How to Grow: Herb Spiral

Learn how to build an herb spiral and which herbs to grow.

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herb spiralIt’s time to design new gardens. But instead of thinking big this year, consider some easier, smaller projects. One is designing and building an herb spiral.

Herb spirals create a nice landscape feature to grow herbs in a small space. They mimic the spirals seen in nature such as in snail shells, plant tendrils and leaves. They also allow you to grow different plants that require different growing conditions together in the same space. Because you’re growing vertically, you’ll can pick the herbs without stepping in the spiral.

A common, simple herb spiral design is 4 to 6 feet in diameter and rises to 2 to 3 feet high at the center. Mark out the area and lay down cardboard, covered with mulch or gravel, to kill the grass and weeds and create a level base. Build the spiral with walls of rock, brick, or concrete pavers curving the spiral clockwise as you gain height. These materials absorb the sun’s heat during the day to warm the soil faster. Make sure the planting ramp you’re creating is at least 1 foot wide. Fill the bottom of the ramp with mulch, leaves or peat moss and the top foot or so with a mix of topsoil and compost. Plant heat and well-drained soil loving herbs, such as oregano and thyme, on top where it will be the driest. Plant moisture loving herbs, such as parsley and mint, towards the bottom. Plant shade tolerant herbs, such as chives, on the north side and sun lovers, such as basil, on the south side. Mix in small veggies and flowers as well. Water the spiral from the top and let the water soak down to the lower levels.

From the Vermont Garden Journal.

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