Reflections On A Keyhole Garden

During the 2014-15 gardening season, we built a keyhole garden, which was supposed to hold up well in drought-prone environments such as South Texas.  I wanted to share some reflections on what worked about it (and what didn't) after using this system for a year.

What worked:  This garden bed style was convenient since it had low water requirements.  We put a drip-irrigation hose out there and watered it about once a week (on average.)  It looked pretty nice, and we got a small but tasty harvest of squash and zucchini out of it before the Squash Borers took over and ate the plants.  It wasn't too labor-intensive to build, although of course I just supervised, while Hubby built (he made it look easy.)  

What didn't work so well:  The central composting tube did not work.  I haven't successfully composted much of anything yet, but the general impression I get is that you have to a) keep the pile moist and b) keep it rotated so the contents you toss in actually break down.  With the central composting tube, it was difficult to rotate the pile.  When I went to take it apart...ewww...zillions of cockroaches had apparently been living in the lower regions of the compost and went skittering everywhere.  Totally gross.  Cockroaches make this disgusting little skittering sound when they run and it's kind of like a horror flick when there are hundreds of them running at once.  It took me awhile to approach that part of the yard again, believe me!  

Would I Do It Again?  No, I would not.  The problems with the composting tube + cockroaches = not an experience to repeat in a hurry.  Plus it was somewhat time-consuming to take it all apart, not to mention figuring out what to do with the smelly compost/sludge from the tube.  It really stank.  

Holes This Revealed In My Gardening Know-How:  Must find resources about composting!!