popular in Africa, keyhole gardens are catching on in Texas and other hot, dry places. Keyhole gardens hold moisture and nutrients due to an active compost pile placed in the center of a round bed. Although most helpful in hot and dry locations a keyhole garden will improve growing conditions in just about any climate.
From a bird’s eye view the garden is shaped as a keyhole. A notch is cut into a round garden bed, the notch makes for easy access to the center compost well. (Note the first diagram below; to see keyhole.)
Keyhole garden in Uganda by Send a Cow. This sustainable gardening method uses kitchen and garden waste and gray water (or wash water) as food for your garden. www.sendacow.org.uk
Keyhole garden scheme. Layering is proven to enhance soil health. Layering sugestions: wood on very bottom, next cardboard, next a bit of compost, next petroleum-free newspaper, manure, worms, wood ash, straw, topsoil. Repeat, compost, straw, topsoil or some such combination until you reach desired height. texascooppower.com
When it rains or when you water your compost, the nutrients will seep into the surrounding bed. During rainy spells you might wish to cover the compost so the nutrients in the compost do not leach out too rapidly.