I have been gardening for more than 20 years but, this past summer my family and I did it a bit different and are SO happy we did. We put in a layered or "lasagna" garden. The LA Times newspaper ran an article( June 08?) about this method and I researched it at the library. The basic formula: layers of newspaper, alfalfa hay, straw, again alfalfa hay, straw; between each layer (after first layer of alfalfa) bone & blood meal (for each layer 4 lbs of each?) then after these layers 4 inches planting soil or compost if you have it.
One thing to know, the bone & blood meal will make this bed hot, so you should do your layers water it well & keep it moist for about a week before you plant anything. We didnt do this and our little transplants didnt like it. I live in Southern coastal Cal so we have had the garden since starting last summer, the soil is amazing! The best part is NO digging just layering! You wont be sorry.
at 11:18 AM on Feb. 20, 2009