Keyhole Garden

by David Schulze

What is a keyhole garden? This is what I asked myself the first time I heard someone talk about it. 

So I did some studying and found out that there are many types but at their core they have two things in common.

One is a compost bin placed inside so that you can put your compostable scraps right into the garden. The other is the size makes it easy to work with.

Generally speaking, they are built to resemble an old fashioned keyhole. 

As you can see we have not made ours into a fancy keyhole.

I have put two baskets for compost in ours since we will have a lot due to having a lot of plants to get rid of and we will be accepting compost from others here on the farm.

As the compost matures it should seep into the growing areas. 

We have used 3/4 inch pipe so we can put shade cloth over ours, or a row cover that will help hold in heat. 

We have not finished with this one yet as we still need to put down the weed barrier. The weeds out here were overwhelming in the beginning. Our beans were the first thing we planted. The weeds were so thick that we could not keep up. We ended up tilling it all under, putting in a weed barrier and replanting. This put us behind and just as they started putting on bean pods, we had a freeze that killed them.

Once we have the weed barrier down, we will burn holes in it and plant some red cabbage I have started from seeds and is ready to transplant out.

Once we have these planted, we will put some leftover mulch I have on it. This will help retain moisture and hold the landscape barrier in place.

It is Saturday. It will probably be Monday before we get it done completely.

Now you can read more about keyhole gardens.

You can make them as simple as a square 4 x 4 feet to artistic designs that actually look like old fashioned keyholes.

We have just kept ours simple.

You can also use a keyhole garden to grow herbs in. 

By covering it, you can extend your herb growing season. The compost will produce heat. Will it be enough to keep it warm if covered and the temps get really cold.

I don't know the answer to this but we will find out. Actually the heat idea did not come to me until I started typing this.

Keep checking back as we will update this page as we go along.

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