Pros and Cons of Lasagna Gardening

No, lasagna gardening doesn’t involve the delicious Italian pasta dish that you’re probably thinking about. Lasagna gardening – also referred to as no-till gardening – is a gardening technique that’s focused around the construction of multiple compost layers (hence the name) that break down naturally over time. Rather than tilling up the soil each time you prepare your garden for a new plant, you simply add compost over the top layer to create a suitable growing environment.

Lasagna Gardening: Pulling Back The Layers

Lasagna gardening is best performed in small outdoor areas. A layer of nitrogen-rich ingredients are added, followed by a layer of carbon-rich ingredients. As new layers are added, the old layers begin to break down, creating rich soil that encourages healthy plant growth. Before you take the plunge into lasagna gardening, however, you should read the pros and cons listed below.

The layers of a lasagna garden typically fall under one of two different categories: browns and greens. Browns consist of things like pine straw, hay, wood chips, twigs and newspaper, whereas greens are things like vegetable scraps, fruit peelings and grass clippings. It’s critical that you achieve a balanced ratio of brows and greens, along with a balanced ratio of nitrogen and carbon; otherwise, the nutrients will be thrown off and your plants will suffer as a result.

Pros of Lasagna Gardening:
•Less physical labor required to grow plants (huge benefit, especially for people with back problems).
•Organic compost frequently used in lasagna gardens is more nutritious and beneficial than chemical-based fertilizer.
•No need to worry about removing weeds, brush or other overgrowth from your garden.
•Great way to start a garden in otherwise unsuitable terrain.
•It’s an eco-friendly approach to gardening.

Cons of Lasagna Gardening:
•It’s often difficult to achieve a balanced combination of ‘browns’ and 'greens,’ resulting in nutrient deficiencies.
•Organic compost may attract unwanted pests to your garden.
•You may run out of materials to create a full layer in your lasagna garden.
•Only suitable for outdoor use (sorry, indoor gardeners!)
•Some beginners may run into difficulty with some layers of their lasagna garden decomposing faster than others.

As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages to creating a lasagna garden. It’s a fun way to recycle and reuse compost scraps in the garden, but it can also be challenging for beginners.