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How to Start a Simple Vegetable Garden

By Tammy Curry ; Updated September 21, 2017

Vegetable gardening seems daunting to many people. There are several simple ways to start a small produce garden in your backyard. What has become known as "lasagna gardening" is the simplest. It does not require any special knowledge or tools. On a small scale someone with physical limitations can still enjoy a productive vegetable garden.

Select a flat, sunny area for your garden. Lay down cardboard to cover the space. Layer items in the following order: manure, wet newspaper, grass clippings, wet newspaper, peat moss, wet newspaper, leaves, wet newspaper, compost, and one more layer of wet newspaper. The layering is what sparked the name "lasagne gardening." The manure, grass clippings, peat moss, and leaves should all be at least 2 inches deep when you are done spreading them over the cardboard. The newspaper should be three to four sheets thick.

Cut an “X” with the utility knife to insert seedlings directly into the garden. Push your fingers through the layers so that the roots will be at 6 to 8 inches down into the layers. Cut a straight line through the top layer of the newspaper and sow your vegetable seeds, close the slit in the newspaper and cover lightly with peat moss and manure, approximately 1/2 inch.

Water your garden regularly, do not let the top two layers become dry. To control weeds you can add more newspaper and peat moss around the base of the plants. Insect control is done naturally using broken clay pots. This will attract beneficial insect eaters such as frogs and toads. Broken clay pots also attract slugs. Set the pieces of the pots at corners and overlapped areas of newspaper.

Harvest your vegetables as they ripen. Add additional layers, in the same order as before, after removing spent plants and plant again. Spent plants can be put into a compost pile to breakdown and be reused later. Overwinter your garden by adding one more layer of lasagna and cover with cardboard.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Peat Moss
  • Grass Clippings
  • Leaves
  • Utility knife
  • Broken clay pots

Tips

  • Start with a small section of ground, 10-by-10 feet. You can expand the garden or create other beds in the future.
  • Pick the south facing side of your home, this tends to get the most sun and will help all the materials breakdown over winter.
  • Create weed free paths between garden beds place cardboard in between and cover with sand or gravel.
  • Spray leaves and stems light with soapy water to get rid of insects.

About the Author

 

Currently residing in Myrtle Beach, SC, Tammy Curry began writing agricultural and frugal living articles in 2004. Her articles have appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Farm Chronicle and Country Family Magazine. Ms. Curry has also written SEO articles for textbroker.com. She holds an associate's degree in science from Jefferson College of Health Sciences.