Posts Tagged ‘organic gardening’
Lasagna gardening or sheet composting is a way that one can garden without commitment. This type of gardening is easy to set up and just as easy to tear down. And if the garden is removed it leaves the gardening environment better than it was before.
To start a lasagna garden one must map out where the garden will be located. Stake out the boundaries and outline with twine. Now it is time to build the lasagna garden. Lay three layers of black and white print newspaper or one layer of brown corrugated cardboard directly onto the sod and water in. This layer will kill the grass in a couple of weeks and will jump start the decomposition process. This layer will also create a dark, damp haven for earthworms that will aid in loosing up the soil.
At first glance, earthworms are not pretty. They are slimy and squiggly and don’t add much to the aesthetics of the garden. It seems all they do is sit beneath the soil surface emerging at night or on a rainy day to wander aimlessly about.
But did you know earthworms are as important as bees when it comes to having a successful garden? While bees pollinate plants to produce better flowers, fruits and vegetables, earthworms work underground to break down organic matter and create compost utilized by plants for optimal growth.
The earthworm’s body is an efficient composting factory. It starts with the pointed lobe covering the head, or the prostomium, used to pry open cracks in the soil followed by the mouth that eats everything in its path. The mucous secreted along the earthworm’s body helps the earthworm glide through dry hard soil. They breathe through the surface of their body, as earthworms have no lungs.
Once soil and organic matter enters the earthworm’s body, it passes through the digestive system. During the digestive process enzymes break the organic matter down on a molecular level. The worm absorbs what it needs for energy and growth and passes the rest into the garden soil. It is what the earthworm leaves behind that is considered garden gold. This garden gold, or garden soil enriched by earthworm deposits, is considered by many the best soil you can have in the garden.
The thought of wriggly worms in your compost bin might give you the heebie jeebies, but it’s really not as awful as you may think. Starting your own worm farm can be beneficial not only for the environment, but the resulting compost can significantly improve your soil, which will make your flowers bloom brighter and your vegetables grow bigger. Who can turn their nose up at that?
Although you might not be thrilled to add worms to your existing compost bin, you could always enlist a family member who isn’t so skittish. Teaching your children how to start their own compost bin will instill them with eco-friendly values and prepare them for an independent future. Once we look into the advantages of vermicomposting, you might put your hesitance aside.