Keyhole Gardening for your Survival Garden?

Let’s face it. Gardening can be challenging, especially if you don’t have good soil or live in an area that doesn’t get much water. Could keyhole gardening be your survival garden solution?

“Backwoods Home Magazine” for March/April, 2015 (Issue #152), includes an article describing one gardener’s experience with keyhole gardening. Consider it a mini primer.

Keyhole gardening lets you.

  • Grow plants in difficult soil conditions
  • Use compost easily
  • Conserve water, especially in drought
  • Grow food intensively in a compact area
If you’re curious, check out the article excerpt below. A link to the full article is included as well.


Build a keyhole garden

By Katelynn Bond

One of the hazards of living on the side of a mountain in northern New Mexico is that I live on a rock. And I don’t mean the ground has a lot of pebbles and stones in it — it is solid rock with just a dash of topsoil to keep you guessing. After an interesting experience with the yard and a sledge hammer, I am pretty sure that my rock goes straight to China, which means that nothing grows in it except well-established trees, scrub oak, and the occasional cactus. Any gardening that I do has to be above the ground and it has to conserve water as well.

After a number of years of different kinds of container gardens failing in one way or another due to our climate, summer water concerns, or my sporadic travel schedule, I got serious about finding a way to garden on top of my rock to help our family be more self-sufficient.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine. 1-800-835-2418.


Here’s more on keyhole gardening. It’s a 10 minute video on one charity organization’s efforts to teach families in Lesotho how to garden more efficiently. Can we learn from this for our own survival gardens?



Find gardening supplies and seeds for your survival garden on the Survival Gardening page in the Prep Mart.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.