Monday, August 23, 2010

Lasagna Bed in Place

Right after constructing the compost bin on Sunday I also put together my first lasagna bed in the Tokyo garden. This past year I felt things in the garden were a bit lackluster. I know I keep saying that, but something is nagging at me about the whole set-up. My hunch is that I'm not quite tending to my soil the way I should.

We farm and grow here year round. Summer vegetables give way to winter vegetables give way to spring to summer again. It's a lovely thing to have all those winter greens to eat, but I feel my soil isn't getting a chance to rejuvenate properly. In Michigan I'd top the beds up with a good dose of horse manure (I've been saying what I'm really missing these days is a horse's ass...), straw, chicken coop leavings, a bit more straw, and head inside for a hot cup of tea and homemade bread from our friends at Ambry Farms.

Since the soil is getting worked so heavily and my supply of straw and manure is limited, I've decided to take things into my own hands a bit. The weeds cleared out from the edge, paths, and rows (yes, things got a bit out of hand over vacation in more ways than one) along with some corn husks and leaves replaced the straw, and the cow manure I purchased the other day made up for the horse's ass. A good thick layer of newspaper on the bottom, then thick poop, thick straw, poop, straw, and a topper of poop. I'd like to add a bit of woodash or its equivalent, but I'm not sure where to find that.

I'm trying to decide between two ideas for this space. The first has me letting it stew for about a month and then planting garlic cloves. The second has me letting it stew until spring and planting a nice bed of seedlings of some sort or another. We'll see what happens. (Suggestions welcome.)


fer said...

Hello my name is Fernando

I am a fellow gardener in japan
I want to reach out and get to know more people who share my passion for gardening here i japan
I only have a small little balcony garden but i try hard to make it prosper.
Hope we can become on-line garden neighbors

nice meeting you

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks for reading, Fernando! Balcony gardens are wonderful. You should look at, too. They've got great information there. thanks for sending a note! Happy gardening!

Compost Lasagna said...

Dang, that's cool. I did my first compost lasagna last year, and this year I took pictures when I did it.

By the way, I never even considered growing popcorn, but now I want to try it! Is it hard to get started?

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Popcorn is not difficult to get started at all, CL. It's the classic pop it in the ground and wait for it to grow technique. The only thing to be careful of is not thinking the first shoots are grassy weeds and pulling them. That would have been my classic error the very first year I grew it on my own. There's a photo here:
that might be helpful. (Not quite mastered how to link in the comments. Sigh.) Let me know how it goes!