Friday, April 23, 2010

Another Kind of Raised Bed Garden

Key Hole Gardens

Keyhole gardens are a technique used to grow vegetables in a dry climate. They are actually a special form of raised bed gardens: circular waist high raised beds with a path to the center. Walled in by stones, there’s a basket made from sticks and straw in the center that holds manure and other organic kitchen waste for compost.
Since they look like a keyhole from above, they are often called keyhole gardens and also promoted under this name in Lesotho, where the charity organisation “Send a Cow” has been promoting the creation of these special gardens for some time now.

So what makes these gardens so special?

•the surrounding stones retain the rich soils and keep it safe from erosion
•the round shape retains moisture
•compact size, even small plots can be used for gardening
•raised beds enable the sick and elderly to help with the gardening work
•center in the middle is used for composting and reuse of greywater (= reuse of nutrients)

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