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Lasagna layering
& no dig gardens

Improve your soil structure, water retention & drainage

Plants & soil life need a balance of free draining, well oxygenated soil, as well as moisture. 


Sandy soils are too free draining & don’t retain nutrients; clay soils are nutrient dense but are prone to water logging and don't have enough oxygen pockets. Ideally, we want to build something in the middle.


It starts with improving fertility & soil activity.

Feed the life in your soil, with food they can eat. That is, anything that is organic ie carbon based, that can break down & decompose. The more variety the better. Examples include worm castings, compost, blood & bone, seaweed, dried blood, sheep pellets, compost teas, and super mulch like lucerne, pea straw, and cocoa husks. 

Be careful not to kill off the good guys in your garden, with the bad guys. Minimise / eliminate your use of chemicals like pesticides (kill insects), herbicides (kills grass & weeds), and fungicides (kills fungi & microbes) which can destroy soil life, and breakdown the wide range of, and upset the balance in your garden. Remember, the good guys eat the bad guys, and you need both, in balance.

Here is a great way to build & improve  awesome new soil.



Lasagna layering & no dig gardens

Lasagna layering is a great way to create new garden beds eg over an old lawn, a building site, or section of heavy clay, and to fill up new garden planters. You can also use this method to hold & improve a new gardens areas over summer, ready for planting in autumn.

It just takes a bit of time – 3 to 6 months (more likely); but the results are worth it. It is my preferred method over spraying to kill off lawns, digging out heavy clay (unless time is of the essence), and importing mixes of unknown and  questionable quality, which could have low fertility, or substrate bases scraped off building sites with too high clay content, contaminants, and weed seeds.

The basic recipe

The idea is to layer up the space with goodness, and let nature’s heavy lifters do the hard work for you. So you want to be creating an environment where worms, fungi & microbes want to live; decompose & turnover the layers, and create new nutritious and hummus rich, light & fluffy stuff for you to plant into.


Here is the basic recipe. Layer up the following, from the bottom, ground up:

  • TOP - thick layer of mixed species mulch 10-15cm deep

  • Thick layer of ready-to-go compost to plant into first 10cm deep

  • As many layers as you like of Carbon + Fairy Dust Sprinkles + Nitrogen

  • Old rotting logs, if you’re filling a bottomless planter

  • Wet newspaper and/or wet cardboard

  • Fairy Dust Sprinkles + Blood & Bone

  • Gypsum clay breaker

  • BOTTOM - bare earth eg old lawn, heavy clay, or a compacted building site. Big note: not compacted basecourse or concrete - these will need to be removed first. It needs to be a base of organic living earth, a route in and out for living organisms and water..


What you can use - sources of different key ingredients:

Ready-to-go near the top - compost, vermicast (worm poo), aged horse poo mixed with sawdust


Mixed layers of:

+ Carbon eg mulch, straw, leaves, twigs, wet newspaper, wet carboard, dried seaweed

+ Fairy Dust Sprinkles - activators & catalysts incl as many of the following: 

  • Microbes – EMO drench, Boakshi, EarthZing

  • Minerals – rock dust, seaweed flakes

  • Fungi – Mycorrhizal additives (rotting logs, and aged bark mulch)

  • Biochar - helps build homes for microbes (large surface area)

+ Nitrogen –chicken poo, sheep pellets, fresh wet seaweed, blood & bone


Structural elements:

  • Mulch is great on top as a cover lid & love blanket.

  • Old logs take up bulk and are a good source of fungi, but are slow to decompose and hard to plant into. so put them near the bottom.

  • Gypsum helps break up clay so put it on the bottom against the bare earth.


Layer & leave for 3-6 months to do its thing. Don’t let it dry out. If it doesn’t rain, then give it a good water once a week, preferably with rain or filtered water (avoiding chlorine). Plant directly into the top layer.

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