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Keyhole garden using reclaimed materials

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Picture of keyhole garden using reclaimed materials
I wanted to build a raised garden bed this year and decided that I had enough materials around the homestead to build one. My goal was to build it with little or no cost using reclaimed materials. I found a spot near my greenhouse that I was also building at the time that looked to be pretty level.
 
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Step 1: First things first

Picture of first things first
I wasn't sure how big I wanted to make this, but knowing that I only had a few cement blocks to work with, I decided to go somewhere around 7 or 8 feet. I put a stick in the ground and tied a piece of bailing twine to it and cut off a length that looked about 8 feet. I then placed a block at the end of the string about every three feet until I had a perfect circle. I rearranged the blocks to get them to line up and then eye-balled the keyhole part to where it not only looked right, but big enough to be able to work in there.

Step 2: Adding a little style to the project

Picture of adding a little style to the project
While adding a little style to the project, the reclaimed chimney bricks do give me about another two inches of height to the garden. I would have liked to made them look a little more professional by maybe giving them a cooler layout, but I'm not really a mason, and have yet to learn. Maybe next year after I get this thing to the preferred height that I would like, I'll work on my mason skills!

Step 3: Black gold

Picture of black gold
My friend and neighbor who is a dairy farmer is in the process of expanding his barn by adding free stalls. They had excavated a large area in what was the old barnyard in order to build the addition. I knew even before I started this project that I would have access to as much of this black gold I wanted! I only needed one trailer load, which isn't very much I would guess it to be maybe a yard. This stuff is awesome and I cant wait to see what kind of production I'm going to get out of this project.
breumer10 months ago
Very nice rollincaswell ! Through your project I have now a project ;) ! Thanks !
rollincaswell (author)  breumer10 months ago
Thank You breumer... I wish you all the best in your future projects!
jbignell111 months ago
What makes a keyhole garden more then just a raised bed is the centre and the ability to water and provide compost in the centre. This design will not work as a keyhole garden should. It's just a shaped raised garden bed.
rollincaswell (author)  jbignell111 months ago
your point is taken.. however this, my design is more for the purpose of "access" to all of my plants without adding compaction, or possible breakage of my plants from stepping on them. I can access them from both the inside "the keyhole" and the outside. I added composted manure on top of old barnyard dirt, which should have plenty of nutrients to get me through the growing season. As far as water, that is why I added the cedar mulch on the surface to help to maintain moisture in the bed. No, my design will not work like a traditional keyhole garden will, but it will work for the purpose for which I intended it to. cheers!
Great job! I love this idea, and the easy access is wonderful! Thanks for sharing! :-)
rollincaswell (author)  WUVIE10 months ago
Thanks WUVIE!
antioch10 months ago
Well done with the reclaimed materials but I always thought a keyhole garden has a composter in its middle. It's what makes them so special.
rollincaswell (author)  antioch10 months ago
thank you Antioch, please see a comment from

jbignell1
and my response.
I had a feeling I should have read all the other comments first =)
nice, I should do this
rollincaswell (author)  pianolover1012435310 months ago
Thanks pianolover... if you decide to do this, I wish you the very best!
thanks
jessyratfink10 months ago
This is perfect! Love the design. :D
rollincaswell (author)  jessyratfink10 months ago
Thanks jessyratfink!..
thanks
i have always wanted a key hole garden but i could not find the right instrutions on how to make one but now i do know how and thanks rollincaswell
rollincaswell (author)  supreme creator10 months ago
your welcome supreme creator.... best wishes on your future projects!
cheers!
thanks
joppenheimer10 months ago
This is a fantastic project. Please add pictures as things start growing.
rollincaswell (author)  joppenheimer10 months ago
thanks joppenheimer.... I plan on a updating pictures all through out the growing season! Cheers!
itsmatt11 months ago
Neat idea, Rollin. Definitely solves the "how do I get to the center of the planting bed" problem. Plus, anytime one can use reclaimed materials (and baling twine!), I think it is cool.

The only comment I had about a possible improvement was to lay some weed fabric down under the cinder blocks to keep the weeds from pushing up between (and up through) them. If you had a few bricks that you could put between the cinder blocks on the outside to fill in the spaces, it would hold down the weed fabric at those points as well.

Well done!
rollincaswell (author)  itsmatt11 months ago
great idea matt... I never thought too much about the issue of weed/grass growth up through the cinder blocks when I first started putting this thing together. I'll definitely address this in the upcoming week.
cheers!
artworker11 months ago
cool! Cover it with a geodesic greenhouse!
rollincaswell (author)  artworker11 months ago
I may just have to do just that! I heard on the weather report this morning that they are calling for frost possibly next week. I'm thinking some 1/2" pvc pipe, and some leftover 6mil plastic that I have extra of from my greenhouse.
cheers
Fun! I just love that design, very different :)
rollincaswell (author)  Penolopy Bulnick11 months ago
thank you!
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