The elements of decoration

Garden «keyhole»: high beds the African way

Garden ‘keyhole": high beds the African way

«Keyhole» in Africa, the birthplace of this method of planting, called the garden, but in our understanding it is rather not the garden and the high garden. It is very convenient for those who love to gardening, but not ready to experience back pain. With such a garden you can grow enough food to feed a small family. The idea of this construction originated in Africa due to the fact that the climate of this continent requires the effective use of water resources. For Africa and other regions with a hot climate «keyhole» is what you need. However, this idea is also pressed.

The contents

The principle of such a device «high beds»

The name of the African garden was not invented by accident. If you look at it from the top, we will see a form which will resemble the classic image of a keyhole. The center building will be a basket for compost, which organized a comfortable passage. The diameter of the garden will not exceed 2-2,5 meters.

Plan the garden

A patch is presented in two views: top view and view of the collection section. Immediately obvious why this building got its exotic name

As soon as the container of compost will be watered in the soil of the garden it will stand out nutrients. If you constantly add kitchen waste and fruit drops into the tank, the required reserves of useful minerals in the soil will be continuously updated.

If your region is rainy climate, then for compost basket better to build a cover. This will help to regulate the process of admission to the beds the soil nutrients. Whether the cap will reduce the level of evaporation and retain heat generated in the fermentation process. The capacity for compost must rise above the surface of the soil.

Lid on the basket

In this case, the cover plays the role of receiver of rain water. This is an option for the arid regions where the water needs to be retained, where its value

For protection of plants from excess heat or frost from above it is possible to build a protective canopy. It is better to make removable. In the heat it will create the necessary shade. In the cold film, stretched over a canopy transforms a bed into a greenhouse.

The European version

This European version «keyhole» spring is explicitly used as a greenhouse. This is evidenced by capital fence and convenient building for the film

The plants are planted in the sector, located around the basket. The ground must be sloped in the direction from the design center to its edge. Such sloping slopes will increase the area of landings and ensure a good illumination of all plants. To improve the condition of fertile soil artificially organize his bundle.

The first layer is placed on the bottom of the sector. It consists of compost, cardboard, large branches left over from pruning. Then put mulch, manure, wood ash, dried leaves and grass, newspaper, and straw worms. All this is covered on the top layer of soil. Then again, should the layer of dry powdered materials. The alternating layers occurs until, until you reach the planned height. Top layer, of course, consists of the most fertile soil. As filling the beds, sprinkled each new layer is moistened. It is necessary for compaction of materials.

The garden in context

Very clear layers of the fill, sloping shape of the slopes and method of irrigation can be seen in this diagram. As you can see, the cost of such construction may be minimal

In the process of operation the garden can be modified to be convenient for its owner. That add components of compost is necessary – it’s obvious. But soil can also be pour. If you want easy to make and above the wall railings and a Central basket. This garden is the most convenient place not too far from the kitchen: it’s easier to replenish the compost. The decorative garden can give the flowers planted around the perimeter fencing.

Initial construction

To begin building can look so unpretentious. If the idea will like, it is possible to increase the area of the garden, raising the walls and giving the slope of the surface of the soil

The advantage of the African method

Originated in Africa, an idea quickly adopted in Texas and appreciated in the other hot regions of the United States. For dry and hot climate it is most effective.

Protected from the sun garden

The garden really is universal. In this case, he is protected from excess sun, that too is not out of place

Such «keyhole» can be used anywhere, because they have many advantages that we list below.

  • The resulting construction, given solid fences, can be considered warm. If necessary, in early spring it is easily converted into a greenhouse. Enough to build a dome over it from the film.
  • This patch helps in recycling food waste, which are simply placed in its Central part, providing new plants with essential nutrients. For this purpose, suitable cleaning and trimming vegetables and fruits, wash kitchen water, waste, gardening.
  • For the construction of «keyhole» don’t need expensive materials. It can be done literally from construction waste or what is commonly discarded as unnecessary.
  • Kindergarten does not require the allocation of a large plot for its construction. Just 2.5 meters in circumference are even on the small summer cottage or in the yard. But you will have a wonderful garden, elegant flower bed or a magnificent vineyard.
  • For what purposes only do not use this daycare! In different climatic conditions, it helps to grow grass, melons and vegetable crops, flowers and grapes.

If the climate in your region is warm, consider yourself lucky. After using «keyhole», you will be able in one year to remove two crops. In this wonderful bed and hold nutrients and moisture.

Simple construction

This «keyhole» made out of everything that prevented to live to its owner. Key elements – mesh netting and black film between layers which is all unnecessary household waste

Build your «keyhole»

Equip on your site like the garden is quite simple. Spend a little time and materials and soon you will be able to enjoy the benefits of this original construction.

Need to clear a small plot of land. Dern it is possible to remove with the help of a cultivator or shovel. The dimensions of the future design should determine the proportion, we suggest to use those that are indicated in the figure. The garden should not be large. You need only 2-2,5 meters free space – this is the diameter of the circle. When «the keyhole» small size to take care of plants becomes easier.

The parameters of structures

A small area of only 2-2,5 meters at each site. Under the traditional beds you would take much more space

Note the center of the beds and put in a pole. Tie him the rope to continue to use the resulting design as a compass. Using two sticks attached to the rope at the desired distance, draw two circles. The great circle is the place where will be located the external fence of the garden, a small determines the location of the compost basket.

The soil should be loosened. In the center of the structure set ready-made container for compost or make it yourself. It is possible to take, for example, strong sticks and stick them in the ground around the circumference at a distance from each other approximately 10 cm to Link them together better is not the rope, and wire. It would be safer. That turned out needed a compost bin. Its perimeter is closed with geotextile.

Basket and geotextile

All stages of construction can be seen in the video at the bottom of the article, and this picture clearly shows how to use a geotextile

Of the outer circle lay a brick or stone fence. Don’t forget about the entrance area, which should provide us access to the center building. To do this, we will leave the area, whose width will be approximately 60 cm Basket filled with prepared compost. The resulting high fill the bed in layers as was discussed above.

Lovely garden

Each building can look wonderful, «keyhole» — is no exception. And around it the garden will grow beautiful flowers

If the garden is used for growing plants twine, don’t forget to provide them support. How will house plants, it is better to think in advance, to all the inhabitants of this building in prosperity enough sun, but you yourself easy it would be to care for them.

Read more about capacity for compost

Most often the baskets are doing already described method of weaving. As the basis is used not only wood, but metal rods. Good for the same purpose pipes, plastic, aluminum or stainless steel profile. Frame can be to braid or thread, or wire. It is better if the soil will not penetrate into compost.


Just look at how diverse can be the recycle bin for compost! You have the opportunity to show all their imagination

As a protective membrane, you can apply a geotextile, which cover the perimeter of the basket. Alternatives are used: the canister with a cut top or barrels of plastic material. To be «basket» the soil could infiltrate the nutrition they need on the perimeter barrels or cans to make the hole.

What material is better to make fence?

As always, the choice of material from which to construct the fence, depends only on the imagination of the master himself. Bricks and stones are only the most obvious material from which these fences do most of all. It is possible for this purpose to accommodate the construction of frame type of pipes and sheeting, gabions, planks, bottles, fence, bales of straw.


The photos posted above, you can also find fences of different types, but these options are interesting too

Impressive look plastic, glass bottles and even two rows of mesh netting, the space between which can be filled with a variety of scrap. You can use the same cement blocks or build a monolithic wall of concrete. Materials, by the way, successfully combined. Fence height also varies.

Video example of a device of this mini-garden

This type of gardening, as already mentioned, came to us from Africa, and its first popularizer in Russia was Sendacow. Watch the video, which graphically represents all stages of construction «keyhole» on the home method.

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