Henderson County Master Gardener Interns will present “Keyhole Gardening!” 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Harvest Garden demonstration garden located inside the Henderson County Regional Fairpark Complex, 3356 SH-31E, Athens. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Keyhole gardening is ideal for anyone wanting to garden without a lot of bending and walking. Keyhole gardening gets its name from its shape – a raised bed with a “keyhole” or cut-out portion the gardener can stand in and reach the entire garden from. The true key to success of this type of garden is the compost basket at its center which leaches nutrients into the soil whenever it is watered.
Most of the time, keyhole gardens have sides built to around waist high, so planting, harvesting, and weeding can be done without bending over. A keyhole garden can be constructed using inexpensive or found materials, or you can splurge on materials and build one that is gorgeous to look at even before vegetables are planted.
Keyhole gardening got its start in Africa to offset the low water supply and the poor, often rocky soil. What the people there had was food scraps and gray water from washing dishes, which were used in the composting basket in the middle of the garden.
Watering the compost in this basket eliminates the need for additional fertilizers. In Africa, a six-foot-diameter keyhole garden supplied approximately enough vegetables for a family of three for the year.
In order to become certified as a Texas Master Gardener, one must first receive 50 hours of training, then volunteer 50 hours the first year as an intern. The keyhole garden at the Harvest Garden was built by the 2022 Master Gardener Interns and they will give the presentation.
If you are looking for a sustainable way to grow vegetables, Henderson County Master Gardener Interns invite you to come to the demonstration. You may decide a keyhole garden is the perfect design for your own vegetable garden.