A keyhole garden is a round raised garden bed about 6-10′ in diameter and up to 3′ high. An opening shaped like a pie slice is cut out of one side so that the gardener can walk into the space without stepping into the garden and have access to tend the entire bed. A round, 1-2′ in diameter wire cylinder forms a compost basket in the center. The basket is filled with compost ingredients and watered throughout the growing season making the best use of water and fertilizer on-site. The garden bed is usually lined with cardboard and filled with compostable materials including cardboard, newspaper, soil, food scraps, phone books, compost, coffee grounds even old cotton clothes. Top with soil and mound it higher in the center and lower toward the outer edge. This allows for more planting space and easier access to the planting area. The mynjgarden.com keyhole garden is also a Hugulkultur bed as more than 6 large 5 year old tree stumps are buried inside.

Keyhole gardens are being used in Africa to teach self sufficiency to native people who have to deal with lack of rain and poor soil. This front yard was covered in landscape stone a short time ago, then covered again with poor clay subsoil and tightly compacted by heavy construction machinery. This space also enjoys the best, full sun, exposure on my lot. The keyhole is a great solution and allows me to densely plant the area without having to deal with, or struggle to improve, the native soil!


Starting seeds, a new keyhole garden and a source for alpaca poop!

It's been a mild winter in 2017 in New Jersey. February felt like it had more 60 degree days than ...
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Planting Chard in the Keyhole Garden

It's been weeks since it's rained here! I can't believe how often I've needed to use the sprinklers since I've ...
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Dare I Say, I’m Looking Forward to Fall

For the colors, the cleanup and the fallback, regroup that comes with moving stuff around, planting new things and planning ...
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Enjoying the August Garden While Waiting for Elderberries and Sunchokes

The elderberries are almost ripe! These bushes are right near the street in the front yard, so they aren’t netted ...
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New To Me, Kohlrabi!

I’ve never eaten it before, let alone tried to grow it, but this year Kohlrabi is making an appearance in ...
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Summer Garden and Front Yard Changes

In the beginning of the season I tried something I read online. If you take some store bought celery and ...
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Late June in My NJ Garden

I didn’t think any of the squash or cucumbers had a chance of coming through and bearing fruit this year ...
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Late Spring Garden Progress

I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not even June yet. It seems like the growing season started so ...
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Getting Busy in the Keyhole Garden

It doesn’t look like there is much planted in there now, but those tiny plants are going to fill in ...
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Solar Frog Puddle and Planting Cucumbers

It’s over 80* out in New Jersey today and tomorrow. I put the sprinklers on for the first time today ...
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Newspaper Pots, More Hugulkultur and What’s Growing Now

Here’s a peek inside my greenhouse so you can see the newspaper pots! I followed this tutorial on youtube, but ...
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Starting seeds for 2012

I started my first seeds of 2012 tonight in my aerogarden garden starter tray. I few golden acre and flat ...
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Fall Lettuce is Amazing

I planted lettuce hoping for a harvest before life at the Jersey Shore got too cold and froze over. Boy ...
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Evicting the Ants and Gardening in the Fall

The morning glories (view the picture here) had to be taken down. The ones that ran up the flagpole began ...
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Grass as Mulch and New Flowers Blooming

We’ve been getting a lot of rain this week which is great for my garden, but not so fantastic for ...
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Turnips with Tunnels, Wilting Cucumbers and Blighted Tomatoes

I haven’t posted in a while – it’s been a busy summer and I’ve been enjoying my garden’s bounty. Contrary ...
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Planted Squash, Cucumber, Melons and Some Flowers This Week.

Yesterday I planted some more bush beans in the front and back yard and put some nasturtium seeds in the ...
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So Much Planting Going On!

These are some lettuce transplants that are starting to grab hold in the keyhole garden. I’ve started some greens in ...
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Keyhole Garden is All Filled Up!

Oooooh, my back! (well, not yet. but I’m gonna feel it tomorrow.) This dark patch is where my spring bulbs ...
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2011 Garden Plan

Here it is. The plan for this season. I’m about to plant the cool seasons stuff any day now – ...
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Keyhole Garden Progress

The walls of the keyhole garden are complete. All told, I spent just about $100 on the 2 top levels ...
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Beginning a Front Yard Food Keyhole Garden

Back in December I came across a video on youtube and started looking into creating a keyhole garden in my ...
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Winter Sowing and a Keyhole Garden

I put together a few flats of winter sown (more info and how-to here) seeds today. Huckleberry, currants, gooseberry, Jack ...
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