Getting a garden space ready for spring

Dear Kitty,
I have read a bit about getting a garden space ready for spring and wondered if you think it’s ok to use cardboard instead of newspaper on the ground to start my space? Do you have any other suggestions? Should I be waiting for spring?
I’m Going to Grow my Food

Dear Grow Your Own,

I am so excited to know a new gardener is joining the ranks of growing their own food! Now is the perfect time to start!
The laying of papers or cardboard down to prepare a garden space is part of the process of “lasagna garden” preparation. You don’t even need to dig, till or remove the grass from the spot where you will be creating your garden.

Plan out your garden first. If you use cardboard, it can be laid down as the pathways in the garden, cover it with wood chips (cardboard takes a while to break down and will keep the weeds from taking over).

In the spaces between the cardboard where you will eventually put your plants and seeds, lay newspaper on the ground, and then make it soggy. On top of this spread an inch or two of peat moss. On top of peat moss lay a 3-4 inch layer of grass clippings, then peat moss, then compost (vegetables or fruit peels), then grass clippings and so on. You can see why it’s called lasagna gardening – layer upon layer of peat moss, kitchen compost, leaf mulch, grass clippings, mushroom compost, and manure. I put the newspaper on top of the ground and then begin the lasagna layers. My sprinkle of parmesan on top is usually a little layer of wood ashes. You don’t have to use peat moss – I like to use it because it speeds up the process.

I love this method of preparing a garden space and I hope you will too! Write in again in the spring and let all of us know how it turned out.

Enjoy your lasagna garden creation,

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