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African keyhole garden

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Has anyone tried an African keyhole garden.  There are supposed to need less water.
stop me ranting about the drought.  4 inches down soil is still dry as a bone and set like concrete.

It's supposed to be raining right now.

No, how does it work? Is it this ?
Delightfully what no-dig is- in extremis!
Meanwhile, enjoy:
This week/end may sort out the rain deficit !! Three tropical storms see:,-3.159,4,i:pressure
It will come good eventually!

There is a central system for composting.  Then a circle round that where biomatter is buried so that it absorbs moisture.  A piece of cut out of the circle so you can reach the composter in the middle.   There are lots of different designs.  The soil can be held in by bricks, rocks, sacking or Wattle.    It is supposed to use 70% less water.  They have been successful in drought areas of Africa. 
The central composter can be wire, basket or plastic.

the weather forecast says it should be raining but I'm still not getting wet,  and this afternoon's rain has disappeared from the forecast.   

Chance of rain tomorrow is maximum of fifty percent chance.  Then hardly anything for 10 days.   

So on with the African keyhole garden.   I am putting a Dalek compost bin at the centre,  it will hold about 4 wheelbarrows full of manure.   And I'm putting the Keyhole on the north side so the Shadow of the bin has the least effect.  I've dug the soil out of the keyhole and will fill this with manure  and the bottom of the compost bin is about a foot down.   I will dig a ditch around the Edge and fill that with manure as well and so got plenty of extra soil to add to the height.

I was looking at this and thinking - the 3rd world ones look very cool,  brilliant use of resources - so why not use 7 builders' bags in a square?

Then I saw photos #15 & #19 (from rich places - US mainly), which are nearly the same idea using good quality timber - but that's not rescuing high quality woven PP from landfill! What are they thinking? They're not even using pallets?? :BangHead: :BangHead:

No. 19 also mentions soil compaction under the path - surely the path should be dug out to raise the beds and replaced with chopped twigs? Here I would use woodchip, but either way the path would gradually turn into a valuable source of humus - to be dug out and replaced with fresh woody stuff.

In a dry climate a 100% twig path might need to be laid with layers of mulch to keep the dry air out & moisture in.

I was thinking of adding a second row of builders bags to my current system of "compost and woodchip morphs into raised beds" but now I'm thinking of turning it into a double square keyhole which would have more bags with less pallets holding them up.



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