Tuesday, March 29, 2011

returning the smile you have had from the start...(and how to build a lasagna garden)

Spring is such a tease.

But I am beyond beyond beyond excited to GARDEN!!  


BAM.  I seriously want to learn some things like crazy.  Let's just go ahead and say A LOT of things.  There are also these things that I need to begin to learn mas mas mas!  Such as gardening.  Now (elephant in the room).  This is a whole different issue as I close to despise being committed to living in a home I own, but there is quite a wonderful world out there in the mysterious land of home ownership that you can peruse and reap quite a bounty of beautiful, loveliness.  (And, don't remind me you can do this without owning a house;)  Ah!).

(Try It Out Tuesday is going to be a show and tell type of day...watch me as I fail making something day from another tutorial...or celebrate with a sweet youtube seinfeld-elaine-dancing video that something I made worked kind of day...from composting, crafting, music making, etc).
Lasagna gardening!  We are well aware of our clay-crazed soil and the lack of drainage due to it being located near a river.  So, after a bunch of "research" (thank you google), I decided to try a lasagna garden last spring!  I'm all for simplicity and cheap and this garden has it all with some creativity.  I'm basically creating my own soil situation by having a raised garden rather than using the clay soil in our yard.  The book is by Patricia Lanza and is super practical.
I started to compile my lasagna ingredients!  Now, you're probably way smarter than me, but I initially thought a lasagna garden from its very name would be ingredients for lasagna in some weird way (but now that I think of that, it would include a cow and noodles;) gross).  Lasagna is just how you pile your "ingredients" like layers of lasagna where something like peat moss is the repeating noodle.
My ingredient list that I compiled over about a month:
*Newspapers (nothing colored, only the black and white pages)
*Grass clippings (from the boulevard that people were tossing early spring - these WILL smell if you leave them in your garage too long from the moisture!)
*Starbucks coffee grounds
*Compost (1 yard that you can get free for a couple weekends from the City of Fargo dump in May)
*Barn litter (manure...from my coworker)
*Lumber (being tossed by my father-in-law)
*Hay (took a couple bagfuls from a large hay bale I found in south Fargo!)
*Peat moss (1 of the 2 things I had to actually purchase - about 4-5 large ones - maybe $4 each??)
*Miracle Grow's Organic Top Soil (just used 1 bag - 2 of 2 things I had to buy)

My hubs made this awesome box in the area of our backyard that would get the most sunlight, near our house so we couldn't use laziness as an excuse to avoid taking care of it, and also up there so it would have good drainage, too!
We covered the bottom with wet newspaper (note I didn't adhere to ONLY black and white paper, but I ended up just avoiding the shiny fliers).  The bottom newspaper layer can go on top of sod or any soil.  It keeps crazy weeds from getting ANY sunlight, oxygen, etc! 
Covered next with the first layer of peat moss.  This helps keep your garden aerated with good oxygen flow.
Next, you get McDonald's.  Because, if you're like us, you're just not that indie;)
Straw!  You're pretty much rotating layers of browns and greens, which someday we'll talk about with composting!
Peat moss!  This is just getting too exciting.
My smelly grass clippings I stole.  Om nom nom nom.
*growl in your best hardcore voice* PEAT MOSS!
Barn litter!  Cow shiz!
Peat moss and then the city's compost...
P.E.A.T. moss!
Starbucks coffee grounds and the other thing I forgot I bought...Miracle Grow's Organic Top Soil!
Some things such as asparagus (good luck), tomatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers we bought from the Botanical Garden Society's (near the FM Humane Society) sale...
Along the edges we planted seeds!  Such as peas, spinach, basil, carrots, onions...
We protected some of the taller stalk things with milk cartons as it was a really windy spot to pick! (BOO)
I got to learn about a whole lotta other problems throughout the summer such as aphids, little cute as a button green worms that destroy everything, mold, questionable blight or some other stupid disease, and such.  BUT.  Nonetheless, I LOVED this type of gardening!  We didn't have to worry about rabbits, our dog peeing on it, drainage problems with crazy rain, and it's so easy to weed (hardly any at all anyways!) as you don't have to bend down and the soil is so nice and loose it's easy to pull them out!  As the soil you created starts to compost and make even more beautiful soil below your garden does start to settle and decrease in height...

Lastly, did I mention that I could pee my pants in excitement to BBQ PEACHES?!!  $%^$#@ yeah!

(ps...don't try to bleach your hair when you blog.  you forget it's in there...so...i've gotta run!)