An Herb Spiral

An Herb Spiral

An Herb Spiral is a simple way to improve your kitchen garden. Spiral of rocks, bricks or what have you encloses soil where many kinds of herbs are planted. It is an easy way to accommodate herbs that need a variety of growing conditions.

An herb spiral creates many beneficial conditions for your new and continued growth.

  • It can be built at little or no cost from readily available materials
  • It’s a good way to grow a variety of herbs that need different growing conditions in a limited amount of space
  • It’s easy to plant, tend and harvest
  • It’s inexpensive. Buying herbs in the supermarket is expensive and the quality of what you purchase isn’t always the best.
  • It’s beautiful and it smells nice!!

This herb garden also lets us create a variety of microclimates. Some plants, such as many of the Mediterranean herbs, need dry, sandy soil conditions, while others require a moist, bottomland type of soil. The herb spiral accommodates these needs, as it is designed to have different soil conditions at different parts of the spiral. The top is a warm, dry area that gets plenty of sun. The bottom is cool, shady and moist. The middle is in between the two. Herbs that need drier soil drain easily, and plants that desire moister conditions receive water that flows from above.

Building of an herb spiral is fairly simple.

  1. Mark the shape of the spiral on the ground with string or small stones.
  2. Stack your building materials, (rocks, cinder blocks, bricks) to make a durable wall that will support the growing medium: soil, sand, gravel, mulch, compost.
  3. Gradually fill it in with the dirt and soil mixtures according to what you are going to plant.
  4. The bottom level should contain a rich soil to grow chives, onions, parsley, etc.
  5. The middle layer should be one part sand and two parts soil for hyssop, coriander, strawberry, echinacea, mints, basil, etc.
  6. The driest part of the spiral will be the top. It also has the most direct sunlight. It is perfect for herbs that are more used to dry climates: oregano, rosemary, calendula, thyme, garlic, sage, tarragon, lavender, etc. Here you can mix in more sand and some pea gravel.

10 reasons an herb spiral is beneficial

ONE. Maximize growing space to grow more food, even in very small areas, on top of concrete or in high-rise buildings.
TWO. Multiple microclimates available for optimal plant growth.
THREE. Healthier plants where growing needs are met and companion planting is easy to reduce insect problems and foster beneficial plant relationships for better growth.
FOUR. Aesthetic garden focal point.
FIVE. Very little bending!
SIX. Save money by growing your own food.
SEVEN. Manage water amounts and use natural forces to perpetuate the growing season.
EIGHT. Use drip irrigation or a small sprinkler for easy watering and irrigation.
NINE. Create a bio-diverse habitat for creatures who come to visit.
TEN. Grow medicinal herbs to avoid drugs if possible.

Here’s some videos building an herb spiral:

http://www.neutralexistence.com/blog/how-to-plant-a-space-saving-herb-spiral-for-your-garden/

More links to learn about Herb Spirals:
http://garden.menoyot.com/?p=49
http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2012/07/19/health-and-family/crafts/build-herb-spiral.html
http://www.gardenguides.com/603-curl-up-garden.html
http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2012/03/13/how-to-refresh-your-herb-spiral-for-spring/

A list of good things to grow and grow together: http://www.permaculturevisions.com/Herb-Spiral.htm

Thanks to Mother Earth News, welcometovoluntarysimplicity.wordpress.com, http://www.hipchickdigs.com, http://www.naturalnews.com, and those links listed above!

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One thought on “An Herb Spiral

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