Debbie's Dream added on October 20, 2016 | Answered

I read where you can spread manure on your rototilled garden in the fall, then layer large pieces of cardboard on it. Come spring simply cut holes in the cardboard. It's supposed to really cut down on watering as well as weeds. I'm finally gonna try it. My questions are, can I also add shredded paper over the manure? Is all that ink OK? What about lots of coffee grounds? I can get all I want from a Dunkin Donuts Shop. I also have egg shell "soup" that I've made throughout the summer. Save it for spring or put in now? What's the harm in putting veg peelings and "stuff" in the garden without composting it?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 21, 2016

You can use all the materials you mention in a garden without composting them. This method is known as lasagna gardening and has some advantages and some disadvantages compared to traditional composting:

Coffee grounds are great, but are best added in spring:

Newspaper ink could plausibly be harmful in large amounts, and wouldn't be allowed in organic gardening, but many gardeners use newspaper or other paper with ink anyway.

The manure should be "cured" or composted before adding it, or it can harm plants.

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