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Hi Everyone! I've been reading this book called Lasagna Gardening, and I would love to try this. So far I've only got some feed sacks down. I've noticed that I've made the fire ants quite cozy. Has anyone on here tried this method in the South? My major concern is a huge fire ant population next year.

For those of you who haven't read the book, it's about laying layers of different compostable materials to build up your soil and encourage a low weed season the following year. It's also supposed to keep you from having to use a tiller ever again. In the spring, your'e supposed to be able to just make your hole and put in your plant or seed, mulch and water, and presto! You start by putting down a thick layer of newspaper, then peat moss, then manure, peat moss, grass clippings, peat moss, shredded leaves, peat moss, unfinished compost, peat moss, etc... Then you are supposed to finish this off with some wood ashes and let it sit all winter. In the spring you are supposed to have several inches of wonderful soil. My plan was to cover it with some plastic to keep my chickens from scratching it all up. The author gardens in the northeast, so I don't think fire ants were a concern for her. We have them so bad, if I let anything sit on the ground for a day or two, the fire ants have taken up residence either under or next to it.

The other idea I had was to use mushroom compost in place of some of the peat moss layers. I read somewhere that peat bogs were being depleted by over harvesting. Mushroom compost has peat moss in it. I found a source for the mushroom compost in SC, only problem is I need a pickup to go get it, or they will ship me a semi truck load for $1,350.00. A pickup load is only $25.00. The semi truck load is out of the question.

I'm sure I'm not the only one planning a bigger and better garden for next year!
 

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Before there was lasagnia gardening, there was Ruth Stout. Same idea. I used really heavy mulch in mid MS in the early 80's. There were fire ants all over the place but they weren't bad in my garden. Had a fantastic garden too.
 

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I've been doing an extremely modified form of lasagna gardening (using only what i have, which is mostly straw with a mess of manure in it and some peat, plus some stuff from the kitchen, garden debris, etc).

I'm not as far south as you, but fairly so and, although I've had some problems with those annoying tiny snails :rolleyes: , all in all, it's a great way to do things, esp. in hot humid climates.

I say go for it and modify however you need. It strikes me as a kind of foolproof kind of gardening.
 

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one major drawback is that it provides ideal habitat for slugs.
 

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I did the Lasagne Gardening coupled with raised beds and square foot gardening. I did hve ants in two places in the garden, in th okra and in the sweet potatoes. hey always get in the okra, I guess they like it. I use diatanacious (sp?) on the potatoes. I didn't have a slug problem that I know of. I have about 14 ducks at the time, so a slug would have a hard row to hoe in my garden.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone! Now I just gotta find someone who will let me rake their yard! Don't think that will be too hard! Actually, will just cruise the neighborhoods and look for them already bagged!
 

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Last fall I picked up 51 bags of leaves from around town. Only quit because my help got tired!

Lasagne gardening works! I use Amdro around the edges of the beds to control fire ants. If I need something IN the bed, I use Antie Fuego. It's an orange oil product. BE VERY CAREFUL with it because it will kill earthworms, too.
 

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Could the wood ash come from my burn barrel? How about my fireplace? I use a StarterLogg. If not where can I get wood ash?

I don't use anthro around my garden. I just pour pans of boiling water on the mounds until I don't see any moving ants.

I have been wanting to try this method of gardening.
 
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