DIY Layered Vegetable Garden
Growing up, my sister and I would help my mom in the vegetable garden. Our jobs were to water the vegetables and pull the carrots. I have vivid memories of digging alongside my mom in the dirt, tending to the crops, and eating our delicious veggies at dusk out on the back porch.
Now that I have kids of my own and an ample yard, perfect for a vegetable garden, it’s my turn to create memories with my family. The vegetable garden I made is referred to as a ‘Lasagna Garden’ or that’s at least what my mother-in-law called it. I can hear the twins giggling when they are older when I tell them the name of the garden. I might even stick lasagna noodles in the garden for good fun!
Plot of land
All Natural Weed Killer
Organic Soil for Vegetables
Lettuce or Spinach
Find a plot of land that has at least 8 hours of direct sunlight. I chose a patch right next to the house that would be convenient to water, close enough that the animals wouldn’t come near, and could be incorporated into my flower garden design. As you can see, it was riddled with Dandelions.
Determine what material you will use for the perimeter of your vegetable garden. Since I was incorporating my vegetable garden into the landscape and flower gardens around the house, I used logs I found in the woods to create a more subtle and natural look.
WARNING: If you go search for logs in the woods, make sure the logs are not infested with insects or the hideout for my husband’s Kryptonite, the Wolf Spider! I had the unfortunate run in with about 6 Wolf Spiders, which is rare since they do not live in packs. Matt would not go near the garden until the spider all clear was given. Haha!
SIDE NOTE: For a good laugh, I thought I would add some pictures of my husband, Matt Walsh, when he was attempting to kill a Wolf Spider. I found it on the curtain, 3 inches from his head! Haha!
Spray an all natural weed killer on the Dandelions and topsoil. Do NOT use toxic weed killers like Round Up! You do not want those chemicals soaking into the soil and then eventually your crops. Let the area alone for a day. If the Dandelions die, you are ready to move on to tilling the ground. If they do not die, treat the area again. I made the mistake of spraying the Dandelions and then only waiting an hour. The result, the Dandelions did not die and I had an even bigger challenge ahead of me.
Till the ground and then lay newspaper (not the shiny ads) over the ground. The layer of newspaper will stop weeds from growing, but WILL NOT as I learned, suppress Dandelions. Spray the newspaper with water to keep it from blowing away in the wind.
*If the Dandelions are not dead after you treat it with weed killer, they will eventually grow break through the newspaper. There were so many just a few days later, that I am convinced, the moisture and darkness caused them to multiply even quicker than normal. I ended up having to excavate the area by digging out about 1 foot to remove all the roots. Then I sprayed the all natural weed killer again and that did the trick.*
Step Five: Place a layer of leaves or compost over the layer of newspaper. Spray it down with water to hold in place. Leave the garden for a day or two. The leaves and newspaper will create a compost that will benefit your vegetables.
Next, spread six large bags of organic soil, specifically designed for vegetables, across your plot.
Add in your organic vegetables. I left a section of the garden for future crops that will be planted mid Summer. I purchased organic vegetable plants at a local farmers’ market. My attempt to grow vegetables from seeds was an utter failure. I watered them to often and kept the small greenhouse outside in direct sunlight during the day. I ended up creating essentially a port-a-potty! The stench was worse than anything I have ever smelled and I assure you my twins’ dirty diapers do not smell like roses! Haha!
*If you are planning on growing the vegetables from seeds, you will want to grow them in a small greenhouse or egg cartons indoors until they are large enough and can handle the outdoor temperatures. Do not over water.*
2 months later: