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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Saturday Spot: Our Keyhole Garden Begins…

August 2nd, 2009 · 10 Comments

A couple of Saturdays ago I posted a post on how to make a keyhole garden and that we would keep you posted on ours. Well nothing happened because we were quite simply in the depths of school. Finally this week we got the whole project going and did we have such fun!!!

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This type of garden is used by rural people in parts of Africa to grow and maintain vegetables. It is a circle with a central basket where you put your left over vegetable peels and so on and then you also water through the central basket and all the goodness gets washed into your garden soil without you having to waste water and it reuses your compost recycling.

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We needed a big blank space for our keyhole garden and we were very lucky to have a huge plant succumb to the ravages of the ups and downs of our winter season and a space was created.

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There was a gathering of rocks in a pile and we made a layer, with a step in towards our central basket:

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We made our central basket from three poles hammered into the ground and then wrapped some hesian cloth around it. We filled the bottom of the basket with stones for drainage. Some of us were more curious than others!!!

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Then we gathered more rocks. And built up the wall.

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And filled it in with layers of compost and soil:

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Another layer or two of rocks and we will be ready for planting… Which meant a trip to the Nursery… And if you are looking for a great vegetable nursery in Cape town then this is the one:

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The thing about nurseries is they can appear to be really child friendly and have all sorts of “attractions” for kids… little motorbikes and play areas and so on, but heaven help the kidlet that wanders out of the “kid area” especially to look at plants!!! This nursery has none of that and we had such a good time exploring and choosing little plants. Yes we can plant our own seeds but it is a nice reward for a job well done to go and choose your own little plants.

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The thing we like the very best about this nursery is that you can buy your plants by the plug – you don’t have to buy a whole tray of anything! Here we are choosing our vegetables and herbs… isn’t that cool! I didn’t have to choose a tray of cauliflowers and so on – because I dare say our keyhole garden would just not be big enough to pack with all those trays, so to buy by the plug is perfect!!!

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And this is our haul, everyone got to choose their own plant or two – from broccoli to parsley…

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And our tomato freak just had to have a whole tray…

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But that’s a small price to pay for joy and happiness!!!

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That’s it! We will post some more as our garden hopefully grows!!!

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Tags: House Tour · Outside · Saturday Spot

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cilla // Aug 2, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    That is so impressive. I love the idea of a ‘compost heap’ in the middle and watering through it.

  • 2 se7en // Aug 3, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Hi C! Glad you like it!! Here is a link to lots of “How to do it” pdf files – very handy!

    http://www.cowfiles.com/african-gardens/keyhole-gardens/how-to-make-a-keyhole-garden

    I am expecting great things from this little garden I have been wanting one for years!!! You have a good week!!!

  • 3 Aunty Muffin // Aug 3, 2009 at 7:08 am

    a great idea

  • 4 se7en // Aug 3, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Hi Aunty Muffin – Glad you liked it! Let’s hope it produces a great crop once we are done! Have a good week!!!

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    […] Hart’s Nursery: Now some of the gifts we are making need herb and vegetable plant supplies and our favorite nursery for these is Hart’s, by far: […]

  • 6 Saturday Spot: Our Keyhole Garden Continues… | se7en // Jan 7, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    […] Saturday Spot: Our Keyhole Garden Begins… […]

  • 7 Saturday Spot: The Keyhole Garden Continued… | se7en // Jan 19, 2010 at 11:52 am

    […] = ‘se7en_hoods’;Last week I posted on the beginnings of our Keyhole Garden. A while ago we posted a “Virtual Keyhole Garden Post,” with links to how to get going. […]

  • 8 Susiej // Jan 28, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Your garden looks wonderful! I’m thinking of starting a keyhole garden, and was wondering if you have any advice about plant selection, size, etc, after trying it.
    Thanks!
    Susie

  • 9 se7en // Jan 29, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Hi SJ: Hmmm good question we are still mastering this. I can say anything we planted that was salad relates thrived… THRIVED!!! Celery, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers… our cauliflowers and cabbage faired poorly, that may just be us! Potato’s grow really well and kept growing even in the compost!!! But they draw baboons so we stopped planting them. I know I should do another update post, but other posts keep popping up!!! Happy Gardening!!!

  • 10 Great Homeschooling Links: Gardening for Kids // Jun 28, 2013 at 6:55 am

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