Do you ever feel like a chef while gardening? While chefs add various ingredients to recipes to make their masterpieces, gardeners use different plants to create stunning landscape designs. Add a dash of this bulb here, a pinch of that annual there, and voila! You have a beautiful garden.
Well, as you know, gardening takes a bit more effort than tossing bulbs and seeds around your yard. But there are for sure similarities between chefs and gardeners—and if you’re not convinced yet, then “lasagna layering” might make you think otherwise!
Lasagna layering is a gardening method where you plant various bulbs in different layers of soil.
Besides being a fun way to incorporate color themes into your garden, lasagna layering can ensure something is always in bloom in your garden. Here’s what lasagna layering is and your guide—or recipe!—on how to do it yourself!
What Is Lasagna Layering?
Lasagna layering is a gardening method where you plant various bulbs in different layers of soil. This can be done in pots, and we call it “living flower arrangements.” But when done in garden beds, bulbs planted with the lasagna layering method have more room to grow, which is ideal if you want them to come back year after year.
With lasagna layering, since the bulbs share the same garden bed soil, they are also sharing the same nutrients. That’s why you should choose plants that peak at different times, so they don’t have to fight for sunshine or nutrients from the soil. That means you can do staggered planting by including bulbs that bloom early, mid, and late spring, or you can opt for simultaneous planting and choose plants that perhaps bloom around the same time but don’t compete with the other plants, so they all can take what they need to thrive.
How to Use the Lasagna Gardening Method
Start with soil with lots of compost worked into it. This makes sure the soil has the nutrients plants need to grow, plus many bulbs appreciate well-draining soil. We’ll give some examples of three-layer arrangements, but if you don’t have soil deep enough, you can always do just two.
Once you determine where you’ll put the bulbs—keep in mind most bulbs thrive in full sun but be sure to check the label—and after you have amended the soil, dig the area where you will place your lasagna layers. In general, you should plant bulbs three times its height deep, and four times for tulips. That means this first layer should generally have the largest bulbs since they require the deepest holes. When you space out the bulbs in your layer, have them about three times their width apart.
After you place the first layer of bulbs, cover with two inches of soil, then add the second layer of bulbs, but don’t put them directly on top of the bulbs in the first layer. This will ensure the bulbs all have enough space to grow their roots in their own soil. Repeat this process until you have done all three layers, then water well.
To finish it all off, you can also overseed with annuals—sort of like adding Parmesan cheese on top of your lasagna.
Lasagna Layering Recipes
If you select fall-planted, spring-blooming bulbs that bloom in early, mid, and late spring, then you’ll have a garden continuously in bloom! You can also instead choose plants that bloom around the same time that will share the same soil profile without impinging on each other. Here are a couple of combinations you can use in lasagna layering.
The deepest layer of this bulb combination blooms the latest in the season, and the top layer blooms the earliest, meaning you’ll have a garden bed always in bloom. This all-white flower theme will light up the night—they look simply stunning in the evening as your yard lights highlight them.
Light Up the Night
- Layer 1 (Deepest Layer): White Giant Allium
- Layer 2 (Middle Layer): Antarctica Tulip
- Layer 3 (Top Layer): ‘White Splendour’ Anemone
With this combination, each plant takes what it needs from the soil at different times of the year, even though they bloom around the same time, from late spring to early summer. This is a liberty or patriotic-themed combination since it features red, white, and blue flowers.
- Layer 1 (Deepest Layer): Red Impression Tulip
- Layer 2 (Middle Layer): Thalia Daffodil
- Layer 3 (Top Layer): ‘Blue Jacket’ Hyacinth
Lasagna layering helps you to maximize the space in your garden since you can plant more bulbs in less space! Have some fun with it, and see what kind of themes you can come up with!
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