the decomposition.
I’m doing this in several other spots this year. It really helps to fill my gardening urges during the off-season. Come Spring, I’ll dig in there and hopefully it will have made a big difference in the soil quality and knocked those weeds out for a while. I can’t wait to see.