Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > October 2015 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Layer Cake, Baklava, Lasagna...

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Layer Cake, Baklava, Lasagna...

Some of the best things in life come in layers—layer cake, lasagna, baklava… There’s not a whole lot better in my book.  You can take this same principle and apply it to gardening—planting in layers.  This is companion planting at its best—a Lasagna Garden.

You can do this in a container or in the ground.  For a container, choose one at least 15 or more inches deep.  Remember, clay pots can crack if left out over the winter, so glazed or plastic are best for this.  Be sure the container has good drainage.  Fill the bottom of the container with a good potting soil until you are about 12 inches from the top.  Place your tulips on this layer, about 2 inches apart, noses pointing up—keep them two inches from the sides (this will help to protect them a little from cold winter temperatures.)  Cover with more soil, adding until the soil is about 7 inches from the top and place daffodils or hyacinths in this layer, again spacing 2 inches apart.

Add more soil to the top of the container and then plant pansies on top.  Go in between the pansies with small bulbs such as crocus, grape hyacinths, or mini-iris and push them down into the soil about 3 inches deep.  Water well.  That’s it—a bouquet in a pot.

The container needs to be left outside for the winter, but pull it up next to the house for a little protection.  If we are forecast to get viciously cold, then an armload of pine tags or dried leaves around the outside of the pot will offer extra protection. 

When you plant, keep in mind the heights and bloom times of your bulbs.  Do you want all the bulbs to bloom at the same time or do you want to extend your color over a longer period by choosing bulbs that bloom at different times?  As a general guide, some good early bulbs would be crocus, mini-iris, Scilla Siberica or February Gold daffodils.  Bulbs that would bloom a little later would be most other daffodils, Triumph tulips, grape hyacinths or hyacinths.  Some of the latest blooming bulbs would be Single Late or Double Late Tulips, Lily-Flowered or Parrot Tulips, Spanish Bluebells and Dutch Iris.

To do this same planting in the ground, dig your hole at least 12” deep.  Tulips will always go on the bottom layer—this not only protects from our summer heat, but also from burrowing critters like squirrels and voles (they don’t generally dig that far down).  Daffodils or hyacinths can go in the middle layer because critters that might dig down 6 inches don’t eat them anyway.  By the way, if squirrels dig in the top layer around your pansies, try sprinkling with a generous dusting of cayenne pepper or crushed pepper flakes.

Try planting a lasagna garden this year—you can’t eat it but it’s delicious to look at.
Posted: 10/26/2015 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: Bonnie's, Garden, gardening, Lasagna
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