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!