Mason’s First Mandala Keyhole Bed


One of the most basic ideas of the Mandala Keyhole bed is to minimize path-to-bed ratio…basically, maximizing your growing space, while still having easy access to work in your beds. By designing the beds with a sheet-mulching system, the soil need never to be be disturbed by digging/tilling. To prepare the growing space, simply start with a layer of cardboard (avoid cardboard with a lot of ink) – this will block out the sun to the weeds/grass below, and keep future weeds from popping through (at least for a little while!) Then you are basically layering various organic materials to build up the bed, like you would layer a delicious organic lasagna! 🙂 Add thin layers of straw, finished compost, leaf compost, mushroom compost, you can even toss vegetable.fruit scraps under your first layer of cardboard for a boost of nutrients to your plants! We created a beautiful border around our mandala bed by cutting up thin bamboo to about 6-8 inches and hammering them into the soil.

We also used cardboard for the pathways within the mandala bed – and then layered woodchips on top. Even though we won’t be growing where the woodchip pathway is – the cardboard still aids in keeping out unwanted weeds for a little while. We, at the Potomac Heights garden, included a circle in the middle of the mandala where we will add a herb spiral in the near future!

If you’d like more information about mandala keyhole beds – check out this article! It dives more into detail, and provides some nice pictures and tips.

Also! If you have designed your own mandala bed, please share any successes/failures, post pictures, and/or if you have any questions feel free to post below! 🙂

Happy Mandala Monday!


About gmugarden

Greetings current or potential vegetable people! This site is devoted to the vegetable garden that exists at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The aim of the site is to keep people like you updated on the garden happenings and to show progress to those who can't participate! Enjoy and happy vegetable eating :)

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