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How To Prepare Soil For Gardening

Instead of digging deep, use a technique called "lasagna gardening" to increase the richness of your soil.


  • Step 1: Lay your garden tarpaulin flat next to the area where you are going to turn the soil. Create an open plot in your garden by removing the top six inches of soil with you shovel, and placing it on the tarpaulin.
  • Step 2: Separate the newspaper pages and place three layers of paper in the plot. Using the garden hose, gently wet the newspapers until they are damp but not soggy.
  • Step 3: Open your bale of peat moss, which will expand after you open the packaging. Lay down a layer about one inch thick on top of the newspapers. Replace peat moss with coir if using.
  • Step 4: With your shovel, scoop up the rotting eggshells and coffee grounds, and spread a thin layer of this kitchen waste over the peat moss.
  • TIP: Creating a compost heap in the corner of your yard makes an excellent layer in your garden lasagna.
  • Step 5: Dump the basket basket of leaves or grass clippings on top of the kitchen waste and spread them evenly in the garden plot.
  • Step 6: Scoop the soil off the tarpaulin and place that on top of the leaves, making sure to spread it evenly. Gently water the top layer until it is wet but not muddy.
  • Step 7: You can plant flowers or vegetables right away in your garden plot or let the organic materials "cook" in the sun for several weeks to enrich the soil.
  • FACT: Barack and Michelle Obama brought back the World War II "Victory Garden," growing their own vegetables on part of the White House lawn.

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