Local residents can grab a gardening spots at Friendship Park, 150 Oklahoma Ave., beginning March 5.

Local residents can grab a gardening spots at Friendship Park, 150 Oklahoma Ave., beginning March 5.

Recreation specialist Laura Brewer said the Parks & Recreation Department is offering a different way to garden this season with renovated, raised-bed plots.

Raised beds are built on the ground in frames, which can help reduce weeds and soil compaction, and allows for closer spacing of plants, Brewer said.

Education on raised-bed gardening will be offered before planting begins at the Ohio Herb Education Center (OHEC), 110 Mill St.

Lasagna and Raised Bed Gardening classes are slated for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13 and 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24. Classes are $15 for residents and $20 for others.

Valerie Hamill, OHEC director, said lasagna gardening comes from being associated with the classic Italian dish. Often a synonym for layering, the term "lasagna" in the gardening world refers to a no-dig, no-till organic method resulting in rich, fluffy soil.

The garden is built or layered with organic materials that "cook down" over time, much like its Italian culinary counterpart, producing a soil environment that helps plants thrive.

Richa Jhaldiyal, master gardener and OHEC Herb Society member, will show participants why raised-bed gardening is such an easy method, with no need to remove existing sod and weeds. Seed sharing will also be offered at the March 13 class, so participants are encouraged to bring flower, vegetable and herb seeds from last year's garden to share.

More than 80 spots are available at Friendship Park in 4-by-4-foot and 4-by-8-foot plots in both 1-foot and 2-foot heights.

All of the larger plots were rented last year and 85 percent of smaller plots were used, Brewer said.

Households may register for a maximum of two plots. Households may lease additional plots if any are available after the gardens open April 28.

Plots can be rented by Gahanna residents for $8 for a smaller plot and $12 for the larger one. Applications will be accepted through the Parks & Recreation Department until all spots have been reserved.

In addition to the gardening classes, another spring activity through the OHEC is the Spring Walk at Gahanna Woods slated for 10 a.m. March 24.

The free walk at Gahanna Woods State Nature Preserve, 1501 Taylor Station Road, will be led by Nancy McGregor, Gahanna resident and naturalist.

For more information about OHEC classes and activities, visit ohioherbcenter.org or call (614) 342-4380.