Preparing Lasagna Rows…Tess’ Till-less Style

Preparing Lasagna Rows…Tess’ Till-less Style

OK, my little eager beavers!  Ready for the next step?  You have decided on the perfect location for your soon-to-be luscious garden?  You have told family and friends that you need all of their cardboard and old newspapers?  You put last night’s potato peels, unwanted lettuce (any uncooked portions of veggies or fruits) and this morning’s eggshells (after you rinsed them out and broke them up) in your indoor compost pail?

Ahh…I see….there is still much to learn, isn’t there?  No worries…I am here for you every step of the way.  Today I want to give you an idea of how to build your lasagna rows so you can start gathering your materials and begin working on them when the weather allows.  You don’t have to do it all at one time – that is the lovely thing about it – you can do a little section or layer at a time until you are ready to plant.

Per my research, I found that with the lasagna method it is best to have 1 part green to 4 parts brown material:
Grass clippings
Barn litter
Coffee grounds
Blood meal

Newspaper/cardboard (bottom layer only and thoroughly soaked)
Shredded office paper
Fall leaves
Wood chips/twigs
Peat Moss

Here is an example of how to layer with number 1 being the layer right on top of the grass:

  1. Newspaper/cardboard
  2. Peat moss
  3. Water & mulch
  4. Hay
  5. Peat moss
  6. Mulch
  7. Hay
  8. Peat Moss

Ideally you would repeat until you had 24 inches of layering. The final layer should be peat moss.

Notice I said ‘ideally”.  When I started, I did not have time for all of that building and layering so I started with only 4 layers:

Ready for plants © 3/25/2011

  1. Cardboard (soaked all the way through)
  2. Peat moss
  3. Grass clippings/compost
  4. Peat moss

It is important to wet each layer after adding it to the row and prior to adding the next layer.

For my convenience and based on the amount of space I had alloted for planting, I chose to make each of my rows approximately 24 inches wide.  This made for easy picking as my plants matured and began to produce as I could reach the veggies from either side of the row.  You can make your rows as long as you like or as is feasible based on the amount of space you have allotted for your gardening pleasure.

This is what my rows look like now.  I have placed cardboard in between my lasagna rows to try to kill some annoying Bermuda grass and plan to put either landscape fabric or compost/peat moss on top of that within the next couple of weeks as the plain cardboard is U-G-L-Y but it is doing the trick.

You can see that I have continued to add leaves, compost and even used coffee grounds to my rows throughout the winter.  You can also see that, at this end, there is a layer of peat moss on two of the rows.  Green peas are planted there and should be sprouting their cute little heads within the next week or so.  Let the excitement begin!!!

Once again, let me emphasize that it is not time to start planting unless you are interested in planting asparagus (normally does not produce spears until after 2 – 3 seasons in the ground), beets, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard greens, potatoes, radish, rutabaga, spinach (a few varieties), or turnips.  Those can be planted now but if you are just starting to farm 🙂 , I would suggest that you focus on your beds now and be ready to plant a summer crop by May 1.  There is still plenty to do…be thinking about what veggies you want to plant, which ones you will get as plants from the hardware store and which ones you want to start from seed.  Next time, I will tell you what I chose to do last year and what my plans are this year.  The options are just limitless…oh…one more thing…if you want to continue to follow along, select “Sign Me Up” on the right hand side of the screen and you will get an email each time I add a new post!

Until next time…think warm weather 😉


  1. Becky Currin says

    I’m leaving for Texas next week and returning home around the middle of April. I’ve chosen the space for the garden, and will be making the rows 15 feet long, 24″ wide with 24″ spacing between. (sound ok?) I was planning on getting the first 3 layers on before leaving, and doing 2-3 more when I return. Thoughts?

    • That sounds perfect! I would recommend doing the cardboard, then peat and then compost (grass/leaves) before you leave. Be sure to soak each layer as you add it. When you come home the rows will have settled some and you will be ready to add your other layers. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Can’t wait to see/hear about your progress! Have a safe trip…

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