Friday, February 24, 2012

My First Keyhole Garden

This has been an interesting project! We had the cinder blocks delivered since the weight of the 75 blocks would require several trips in our truck. The nicest thing about that - The guy was able to place them all right next to the sight, and I get the wood pallet in the deal as well.

After scratching the 6-ft diameter in the dirt, I began laying the blocks so the inside would remain 6-ft. It took 17 blocks. I kept the keyhole as small as I could, but still allow me room to step up to where the central basket will be. The second course took 17 blocks as well. These were set over the gap in the previous.
The 3rd, and last course - passed its first CatScan!
Added the central basket - A 1-ft diameter frame for compost and water when the garden is growing! The inside garden soil is made by soaking cardboard and other compostables in a 3:1 Brown:Green (Carbon:Nitrogen) ratio.
It takes a LOT of material to fill it up!
 I topped it with all the ready compost from the compost bin.
And finished it off with garden soil. It's now ready to plant. The compost materials inside take about 4 weeks to break down, just in time for my plants to begin putting down deep roots.

Since it only took 51 blocks total for the 3 courses, i've got almost half the blocks needed for the second keyhole!


  1. I see you lined it with cardboard, which will rot away in a season or two. Do you intend to take all the soil out at that point and re-line with fresh cardboard, or, or will you mortar in the concrete blocks to make your walls more solid and prevent soil and water oozing out? And... did you buy the concrete blocks? How much did they cost you? Thanks! --- I'm in thge process of trying to build one out of six 40"x48" wood pallets

    1. Sorry, Julianne, didn't see this comment before now. The soil had sunk about a foot by the end of the season last year. Before replanting I added about 6-inches of garden soil purchased from Gardenville - 1 yard dumped in the bed of our truck was about $35 and used for other projects as well. I'll probably add some more at the end of this season too.
      I bought the cinder blocks (8x8x16)at a local hardware store for about $1.50. I do not plan to mortar the blocks and there has not been any leakage.
      Good luck with your keyhole.