Whether you are starting from scratch or your garden just needs a top up, the method that I adopt can be applied to both. In my personal opinion, Lasagne Layering is one of the best ways to provide a good year long supply of nutrients cheaply.
My version of ‘lasagna layering’ is where the garden beds are filled predominantly with alternate layers of Lucerne mulch, spent mushroom compost and manure as indicated in the diagram. However, if you are just topping up your garden you only need to do the top four layers.
Lucerne mulch is regularly available at the local produce store and we are fortunate to be living within scenic driving distance of a couple of mushroom farms that are more than willing for you to buy their spent mushroom compost. An added bonus of the mushroom compost is that you are more than likely to gain a few fresh mushrooms as your first harvest!
When it comes to the manure layer, anything you can get your hands on is great, but generally the nutrient scale from highest to lowest is chook, goat, pig, sheep, horse and then cow. It should also be noted that the higher nutrient rich manures are the most processed by the animal and therefore are less likely to have viable weed seeds.
However, if you can’t get your hands on some fresh manure, an alternative is to use dynamic lifter or other pelletised manure based fertilizer. You will only need to scatter this across as your layering and make up the bulk with the lucerne mulch.
Once your garden is filled, it helps to leave it settle for about two weeks and then plant seedlings or seeds into pockets of compost. It’s a great idea to use this waiting time to raise some seedlings of your own to plant in.