About us!

We are Amisadai and Louisa Monger (aged 15 and 13). In 2010, we moved to Tanzania in Africa - look at the map below to see if you can find it! We hope you will enjoy reading about our adventures and looking at our photos! Please don't forget to send us a message too!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

How to Make a Key Hole Garden

We have been making a key hole garden. It is a lot of hard work! But we are trying one at home before we try them in the village to help people grow nutritious vegetables at their homes. Let me explain about the key hole garden. The key hole garden is called a key hole garden because it is in the shape of a key hole. This is a really good type of garden because it is easy to make, with free materials. It uses kitchen waste, used and dirty water, ashes and animal manure. The design is good for watering and very good for giving nutrients to the soil. Also many people in Tanzania have difficulty getting healthy food, so having a keyhole garden is a good idea because it grows lots of healthy food all year round. Any leftover vegetables can be sold and the money used for school fees and school supplies. 

First of all, some string and sticks are needed. The sticks are tied to both ends of a 120cm length of string. Then one of sticks is pushed into the ground and one person holds the stick in the ground while another person walks around, marking a circle in the ground. Draw an entrance triangle from the circle to the centre (width of 60cm). This is so that you can walk into the centre of the circle.

Measuring and marking the circle
After that, lots of stones and bricks are laid around the circle perimeter. A couple of wheelbarrows full should be enough. A single layer of bricks or stones is enough, but if it is wanted higher, it won't hurt.
Placing the stones in a circle

The finished circle
Then the middle compost basket is built. Find some straight tall sticks to use as posts and then wrap wire around them or line with leaves and grasses. This is where the compost is placed. Compost gives nutrients to the soil which helps the plants to grow. It is needed to be quite high. It should first be filled with soil and then compost. All the kitchen waste like dirty water, scraps of peelings and food and ash from the fire can go in here.

Dad banging the posts to support the middle compost area

We didn't have any loose wire to tie the sticks with
so we just used a big piece we had all the way around
Then lots of tiles, old mugs and pottery and bricks are thrown in your garden and then buried in compost and soil. This helps the drainage and it also helps the plants to not drown. Old tin cans are good too.

After that, lots more compost is taken to your garden and mixed with lots of spades of soil. Then the mixture of soil and compost (2:1) is spread over the key hole garden. It is spread all over the key hole garden till it is a very high mound all over. This compost shouldn't have bits in, but be old compost.

Ready to plant!

After your garden has enough compost and soil in, the seeds can be planted. Don't forget to water them! Then in a couple of months your fine crop will be growing!

Isn't this a great idea? You can try it at home too! We will let you know how it goes in the village in the summer. And we'll let you know how our vegetables do. Some seedling are already starting to appear!

And the other thing we are trying in the garden, I will write about soon. It's BAG GARDENS!

Heavy work!


  1. How do you get into the garden if you lose the key?

  2. Think we could do with you lot back in Aldermaston to work on the school vegetable beds! Good work, team. Miss you all but good to read about all the excellent things you're doing.
    Mr Bowen

    1. Dear Mr Bowen,
      Thank you very much for your message. We miss Aldermaston but we have lots of fun in Tanzania. We went to Magozi last week and are soon going to start work on the big school stove that you all raised money for! We will send you all some photos when we start. Love Amisadai

  3. Great job girls! well done! Maybe you can come show us how in Morogoro when we move into our new house, should be just about the right size for our new garden!

    We saw bag gardens with good vegetable crops at our local Nane Nane fayre last year really impressive results!

    1. We will come and help you in your new house! Love Amisadai

  4. That looks great. We're growing a pallet garden; just a few vegetables and flowers mixed in together.

    The garden needs to be free for the boys to run, jump, play cricket etc. so the pallet garden is my indulgence - with just a bit of education along the wayside.

    Would love to hear what you plant and see how it grows.

    Ellen & the boys

    P.s The boys would like to know the girls' birthdays as it seems they must be very nearly the same age in deed!

    1. Louisa's birthday is today! (April 24) and she is 7 now. Amisadai will turn 10 on Dec. 30th. What are the boys birthdays? We've planted tomatoes, chard, carrots, peppers, herbs ...

  5. Belated Happy birthday to Louisa. Joshua's i 8th June and Samuel will be 10 on the 8th October...how very close they are in age!

    Hope the veg and herbs grow well. We only have tumbling and tiger striped tomatoes, carrots, orange and purple - yellow yet to be seeded - hopefully lettuce and herbs, but the seeded herbs have refused to grow so far!

    Where did you get your ideas from about the bag and keyhole gardens?