Put Away The Shovel

Sue And Shawn Kelly

Have you never attempted or given up on a vegetable garden. Was it too much like work.
Or do you think your yard is too small for a garden. In the 2016 Farmers Almanac I found this great design to get around all that. Plus it is a raised garden which will both save your back and make it more difficult for the animals to attack the fruits of your labors. It is a pie wedge garden with one wedge left out so you can get into the center in which you will create a hardware cloth round tubeĀ  which you will fill with compost , shredded news paper, and some worms to create compost and nourishment for you crops. Each pie wedge is separated from the next so you easily keep the pants from mingling with each other including herbs which tend to want to take over.


The design was first used by missionaries to help natives grow food. The compost area in the center is great for waste from preparing food as well as weeds and plants who have reached the end of the season such as early spring peas. Then that section can be used for a latter crop such as turnips or squash.
1. Measure a six foot diameter circle to mark the wall. On the north side notch the circle like a wedge of pie for access to the center.
2. Using the measured area to guide you, build the wall about 3 feet high using rocks, metal edging , broken bricks or any material that can support the weight of wet soil.
3. Use wire mesh to form a basket or tube about 1 foot in diameter and 4 ft. high. Place it in the center of the circle.
4. Line the inside wall with cardboard.
5. Fill the bed with layers of compost materials wetting them as you go.
6. Top with a few inches of compost or potting soil making sure that the mix slops from the high point of he center basket downward to the to the wall.


Nicolas McGee filled the keyhole with garden soil used potting soil compost and shredded leaves to provide moisture and nutrients
7. Fill the center basket with alternate layers of compost able material along with layers of vegetable scraps and green weeds. This will provide moisture and nutrients.
8. Water the center basket and the garden only when the leaves begin to wilt. This will force the roots toward the center basket for moisture and the nutrients.
9. Feed the garden by adding vegetable scraps, lawn clippings and other compostable material to the center baske

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