Supercharge Raised Gardening Beds with Keyhole Gardening

Dan Specialty Crops, This Land of Ours, Vegetables

Supercharge your raised gardening beds with keyhole gardening. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.


Keyhole gardening combines the convenience of an elevated growing space and the nutrient boost of a built-in compost bin. While there are plenty of variations, most keyhole gardens are rounded raised beds with a notch cut into the middle (similar to a keyhole, hence the name) to allow for easy access to the entire plot.

In the middle of the plot sits a basket for composting and watering. The planting bed can be filled with garden soil; compostable materials such as cardboard, newspaper, grass clippings, coffee grounds, and other kitchen scraps, and manure; or a combination of the two. If you use layers of organic material in the bed itself, it will help retain moisture, leading to less watering.


When creating your keyhole garden, look for an area that’s relatively flat. Avoid any low-lying areas where water collects. Also, ensure the area receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.

Keyhole gardens are relatively low maintenance. However, if the quality of your vegetables starts to deteriorate over the years, you may need to add some fresh soil and compost.

Listen to Cathy Isom’s This Land of Ours program here.

Supercharge Raised Gardening Beds with Keyhole Gardening

Matt Bochat, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent for Victoria County is the advisor for Victoria County Master Gardeners. On April 11, 2020, he shows us his backyard gardening, featuring a Keyhole garden with the composting and watering done in the middle. His garden was basically planted on February 27 and you can see his way to grow vegetables in a compact space.
Video by Victoria County Master Gardener Association