Plant Your Garden in a Keyhole

For Beyond 50's "Green Living" talks, listen to an interview with W. Leon Smith from Texas. He is an avid gardener who likes to educate about the practice of Keyhole Gardening.  Smith prefers this method because it's easier on the back, plant crops can be grown closer together, water efficient, and doesn't require weeding.  From a bird's eye view looking down on it, the structure looks like an old-time keyhole. In the middle is a rounded area to drop in your compostable materials that would break down to enrich the soil. 

Origins of Keyhole Gardening

The practice of Keyhole Gardening started at a school in Lesotho, Africa. 

It was through Smith's association with Dr. Deb Tolman from Portland State University that he learned about the concept.  

By design, Keyhole Gardens are six feet in diameter with a raised bed.  Like a pie that has been sliced for one serving, a wedge is made and the circular wire basket for composting is placed in the center of the garden.  From high above, it resembles a vintage keyhole.

Raised Bed Gardening

Smith's first attempt at building his own Keyhole Garden consisted of an improvised, semi-circular arrangement of rocks, cinder blocks and a 1-foot wide wire mesh cage for the internal basket. 

The topsoil was first added with water that's a mix of "green" (like kitchen food scraps, grass clippings, manure, coffee grinds) and brown" materials (like cardboard, junk mail, straw, woody stalks, dead plants).  And for the upper layer, he mixes in potting soil.  From years of keyhole gardening experience, Smith found that it takes about 1.8 yards of topsoil fill for a design that is 6 feet in diameter.

The plantings were done at two different times in Spring and watering almost daily.  His efforts yielded nicely grown yellow crook-neck squash and green zucchini. 

Over time, Smith learned to work with the changing climate and growing seasons for his area in rural central Texas. 

"About 95 percent of the space in my gardens is planted with seeds, while the other five percent consists of transplants, mainly tomatoes," he explained.

In Keyhole Gardening, the soil can sink several inches.  Very dark and rich soil matter can be found at the lowest layer where the bio-matter decomposes.

A Near-Perfect System

Before the discovery of Keyhole Gardening, Smith found traditional gardening tedious and back-breaking work and gave up on it.  He prefers to call his keyhole gardens near-perfect systems for several reasons:

 - By keeping the internal basket full, it can break down the compost for continuous leaching out of natural nutrients and moisture to feed the soil, resulting in high-grade harvests that are tasty and nutrient-dense;

 - Weeding is minimal, if at all;

 - Requires little watering and drains very well to avoid flooding during heavy rainfall;

 - You can grow several different types of crops closer to together.  The ideal keyhole garden is lush with very little unused surface space.  You can grow huge crop yields per space;

 - And, if you are disabled in a wheelchair, making a Keyhole Garden allows you to garden in a convenient way due to its height of 28.5 inches and 24 inch reach.


Widget is loading comments...
Custom Search


Subscribe to Beyond 50's Radio 
Updates!

* Email
* City
* State
* = Required Field
Email Marketing You Can Trust

Beyond 50 values your personal information.  Your email will not be used, sold, or shared with any outside party. 



Related Interviews:

The One Straw Revolution

The Secret Teachings of Plants

Permaculture Practices from Around the World



Recommended Reading:



Beyond 50's
Best Resources:

"Retire Reset!" by M. Nahum Daniels taps the financial industry’s most advanced research to explain why many of our cherished assumptions about investing may undermine our financial security in retirement.  He argues that retirement investing needs an alternative approach because the risks we face as retirees are not encountered in earlier phases of our financial lives.  Instead of a “balanced portfolio” he recommends a “stable-core portfolio” anchored to the latest breed of investment-oriented insurance contracts.  He urges readers to act quickly, before a market “reset” from which it could take years to recover.    

Finding peace in times of worldwide trauma is difficult, and finding peace in times of personal trauma such as a family death or tragedy can be overwhelming. Trauma expert and and family therapist Christy Monson professionally and compassionately describes how tragedy physically changes the brain and the body. She provides powerful techniques to help heal those invisible wounds and cope with the turmoil of our day. Published by Familius, you can purchase a copy by going to www.familus.com

For 24 years, Geo Growers has been a science-based, soil source.    Geo Growers has become the go-to source of soil for institutions and professionals alike.  After 24 years, Geo Growers is supplying the best.  Our soil blends have become legendary. Increasing yield is important, but not without the attendant, value-added factors such as turpenes, carotenoids, alkaloides, and the all-important polyphenols.  These increases are attainable and sustainable.  Geo Growers can get you there.  Geo Growers is located at 12002 B. Highway 290 in West Austin, Texas.  Call (512) 288-4405 and shop online by going to geogrowers.net

19th Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fair & Roundtables

This is America's very best and largest career fair!  30 huge diversity career fairs nationwide.  You'll find many companies as exhibitors recruising thousands of targeted diversity candidates in 2019 - 2020.  City Career Fair salutes its over 5,000 satisfied corporate, government, and non-profit clients for ACTIVELY supporting their Diversity Recruitment Initiatives.  The events will have industry pavilions, along with The Diversity Spirit Achievement Award and The Diversity Practitioners Roundtable.  For a schedule of the upcoming fairs and more information, call (562) 409-0056 and visit www.citycareerfair.com.

You're not alone.

"Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children" by Sheri McGregor, M.A. - a mother who knows the pain of this unique sorrow. Compassionate help for parents of estranged adult children.  With practical examples, research, and insight from more than 9,000 parents of estranged adults. Amazon.com and other retailers. 
More info:
rejectedparents.net

You can be happy again.

Finding Family: 
My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA

Finding Family is the true story of the first adoptee to find his birth family through the home DNA tests that are now so common. Thanks to Richard Hill's breakthrough, thousands of adoptees are now bypassing sealed birth records to find and reunite with their first families.  The book is a great read for anyone.  Midwest Book Review describes it as "impressively informative, exceptionally well written, an inherently fascinating and compelling read from beginning to end."  Finding Family is available in print, Kindle and audiobook formats at Amazon and elsewhere.

Austin Air Healthmate B400 Air Purifier

The Austin Air Healthmate B400 Air Purifier has a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filter that removes pollens and molds while the granular carbon and zeolite filter does a super job of reducing the levels of formaldehyde and chemicals.  This filter is effective for allergies, asthma, odors, gases and chemicals.  Designed to provide coverage for areas of up to 1500 sq. ft. The Austin Air Healthmate B400 Air Purifier is available by calling 866-460-7873.  To learn more, visit cleansurroundings.com.

"Honey,
You Got This!:

Technology Made Easy for Network Marketers"

Struggling with time management while running your business? Other than your talents, time is your most critical resource.  In the new book "Honey, You Got This!: Technology Made Easy For Network Marketers," Jennifer Turnage and Megan Sumrell show how to work smarter, not harder, with the help of business technology.  "Honey, You Got This!" is a guide to help you utilize technology so you can grow your business without stress and anxiety.  In today's digital world, making the most of technology can mean the difference between success and failure.

www.mybeehyve.com

The Slater House:
Super Hosts with Airbnb  
Portland, Oregon

Are you looking to visit family, attend a wedding, see the new grandbaby, get a job, or go to school in Portland?  The best way to lower your stress and increase your ease, no matter what brings you to Portland is to stay with a local in an Airbnb.  Fred and I are 5.7 year Super Hosts with Airbnb.  We love to bike, garden, do Jazz, and drink a local beer or wine on the front or back porch.  Won’t you join us?  Call Kim Gordon-Cumbo at (503) 522-0938 and visit www.theslaterhousepdx.com. 
  

The Tech Academy:
Coding Boot Camp

The Tech Academy is a technology school that trains students in computer programming and web development through a series of coding boot camps. The boot camps are taken online in full. Students have the option of studying remotely or attending in person at one of their campuses in Portland, Seattle, or Denver. The Tech Academy's curriculum is comprehensive, training students in several in-demand programming languages. They take a "bottom up" approach to teaching, starting with the basics and advancing from there. Graduates are well rounded, full-stack, junior level developers.

Podcast Series: Holistic
Nature of Us

My intent is to take us, you and I, into a better understanding of the concepts behind our holistic nature and how that ties directly to the holistic nature of the world around us.  It's time for practical action and profound inner change so our natural world is valued once again.  Released every Tuesday: Go to: www.judithdreyer.com for more details.
 

Relizen:
For the Relief of Hot Flashes Associated with Menopause

Drug-free. Hormone-free. Soy, dairy, and gluten-free.  Don't let hot flashes hold you back from living your best life!  Break free from hot flashes with safe, effective, plant-based relief from Relizen®.  Made from a unique, proprietary blend of Swedish flower pollen extracts, Relizen is a natural, non-hormonal solution for menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, mood changes and excessive sweating day and night.  Recommended by more than 3,000 gynecologists, 93% of women who tried Relizen said it worked for them.  Try it!  Visit www.Relizen.com