Herb Spiral - Instructions for donning and planting

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Kitchen herbs from the local garden - that is not only for hobby cooks the highest. Herbs can be the basis for many other beautiful things, even as medicinal herbs they can be planted in the garden and later processed accordingly. In principle, herbs like to have a sunny spot, even if they have their own ideas about the condition of the soil.
As you can easily imagine, Mediterranean herbs have the predilection to grow and thrive on a lean and dry soil. In southern Europe, of course, there are such soils that are sandy, dry, rocky and low in nutrients. Here grow wonderfully fragrant herbs such as rosemary, sage and lavender loves such conditions. A herbal spiral is the ideal habitat if you want to bring together different herbs with their respective location ideas in a small space. In addition, such a herbal spiral is always a feast for the eyes of the beholder.
Which herbs and plants could grow in a herbal spiral?
In order to answer this question correctly, one should also take a look at the different zones, which are modeled on the climatic zones of the habitats of the herbs:

  • The water zone for herbs that like to be swampy: watercress, calamus.
  • The wetlandwhere rich nutrients are found in the soil: lady's mantle, chervil, parsley, chives, oats and tortoiseshell.
  • The normal zonewhich may be humic and slightly dry: arnica, bush choegano, cumin, lemon balm, pimpinelle, oregano from different zones, hyssop.
  • The Mediterranean zone, dry and meager soil with good drainage: mountain savory, lavender, curry, quenelle, lemon thyme, cut garlic, sage, marjoram.
Suitable for each of these planting areas, there is enough choice in the herbs and sometimes one or the other flower is planted to loosen up the image of the herbal spiral. The herbal spiral, however, is not an invention of modern gardening, because gardens were getting smaller. It goes back to a long history. It was "invented" by the Japanese Masanuba Fukuoka, who actually discovered the system of permaculture. He has been observing nature to discover its principles and to work in harmony with them. The Australian Bill Mollison has also devoted himself to this topic, it was used in agriculture and found its evolution into the herbal spiral.
Creating a herbal spiral
A herbal spiral can also be referred to as a three-dimensional bed. It not only expands in length and width, but also uses the space above the base area due to its structure. This also makes it possible to cultivate many plants and herbs even in the smallest of spaces. Space is scarce in most modern gardens, which of course is due to the high land prices. Nevertheless, homeowners do not want to give up a strip of greenery behind their house and try to create a personal and individual garden through clever solutions.
A herbal spiral can be made with different materials, but mostly it is made with stones. Since at the beginning of the spiral is usually a small waterhole, some garden owners have made a small garden pond or expanded the existing pond and created space for herbs. Tip: Natural stones look very nice for a herbal spiral.
  1. On a sunny spot in the garden, which seems suitable for the installation of a herbal spiral, an area of ​​about 7 m² is reserved. The result is a herbal spiral with a diameter of 3 meters.
  2. In this area and a height of about 80 cm find a good dozen plants space. Once the location in the garden has been located, the floor plan is determined using pegs and a string. One can simply orientate on the shape of a snail shell, but the opening should be facing south.
  3. The small pond area, which lies at the "starting point" of the herbal spiral, is excavated at a depth of 40 cm, the remaining area at a depth of the spade. In the area for the plants an approximately 10 cm thick gravel layer is filled.
  4. In the middle of the spiral, a mound is filled up, you can also fill up with stones after every layer of stones up to their upper edge.
  5. Now, with the curbs laid the first row for the shape of the spiral, it should be two turns. These stones, however, are layered together without the mortar compound, which looks more beautiful and natural.
  6. Between the stones insects and small animals find a home, larger gaps can also be filled with plants. When filling up, one layer of gravel should be layered alternately with one layer of soil in order to achieve good drainage.

The respective planting zones should be considered, which can be found here in the spiral:
  • highest point: Mediterranean zone
  • below: normal zone
  • including: wet zone
  • at the beginning: water zone
In the middle, the herb spiral should have an approximately 80 cm thick layer of earth. Half of the earth should be mixed with sand in the Mediterranean zone. In the case of very loamy garden soil, lime chippings should also be added. The more the crocodile spiral goes down, the more the amount of sand in the soil should decrease. Instead of sand, soil or compost rich in humus is added to the soil. Directly at the water zone the earth consists only of normal earth and compost.
The mini pond at the foot of the herb spiral can of course be designed in any size. In the above example, a diameter of 40cm should be selected. In principle, however, the diameter of a bucket or a mortar trough is sufficient. On the bottom of the pit comes a thick layer of sand of 5 cm, on which the pond sheet is spread. Then there is a layer of sand and a layer of gravel with 10cm. Around the waterhole stones of different sizes are laid out, which represent the boundary to the spiral and to the outer edge.
Tip: Do not immediately equip the finished herbal spiral with plants, first let the soil sink.
Some herbs have deep roots and the plants are very large. This is for example the horseradish, but also Liebstöckl, comfrey or Alant, these plants should grow outside the herb spiral. Vermouth roots also excrete a substance that inhibits the growth of other plants in the neighborhood. On such a beautiful herb spiral best grow herbs that do not proliferate wild, such as tarragon or mint. This is particularly proliferating, their roots would move through the whole spiral. Basically, the small-sized varieties are to be preferred.
Worth knowing when creating a herbal spiral
  • Herb Spiral is the name of a flower bed that lives up to the smallest of spaces and meets the requirements of a wide variety of sites.
  • It is particularly interesting here that the number of pests is significantly lower than in normal beds due to the interplay of different medicinal herbs.
  • Basically, it consists of a water zone, a wet zone, a normal zone and a dry zone, which so carefully adjoin one another that optimal conditions are created for all plants.
  • The lower part of the spiral can be covered with a layer of compost earth, which should gradually become a mixture of earth and sand.
  • The resulting slope can be built with large natural stones and covered the bottom of the resulting water zone with stones, sand and water.
  • Now that the basic structure of the herbal spiral is in place, all that matters is the right planting. After all, it is important that every plant is placed where the environmental conditions are most favorable for them.
  • The actual task of the pond, in addition to increasing the humidity, is the reflection of the sunlight in the direction of the remaining herbal spiral. But here, too, spices such as watercress, calamus and water mint feel very well.
  • The humid zone of the herb spiral is very close to the water area and thus offers excellent conditions for chives, lemon balm and peppermint, parsley, chives and garlic.
  • In the partially shaded and dry normal zone, however, the best place for lemon balm, pimpinelle and oregano.
  • And in the dry zone, limescale herbs such as thyme, sage or mountain savory find the optimal conditions for them.

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