So you want to plant a new bed next year…well, now is the time to get it ready. First thing to do is mark the outline of your planned bed with a hose, or string, or some powdered lime. Then you can do one of three things: (1) spray the area with an herbicide and then dig up everything in the spring; (3) rototil the area and add compost and manure (seems the easiest but think of the damage done to earthworms, not to mention all the weed seeds and fungal spores you will bring to the surface to thrive in your garden); or (3) or lasagna gardening, the no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that results in rich, fluffy soil with very little work.
Let me explain what lasagna gardening is and you’ll see why it is the best choice. I am telling you this now because fall is the optimum time of year to make a lasagna garden. It is a method of layering organic materials that break down over time…you are actually composting the bed. This is what makes it so easy. All you have to do is put down three to five layers of newspaper and a layer of compost or at least good loam directly on top of the grass or weeds in the area you’ve selected for your bed and then wet this layer down to start the decomposition. In the spring, all you have to do is plant, fertilize, and add mulch – another layer. There is no need to remove grass and weeds, or to double dig the soil, or even to work the soil.
No digging, no weeding! Could you ask for anything easier? Enjoy your new garden bed.