Lasagna gardening

Q: I live in Edmonton, Alberta. I’m not sure how to describe the region but I have a vague memory that I’m in the #3 zone. We usually have had our first frost and snow by end of October and first planting is usually done around the May long weekend (i.e. 3rd w/e in May). I want to try lasagna gardening on an old daisy and quack grass plot. My intention is to lay down the layers before the first frost and let it ‘cook’ over the winter so that I can start planting in the spring. One of the first layers are numerous sheets of wet newspaper. My friend said that when she tried this, after 6 weeks the newspaper had not yet broken down. I’m wondering if it’s okay to strip the newspaper first, then wet it?

My experience has shown that a layer of flattened cardboard (no coloured ink on it) takes the longest to break down, and provides the best barrier against pernicious weeds below. Newspaper only lasts one season, so the weeds take over the lasagna bed the following.

I recommend using cardboard now.