My husband wasted no time in implementing the more practical information acquired on the Permaculture weekend.
Here’s an easy step by step to create a vegetable bed which is a hybrid between a lasagna style bed and a Hugel bed.
|This lovely illustration comes from http://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/many-benefits-hugelkultur A very informative site on Permaculture.|
A lasagna garden bed, also known as sheet mulching, is a no-till, no-dig gardening method that turns materials like kitchen waste, straw, garden clippings, cardboard, newspapers into rich, healthy soil without too much effort. The name refers to the method of building rich soil by creating layers of organic materials which will ‘cook down’ over time resulting in fluffy, loamy soil. If you want to enrich the soil further you layer compost on top opposed to ever digging the soil up again.
A Hugel bed is a raised or ‘hill bed’, a gardening and farming technique using wooden logs and big branches as a slow constant source of nutrients releasing over time under the ground, enriching it. This method mimics the natural cycle of nutrients found on healthy forest floors. It also soaks up rainfall and releases it slowly into the surrounding soil.
Dig out your bed (Christiaan dug it out 1.5 spades or 40/50 cm deep) and pile the soil up next to the bed.
Line the bottom of the bed with large branches and logs, he used thick fynbos. Using large branches slows down the nutrient process and helps hold moisture in the bed. It’s important to use what you have in your own garden.
Put down a thick layer of dry garden stuff like leaves, straw, dry lawn clippings.
Layer with thinner twigs and green stuff like fresh leaves, lawn clippings and Comfrey leaves; which adds potassium to the soil and is an excellent compost starter. You can also grow yarrow, dandelion, and stinging nettle specifically to enrich the soil in your beds.
Layer of Manure or Bounce back, which is a natural chicken manure in pellet form found at any local garden centre.
Step 6Put the soil back on top of the bed. This results in a raised bed cooking with nutrients!