This weekend, we built a Herb Spiral in conjunction with our Greenhouse. The Greenhouse didn't get completed, but the herb spiral did. Here is a step-by-step (with pictures) list of instructions on how we built our spiral.
Why Build a Herb Spiral?
- Create microclimate for the herbs to accomodate their differing needs (i.e. shade/sun)
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Water convservation
- Using less surface area to be more productive
- Stones/Bricks/Rocks that you can stack on top of one another to make the rock foundation
- Gravel/Crushed Stone
- Collection of Herbs
Our Herb Spiral had about a 6 ft diameter. We cleared the grass in this area to ensure we will not have grass growing up through our herb spiral at any point. We chose a spot on our property that received full sun, which is what most herbs require. Those that do not require full sun were planted lower or on the backside of our herb spiral.
STEP 2: BUILD THE FOUNDATION
Run the bricks around the outside of your alloted space and slowly move inward, creating a spiral with the bricks.
Build up the sides as high as you wish (using all the building material you have - might as well not waste!) The higher the better because you won't have to lean over as far to reach your herbs!
Ensure each teir is level and your spiral gradually increasing in height towards the middle.
STEP 3: THE FIRST LAYER (GRAVEL/CONCRETE)
We used gravel and crushed concrete as our first layer in our herb spiral. This will create thermal mass in the middle of the spiral and ensure proper drainage.
As you can see, we filled it about 1/2 way all the way around with gravel/conrete.
STEP 4: THE SECOND LAYER (SOIL/COMPOST)
Next, we filled the remainder of the spaces between the spiral foundation with a soil/organic matter mix. We also used Blood Meal to provide some extra nurtient for our herbs.
STEP 5: PLANT THE HERBS
Next, we planted our herbs. The herbs we had in the spiral in order from highest to lowest were as follows:
- Purple Sage
- Vietnemese Coriander (replacement for cilantro)
- English Mint
- Apple Mint
- Pansies (edible flowers) interspersed for some extra colour!
- Lavender (in a seperate pot)
- White and Red Peacock Kale (in a seperate pot)
STEP 6: TOP WITH MULCH
We used straw for our mulch because we had it already and did not want to buy anything additional. You could use woodchips, alfalfa grass, straw, hay, etc. as a mulch. The purpose of the mulch is to retain moisture and prevent weeds.
Make sure you keep your herb spiral well-watered!
We are so excited to use these herbs to flavour our food, make tea, provide natural scent in our household (i.e. dried lavender is a good way to make your home smell lovely without using chemical-based air fresheners like Febreeze). Not to mention the fact we now have wonderful showpeice outside our front door!!
Good luck with your own Herb Spiral!