Saturday, March 8, 2008

Building an Herb Spiral

I had a bunch of bricks lying around and plenty of time, so I decided to build an Herb Spiral. An Herb Spiral is a common project used in permaculture to highlight a few key concepts. First off, an herb spiral condenses 30 square feet of bed space into 6 actual square feet due to its design. It also creates various microclimates and zones.

To start an herb spiral, measure out the space you would like to use, clear it out and make it level and begin to draw the template, either in your mind or place a few bricks to give you perspective. All I did was slowly lay the bricks in a spiral pattern, slowly building it higher and higher. After a certain height, I fill in the space between the bricks with drain gravel on the bottom and a good mix of top soil and compost above the drain rock. This will keep the bricks in place as you build even higher. Eventually you will get the height that you are looking for and you will have the whole thing filled in.

See, pretty simple. After all done I layed out some drip tubing along the whole of the spiral and I planted my herbs. I planted drought tolerant plants such as rosemary on top and more moisture loving herbs on the bottom such as lemongrass and mint. There are also an east, west, north and south aspects that can help determine which herbs go where. My spiral goes like this, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Chives, Marjoram, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Cilantro, Green Onions, Mint, and Lemongrass.

It grows with almost zero maintenance and it is in a small space not being used normally right by our kitchen. Bless the Herb Spiral and all that it has to offer.

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