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!
You can make your bed look twisted by planting rows in a spiral fashion. Those little cones are solar lights.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • 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

  • C.. Woodman
    on Jun 1, 2019

    This looks great but I need a lot more instruction lol... like how do you turn your compost, or why don’t you need to? How does the nutrients get 3 feet out from compost cage. Etc

    • Anita
      on Jun 8, 2020

      the main reason for keeping yr compost heap dry, is that neutriants wont drain through the underground. As water goes down, taking the good stuff with it.

  • IAsimov
    on Jan 14, 2020

    Definitely inspired, but I’ve read in the past, that concrete leaches pollutants into plants causing ill growth. Any comments?

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