Thursday, September 5, 2013

African Keyhole Garden -Step 2

Well, I finally found some time to finish filling in the keyhole garden #1. The central basket is filled with a mixture of chicken pen litter, sprinkling of soil and compost, and plenty of assorted fresh material for composting (old fruits, badly damaged veggies, green grass clippings, etc). In just 24 hours it has gotten quite hot and is already in full composting mode.

The main bed of the garden has been filled with layers. As you can see in the photos, the fill is mounded up the closer it gets to the central core. The top layer is grass clippings with enough soil to hold it place against the wind. Once filled, I watered it real well. 

First filling, well watered, and starting to compost. 

The garden needs to set alone for a few weeks. It's going to heat up and settle quite a bit. So in a couple weeks we will tromp the stuff down and add more. I suspect that it will go down a good foot, so it will need a lot of refilling. Then once that settles down and the material no longer feels hot, the top layer of soil will go on. I'm guessing we will put 5-6 inches of soil on top, then begin to plant. 

While we are waiting to plant into this new garden, the central core basket will be replenished as needed with the sort of things one puts into a compost bin. In reality, that is exactly what it is. It will feed the keyhole garden. 

Boy, I am really looking forward to planting this buggah and seeing how it works! 


  1. I am looking forward also to see how it works!

  2. I love the simplicity and practicality of your design. I have been thinking of and playing with ideas for raised beds easy for my wife and I to manage as we age. Standing up, whether alone or with a walker or a cane, would be much easier with them. The idea of a keyhole raised bed with growing area on either side and being able to stand inside is going to be a very practical.
    I also just got the opportunity to help a friend with her city backyard garden. She is our age so I am going to talk to her about a "geronculture" approach.

  3. Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. backyard garden design ideas