The keyhole gardening technique allows you to grow abundant produce and compost plant-based kitchen scraps in one raised garden plot. (Photo submitted)

Raise your gardening efforts to a new level with keyhole gardening. You’ll increase your garden’s productivity in a smaller space, while using less water and fertilizer.

This intensive technique was first used in Africa where it’s hot and dry and the topsoil is shallow. Now gardeners growing in a variety of climates around the world are using this technique. You’ll even find keyhole gardens in urban and suburban backyards.

Keyhole gardening grows abundant produce while composting plant-based kitchen scraps in one raised garden plot. Grow plants in the outer ring of a circular, 6-foot diameter or larger raised bed. Create an inner circle for composting kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and garden debris.

Design a small pie shape notch in the circular bed. This provides easy access to the inner composting circle and gives the bed its distinct keyhole appearance.

Build the sides of your raised bed garden from stones, cement blocks, bamboo or any available materials that can withstand the rigors of your climate. Select a height that works for you and makes planting, tending and harvesting easy.

It may be easiest to purchase a keyhole garden kit. Select a kit with all the basic building supplies made from long-lasting materials, like the Cedar Keyhole Garden (