Friday, 9 October 2015

How to fill a raised bed using the lasagna method.

When I decided to get raised beds for our front garden I did some online research about the best way to fill raised beds.  I came across lasagna gardening, where you make lots of layers to add nutrients and to mimic the natural structure of soil, and thought that sounded like a good idea.  There's lots and lots of information on lasagna gardening online!  Some is very precise (add 1 inch of 'greens' to 2 inches of 'browns') and some is less so (I'm pretty sure they were joking when they said throw in a pair of old boots!), so I thought I'd show you what I did.

I bought my raised beds online, then Joe (patiently) taught me how to use a drill so I could assemble them all by myself! (nearly!)

First, I lined my raised bed.  The internet is full of people saying you must line your raised bed and people saying you must not line your raised bed.  I've lined mine with weed suppressant fabric that's supposed to let water through, but mostly it's to stop the soil coming out the bottom and ending up all over the drive.  I punched a couple of holes in the lining so the raised beds don't end up being waterlogged.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

My raised beds are 90cm by 120cm, and 30cm tall.  I worked out that I needed about 325 litres to fill each bed. 

I added layers of cardboard, newspapers and magazines, then watered them so they were a little damp.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

Next was half a bag of bark chips, which works out as 25 litres.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

I layered in the kitchen scraps from the compost caddy in the kitchen and the one from work, 2 bunches of flowers from my birthday that had gone wilty and some lettuce that was past it's best in the fridge.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

I wasn't planning on putting coir compost in, but I picked up a 50 litre pack from Home Bargains for £1.79, so in it went.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

Dandelion leaves, nettle leaves, buddleia and magnolia leaves went in next.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

Then I put in the contents of the paper recycling basket - lots of loo rolls!

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

Next was a 1/3 pack of straw, I gave the whole thing a little sprinkling of water again too.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

I added a 25 litre bag of top soil.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

I dug some soil from the garden beds, and from under the hedge at the bottom of the garden, it's full of worms and leaves and hopefully some good microorganisms to make my new raised bed healthy.  I added about 1 small trug full.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

Next up I put some prunings from a wiegela bush, then a thin sprinkling of bark chips.  I watered this layer too.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

Lastly, I put in the 7 remaining bags of topsoil I'd bought.  That's 175 litres.

How to Fill a Raised Bed using the Lasagna Method. secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk

And then I was finished, which I was happy about, because I was exhausted!

The total costs were £24 for 200 litres of topsoil (2 lots of special offer, 4 25 litre bags for £12 from Homebase) , £2.50 for half a 50 litre bag of bark chippings and £1.79 for a 50 litre bag of coir compost.  I had everything else already, so I think this turned out to be a very cheap way to fill a raised bed!

I'm going to grow onions and garlic in my raised bed over winter, and I've been inspired for future planting schemes by reading this article about growing in small spaces in October's issue of Vegan Life Magazine.  There are loads of great ideas for growing in square meter beds, that would be perfect for raised beds too!

Vegan Life Magazine October 2015 secondhandsusie.blogspot.co.uk #ukveganblogger #ukgardenblogger
Image c/o Vegan Life Magazine.
 

Disclosure - I have been provided with a free digital subscription to Vegan Life Magazine in return for reviewing this publication.  I even have my own page in the vegan bloggers section on their lovely website.  All opinions are, of course, my own and always will be.

Linking up with Green Thumb Thursday.

9 comments:

  1. That is a very complex and good looking lasagne.
    We've used a layer of cardboard, straw and well composted cow dung. I say well composted, but it seems we could harvest a substantial amount of stinging nettles. Ouch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, sorry to hear about those nettles! They really hurt if you get stung, don't they!

      Delete
    2. They sure do. And I've become severely allergic to them. But good old marigold gloves do the trick.

      Delete
  2. I always enjoy your posts about gardening! Very sweet watering can :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, this is cool! That's one epic lasagna! We definitely want raised beds when we buy our own house!x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Susie!

    I am so glad you found your feature on Green Thumb Thursday last week! I normally stop by and let the featured writer know, but I got stuck at work for 12 hours that day! I was really glad to see you found it. It's an awesome post!

    Feel free to stop by the blog and grab a featured badge! I hope to see you again this Thursday!

    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thanks so much for featuring me, that made me really happy! :)

      Delete

Thanks for visiting!

You can also find me on Twitter @secondhandsusie and Facebook facebook.com/secondhandsusie