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lasagna recipes

July 17, 2012 Gotalottie, Tips No Comments
we've made a start

One of the first meals that I ever cooked when Tanya moved to England – was lasagna.

I cheated to be honest – because I used 2 jars of sauces: the red one and the white one (easy life required)

Everything else was authentic, minced beef, peppers, onions, some mushrooms, lasagna…

We don’t eat so much meat these days, have a good diet of veg (handy now that we are proud allotment holders) and fresh fish (even handier – as we live by the sea).

On Wednesday, Tanya made a lasagna. Salmon lasagna, the fish came from a tin and the menu – from a Russian newspaper. Russian salmon lasagna; verdict: amazing! Please leave a comment and we’ll post the recipe.

Keeping a balance..

Our weekend was to be 2 different days - Saturday and Sunday of course but with one day on the allotment and one off. A mixed diet – some meat or fish, some veg. We decided to visit Wensleydale on Saturday, it’s a 40 minute drive for us – through Darlington. Scenic, weather was true to form – sunshine and showers.

On Sunday we were allotmenteers again, the weather not true to form – sunshine.

I’d meant to buy a decent brush last week, but being a man – I forgot. As our plans involved painting part of the fence, this oversight was to be my eventual undoing..

As a keen and very patient cross-stitcher, Tanya was not daunted by the 40mm brush (the only brush) offered/available. Our plans for the day included 3 sq m of very stubborn weeds, getting 3 cu m of old weeds off site, shifting half of an old compost/sh*t heap, building a raised bed, filling it and of course, painting part of the fence…. Tanya was happy to take the fence :-)

Tanya makes a start on fence

Tanya makes a start on fence

The fence painting begins on the inside, starting where our first raised bed is to go.

Back to lasagna..

We’re planning to do all of this on a plot which is riddled with Horsetail and that’s going to be a problem because we can’t dig. If we dig, we’ll be breaking up small pieces of root and for each piece of root – another new horsetail could potentially appear.

So, no-dig. We’ll use deep lasagna beds laid on thick cardboard for maximun weed suppression with absolutely no daylight entering the soil. More on this later, for now we’re going to demonstrate our lasagna recipe.

Our first lasagna bed is built against the fence. This will be for some colour (Dahlias, etc) and will be a start up bed for herbs. The size is 200cms x 90cms and 25cms deep. We’ve lined where the bed will touch the fence – with a strip of black plastic sheet and the entire inside of the bed is lined with a minimum of 2 thicknesses of card – all pre-soaked.

first layer - greens

first layer – greens


Onto the card goes a ‘Green’ layer – a pile of friendly weeds, these were chopped into small pieces approx 10cms long and forms a layer approx 10cms thick when loose. Everything is well watered down and slightly trampled.

second layer - bacteria (soil)

second layer – bacteria (soil)


The next layer is a ‘Brown’ layer, in this case old straw and twiggy stems approximately 10cms thick when loose. This is also well watered and trampled.

adding layers - browns/greens

adding layers – browns/greens


Two layers in quick succession – 5cms of fresh grass cuttings followed by 10cms of shredded paper. Paper is watered in well and slightly trampled. Bringing in some help!

adding worms

adding worms

Adding redworms into the shredded paper. Natures diggers. (no more trampling now)

piling on the greens

piling on the greens


Another layer of green – 5cms of grass clippings. Water down well.

thick brown layer again

thick brown layer again


2 more layers – a 4cms layer of brown – straw, dried grass. This is followed by a scattering of soil – this is adding the bacteria which is going to kickstart the bed.

alternating shredded paper/soft brown

alternating shredded paper/soft brown


2 more layers – green (grass clippings), followed by a thick (10cms) bed of shredded paper. Don’t forget the watering in.

final green - watering in between layers

final green – watering in between layers


The final layer – 5cms of grass clippings and a hearty water in.

The pile is compressing itself now with a lot of weight from above.

It looks a little strange at the moment and is bound to get a smirk or giggle from a few people. In a couple of weeks time, this will look like a well mulched bed and no-one will be any the wiser.

To finish things off – we went ahead and planted some Dahlias straight into the lasagna bed. The only requirement is to keep the mulch away from the stem of the plants for a couple of weeks (we used a little bit of compost to support the tuber and the stem). As the weeks progress, we’ll be filling up the bed with additional green mulch to keep the level up with the top of the framework.

young dahlias from bulbs going straight in

young dahlias from bulbs going straight in

The fence looks brilliant, from both sides. I should have got Tanya a bigger brush…
as was commented by curious passers-by (several times).
clever girl!

clever girl!

Hey Ho.. Not bad, it’s only been 2 weeks since we were told that we could take the plot.
we've made a start

we’ve made a start


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