We tried a new method of gardening this weekend, one designed to spare the backs and knees of the boomer generation. It's a variation of the Lasagna Lawn, though I call it Compost Layer Cake Gardening, or alternatively, Compost Cookie gardening. The best part? No digging involved. The next best part? Water thrifty. I heard about it from my Garden Maven friend whose mom emailed her this article from the LA Times. It sounded easy ... and it was. Really, really, really, no digging, just hoisting a few bales and hauling some sacks of amendments around.
So, for the Compost Layer Cake. First we laid down interleaved newspaper and cardboard (the plate) as a basic barrier against weeds, then plopped down the first layer of alfalfa flakes, added bone and blood meal (filling), slapped on a thicker layer of straw, tossed in a few soupcons of blood and bone meal (for flavor) and then iced it with a thick, choclately layer of compost.
Ours, being rather freeform, ended up looking like a tasty layer cake, or a gi-normous chocolate-drop cookie.
After it sat for a few days, I planted three Early Girl tomato starters in it late this afternoon, to take advantage of the predicted, though highly unusual, rain. Steam rose as I dug down into the hay, it was like a little furnace down in there. Man, that pile is busy!
I might give it another layer of icing this weekend. It's looking a bit naked there.