Keyhole Garden Bed Method, a Compost and Garden Bed in One.


We didn't have space for both a garden bed and a compost heap so we chose to use the Keyhole Garden Bed Method to create a raised bed that would combine both!
We reused cinder blocks and recycled cardboard for this lasagna style garden that was super easy to construct. Benefits include water conservation, recycled materials, feeds itself naturally and it saves space!
keyhole garden bed method a compost and garden bed in one, composting, gardening, go green, raised garden beds
You can make your bed look twisted by planting rows in a spiral fashion. Those little cones are solar lights.
keyhole garden bed method a compost and garden bed in one, composting, gardening, go green, raised garden beds
Draw out your keyhole shape using two sticks with a string approx 3' long. Simply place the first stick in the center and walk around.
keyhole garden bed method a compost and garden bed in one, composting, gardening, go green, raised garden beds
Draw a circle in the center, this is where your compost basket will go. Then draw a wedge, this is your access to your compost. Place your wedge on the north end of the bed as this area will received the least amount of light.
keyhole garden bed method a compost and garden bed in one, composting, gardening, go green, raised garden beds
Use bricks or any material you can find to create your outer walls. You will only need to build this up to 30" high. The bricks work great for those that need a raised bed with an area to sit on for gardening, especially ideal for wheelchair accessibility.
keyhole garden bed method a compost and garden bed in one, composting, gardening, go green, raised garden beds
Place a chicken wire or other wired material cage in the center of your bed. We used wire fencing that was 4' wide. Layer the bottom of the bed with cardboard, twigs, newsprint etc... building your layers up with soil ending with at least 12" of just soil about 6" down from your cage and sloping toward the bricks outer layer.
Compost goes in the cage and the bed is watered through this opening. As the recycled materials and compost break down, they will feed your plants.
To see all the instructions visit the link below.
Sow and Dipity

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Lynnette Bowden
    on Jun 20, 2017

    does the cardboard and newspaper go in the actual compost bin in layers or the garden area around the compost bin? Also if I have no compost yet can I just start or should I buy a bag to have first layer?
  • Laura Londraville Gutowski
    on Aug 13, 2018

    We were given a whole bunch of regular red bricks. Are those ok to use or are the open hole spaces in the cinder blocks necessary for air circulation in the compost?

    • Heather Wass
      on Apr 3, 2019

      If you read their directions above; you will see you can use bricks or anything.

  • Bobbi
    on Mar 7, 2019

    I would like to do this but have some questions about the compost area is there enough room to turn over

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