Spring is here and we are loving every minute of the warmer weather here in Denver. Of course we still get our occasional 4 season day. If you have lived here for a bit, you know what I'm talking about. Even if we are still getting snow at this latitude, it is planting season for many of our southern neighbors so getting those gardens started may be at the top of your list. I want to talk about Keyhole Gardening.
Keyhole gardening was first made popular in Africa in the 90's but is now used by many home gardeners, permaculture designers, and landscape designers across the world. A Keyhole Garden is usually circular but can be made with long S-shaped garden beds as well. Each bed will have a section cropped out (looks like a key hole, DUH!) that contains a compost bin. This makes it easier for the gardener to turn the soil and keep the whole bed within arms reach.
Image by: Cristina Byvik
Keyhole garden beds are usually raised to make it easier on the body and are made with a drainage layer, soil layer, and planting area with a composting bin in the center. Layering has been proven to increase soil health overall and the compost will send nutrients into your bed after a rain or water.
Dry climates are where these are mostly used but can improve growing conditions in almost any climate. The layering system that is used works wonders to hold in moisture and mulching the top layer can help hold even more water for drought season.
Lets Get Dirty
Anyone can start one of these beautiful garden beds with a little bit of space, time, and love for gardening. Having a garden bed can reduce your grocery bills, provide a fun activity to do with a friend or family, create community (if you share), increase your mood, and provide a safe place for bees to pollinate.
Post your photos if you already have a bed or decide to build one! I would love to see them.
By: Misty Leiter