The No-Till Approach
Lasagna gardens and lawns
Lasagna gardening does not involve tilling the soil to prepare for planting. Instead, the ground is covered with material to stop the growth of the existing vegetation. Lasagna gardens are also known as sheet mulching, or sheet compost.
The basic idea is this;
The ground is covered in clean newspaper, or cardboard. Meaning minimal tape and staples.
The covering is soaked with water. This helps to start the paper decomposition. It also helps to choke the existing vegetation of oxygen, temporarily.
The wet paper is covered by a layer of brown material. Leaves and straw are good materials for this.
A layer of green material is next. Vegetable scraps, and finished compost work well in this layer.
This brown and green layers repeat.
Up to 3 feet high with enough material.
The layers decompose as the garden ages. The pile becomes smaller as the soil becomes healthier and more productive.
Vegetable gardens can be built in this fashion.
Lawns being overrun by a noxious weed can also be helped using this method.
See the Mackson’s Lawn page, or check out the Mason’s Vegetable gardens.
Hugelkultur uses the same principle. This technique originates in Germany and eastern Europe. It utilizes fallen timber and other decaying wood debris as a frame. The frame is filled with vegetable scraps, leaf litter and small twigs. Once this cures for some time, it is used as a raised bed.
I have not tried this method myself, however, I know some who have had great success.