How To Make An African "Keyhole" Style Raised Bed Garden - Off-Grid

How To Make An African “Keyhole” Style Raised Bed Garden

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How To Make An African Keyhole Style Raised Bed GardenHow To Make An African “Keyhole” Style Raised Bed Garden
Photo – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykCXfjzfaco

Here’s a fascinating tutorial by Send a Cow on how to build an African “Keyhole” style raised bed for your garden. It goes at quite a fast pace but provides all of the basic information you need – so you’ll need your notebook and pencil ready! The resulting creation is so much more pleasing to the eye than the widely used rectangular wooden box and has other advantages in addition to being a talking point.



Making a raised bed is a tried and tested way of improving the success of growing your own food. It’s easier to maintain (the weeds can’t get in so easily) and it might keep some garden pests at bay by being raised up. The raised bed may also be a more suitable choice for anyone who has trouble with a bad back or is a wheelchair user.

The design of this round raised bed gives it a very natural appearance, perhaps because it is reminiscent of other natural forms, like our solar system with it’s central source of energy and the life growing around it.

It would be easy to build one of these beds with natural and reclaimed materials anywhere there is a piece of unused flat ground – near the kitchen, as the video suggests, seems like a good idea too – it’s best not to have to go so far for your ingredients. It also means that you can put all of your compostable waste to use as soon as you have made it! The ingenious basket at the centre provides a food and water supply at the same time (some “grey” water could possibly be used here, without detergents or other harmful chemicals). The water that you add to the centre will pass through the compost, dissolving some as it goes, then the solution of goodness will soak through the soil from below to all of your chosen crops. Another advantage with this method is that the plants will grow deep roots to reach the water and nutrients, making them strong.

With a raised bed made from wooden planks it’s not good to plant too close to the corners of the bed as the roots dry up more quickly there, but with the keyhole there are only two outside corners. I imagine that the the part of the crop at the centre would grow better than at the edges, as with many other raised beds, but the stone or brick wall would help to hold moisture – I think I will have to build one and test it for myself!

I love the simplicity and function of the hat that sits on the top of the basket too, it keeps the compost from drying too much in the sun or getting too wet when it rains heavily – the thickness of the thatch on top could be decided by the prevailing climate where you live – another experiment for me to play with. The drumming with this video is great too, if you like that sort of thing!

Okay, here is the video:





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How To Make An African Keyhole Style Raised Bed Garden
Graphic – off-grid.info. Images – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykCXfjzfaco


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