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How to Build an Herb Spiral: Part 2

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By Phil Williams
Thursday, April 10th, 2014

How to Build an Herb Spiral: Part 2

Resilient Life
By Phil Williams on
Thursday, April 10th, 2014
0

An herb spiral is not meant for large scale production. It is meant to provide many different microclimates in a small space. This is beneficial because you can pack many different varieties of herbs into a small space close to your kitchen, so you can conveniently pick them as you need them. It is also garden feature that can be admired simply for its beauty.

Herb spirals can house up to 36 different varieties of herbs, or at least so I have read. My herb spiral does not have near that many, but I can see how it could be possible. I personally did not want to put that many herbs in my spiral, because I have a fairly large, but very convenient herb garden right along my front walkway, so there are some herbs that I don’t want overcrowding or taking over my herb spiral.

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Rosemary, thyme, lavender, marjoram, calendula, sage, oregano, tomato (volunteer), basil, onions, chives, parsley, dill, daikon

For the most part, I tried to only use perennial, biennial, or self-seeding annuals in my herb spiral. Apart from basil, I really don’t like to have to reseed my herbs every year, especially when there are so many good ones that don’t need to be replanted year after year. So what can be planted into the different microclimates of an herb spiral?

Dry and sunny (The top of the spiral)

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme – I put my thyme in front of the rosemary, because the rosemary would shade out the thyme if it were in front.
  • Lavender
  • Oregano – Oregano can also go in the mid slope of the spiral on the sunny side.
  • Dill
  • Tarragon
  • Marjoram

Sunny & moist, but well drained still (The middle of the spiral on the sunny side)

  • Parsley
  • Cilantro – I would not plant cilantro in an herb spiral, because it is an aggressive self-seeder, unless you want a cilantro spiral.
  • Sage
  • Yarrow
  • Fennel
  • Nasturtium
  • Bee Balm – Bee balm is another one that is too aggressive in my opinion for an herb spiral.
  • Calendula
  • Basil

Rosemary, thyme, lavender, marjoram, calendula, sage, oregano, tomato (volunteer), basil, onions, chives, parsley, dill, daikon

Shady & moist, but still well drained (The middle of the spiral on the shady side)

  • Chives
  • Onions
  • Parsley – Can do OK in sun or some shade
  • Borage
  • Sorrel

Sunny & Wet (Bottom of the spiral on the sunny side)

  • Chives
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon Balm
  • Mints – I would not plant mints in an herb spiral as they can be very aggressive.

Shady & Wet (Bottom of the spiral on the shady side)

  • Chives – are so versatile, and can grow in the sun or shade, and will tolerate wet conditions.
  • Mints – I would not plant mints in an herb spiral as they can be very aggressive.
  • Cress

~ Phil Williams

Phil Williams is a permaculture consultant and designer and creator of the website foodproduction101.com.  His website provides useful, timely information for the experienced or beginning gardener, landscaper, or permaculturalist. Phil's personal goals are to build soil, restore and regenerate degraded landscapes, grow and raise an abundance of healthy food of great variety, design and install resilient permaculture gardens in the most efficient manner possible, and teach others along the way.

– Peak Prosperity –

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