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A herb snail, also called herbal spiral, can be built up with stones or with wood; big or slightly smaller; with mini pond or without. The best building instructions for a stone and a wood variant lead step by step to your own, and above all, self-created, herbal snail. Almost all year round, the most diverse herbs can be harvested fresh for the kitchen. In addition, the herbal snail is a decorative element for any garden, which can be easily built on your own.
Wood or stone
As mentioned above, there are two main ways to build a herbal snail. If you prefer something smaller and with less effort, you can choose the wood variant. In the trade, there are already pre-made items to buy. If you want something more elaborate, bigger and classic, choose the variant with a drywall. Here you can choose whether you prefer to process natural stones, clinker bricks or bricks for the wall. Below building instructions for both variants.
Good planning is everything. These points are to be clarified for the construction of a stone herbal snail:
- Specify optics (which stones?)
- Location and size in the garden
- Which herbs should be planted
- with or without mini pond
- Gravel, gravel
- Sand, mother earth
- Wooden sticks, string
- if necessary, pond liner, pond vessel
For the herbal spiral one chooses best a full sun in the garden. Since it should be a real eye-catcher and will smell wonderful with all its herbs, it can be placed in an exposed position or near sitting areas. On average, it starts from a diameter of 3 meters at the base. That will be enough for ten plants. The highest point is then about 90 cm high.
This place is best marked with sticks and a string. The herb snail should leak to the south. Here, at the end of the spiral, the outline of a small pond can be marked.
Tip: To mark the snail, a peg is placed in the middle of the location. With a string of appropriate length (here 1,50m) and another stake on it then a circle in the earth is marked. Mark a small circle for the drying zone in the middle.
Now within the marked area the soil is dug well deep. For the water hole it should be around 40 centimeters. Now it is filled up with gravel or gravel. Avoid the pond area. This gravel layer ensures good drainage, thus avoids waterlogging and frost damage, and also serves as a foundation for the wall.
The selected stones are now laid according to the system of a drywall, ie without mortar. Later, herbs can also settle in the joints and, above all, they become valuable living space for insects and small animals.
You start with the first row by laying the stones in the form of a spiral with two turns towards the middle (width of the spiral about 60cm). For a good stability one chooses for the first row of stones particularly thick, solid and uniform stones. Now the remaining stones are distributed in ascending order to the middle up to a height of about 80-90 cm in the middle.
Now the finished wall outlines are first filled with gravel or gravel. Apply hardly or no gravel at the bottom and let the gravel layer rise to 50 cm towards the middle. Avoid the pond area completely.
It will then be filled with soil. The mixture of the soil is adjusted to the needs of the herbs in these climatic zones:
- lower area: loamy soil, pure earth compost mixture
- Medium range: nutrient-rich garden soil enriched with compost and some sand
- Upper area: garden soil and sand in the ratio 1: 1
Create a pond
There are two different options for the pond:
- The area is previously lined with sand so that the pond liner is not damaged. Then the film is laid out, on it comes again a layer of sand and gravel. The edge is covered with stones.
- A small prefabricated pond (or pan, Maurer hut) is placed in the hole. The edge is then laminated with stones.
Upper area, dry zone
- Mountain savory (Satureja montana)
- Curry herb (Helichrysum italicum)
- Spice sage (Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten')
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Lavender Thyme (Thymus thracicus)
- Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
- Orange thyme (Thymus fragrantissimus)
- Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Sage (Salvia officinalis)
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
- Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
- Borage (Borago officinalis)
- Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
- Spice Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
- Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
- Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
- Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
- Pimpinelle (Sanguisorba minor)
- Rocket (Eruca sativa)
- Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
- Dill (anethum graveolens)
- Garden Mint (Calamintha grandiflora)
- Indian armchair (Monarda didyma)
- Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
- Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
- American calamus (Acorus americanus)
- Watercress (Nasturtium officinale)
- Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
- Water Nut (Trapa natans)
A herbal spiral for small gardens are also available in specialist shops as finished kits. The individual wooden elements are strung together with a wire. The advantage is their simple structure. Also, a move may be accomplished quickly:
- Mark predetermined diameter in a sunny location
- 10-15 cm deep dig the earth
- Elements are adjusted and tamped at the edges with earth
- fill in a layer of crushed stone
- fill with soil according to the different areas or simply fill with herb soil, depending on the need and size of the herb snail
- Let the soil sink, by casting or rain, then plant
- The wooden planks of different lengths are anchored spirally and with increasing length from outside to inside the earth.
- The planks should lean slightly toward the center
- from the inside, the planks, as far as they are filled with soil, should be previously laid out with foil
- do not use chemically treated wooden boards
No matter whether you decide on a small, economical variant or for a generous plant of a herbal spiral: it is a gain for kitchen and garden. By the layer principle one achieves a higher crop yield than from a ground-level bed. In addition, this type of herbal cultivation allows the herbs to provide their individually optimal living space. A mini pond fits perfectly into the overall design. However, those who shy away from the extra work, a herbal snail works without a pond.