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Keyhole Garden - How to make an African style raised bed Keyhole Gardens are a great garden to make - here is one being built in Uganda. This organic technique is part of...

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 19, 2014 at 13:12

Australia was bushland too but of a very different kind. The key in Oz is dryness - this is the driest inhabited continent. We do have our moments here in coastal SE Qld with an over-abundance of water but reality is that the weather is overall more dry than wet.

Combine that with lack of organic matter (burning the trees when cut down e.g., burning stubble) and it's a recipe for infertility.

What is now our food garden (after the bush was bulldozed) was a desert of closely-mown grass. The previous owner asked if I wanted the green waste bag continued. Some kind of system where they paid someone to haul away all the organic matter. Repeat that many times and our soils are so deprived, as it was here.

Comment by Vanessa Thompson on May 19, 2014 at 10:12

Elaine, just gave me idea {light bulb} maybe, just maybe i should try doing this in the middle of oval area i have. {the big dirt patch in the middle of the oval garden} id have to find some more bricks tho, but thats easily done. 

Lisa, agreed, that are so many ways to do up a garden but O yes, so true; composting, organic material, sun and water, are key components of a healthy soil = healthy garden and NOT a half dead garden...{something i learned with my first garden bed here in OZ - if the soil isnt right, nothing going to grow for long...  in NZ, you can dig a hole anywhere and the soil is so rich and ready for gardening, that you dont have to build it up or use compost etc etc BUT you have got to remember that NZ was all bushland at one time, so why the soil is so rich in compost material, or what gardeners call black gold.}  

Comment by Lissa on May 19, 2014 at 5:47

Very interesting Vanessa, thank you for sharing.

There are so many ways of achieving what you want in a garden but it always boils down to composted organic material, minerals, water and sunlight. Add them any which way and the garden will grow.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 18, 2014 at 22:04
Fabulous! Love the herringbone brickwork - really hard work but it will bear fruit! Similar in principle to the Permaculture Banana Circle - a continuous composting-in-situ idea. Well worth thinking about and adapting to your own conditions.
Comment by Vanessa Thompson on May 18, 2014 at 21:18

i found this very very interesting! i thought at first, they were going to wait for material in the middle to finish composting then release it and spread it out over the bed...but alas, its a continuous composting method, that feeds the bed.. {which im not sure how it feeds the bed, outwards and not down or something?}  


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

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