new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

herb spiral  RSS feed

 
trinda storey
Posts: 110
Location: kent, washington
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


I am made this herb spiral in preparation for spring...oo i cant wait for spring!
IMG_1934.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_1934.JPG]
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1246
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
125
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pretty!
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Would you explain for us why you chose to keep it all roughly at ground level? I thought part of the point of an herb spiral was all the microclimates created by the varying elevations and shade.
 
trinda storey
Posts: 110
Location: kent, washington
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hi kyrt

thanks for pointing that out i actually just read about the herb spiral and didn't realize you were supposed to vary the size of the mounds. i just got over excited about creating one and didn't plan it out.
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
trinda storey wrote:hi kyrt

thanks for pointing that out i actually just read about the herb spiral and didn't realize you were supposed to vary the size of the mounds. i just got over excited about creating one and didn't plan it out.

From what I was taught... it's all supposed to be ONE huge mound that's something like 4-5 feet in diameter, that might be 2-3 feet tall in the center.

Though it's possible I'm mistaken lol.
 
Nicole Alderman
gardener
Posts: 1438
Location: Pacific Northwest
170
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't think you're mistaken, Kyrt . Google images is really my friend for things like this, and I stared at a lot of diagrams when I was trying to figure out how in the world to build one of these. Here's a really nice cross-section of one:



You can make them as big mounds, like this man did (http://thewildreed.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-herb-spiral.html):



But, as you can tell, you can't get it nearly as tall, nor make nearly as diverse microclimates at that height. So, usually people use stone or bricks or other walls to make their mound get taller, like these ones:
http://themicrogardener.com/4-step-guide-to-building-a-herb-spiral/

http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/build-an-herb-spiral/8528.html

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/herbs/herb-spiral-zm0z11zhun.aspx

Or, you can just use what ever stuff you've got lying around to build up the walls, which is what I did (http://www.permies.com/t/44289/projects/Herbal-Hugel-Spiral-Randomness):


I hope those pictures help!

 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nicole Alderman wrote:


But, as you can tell, you can't get it nearly as tall, nor make nearly as diverse microclimates at that height.

It might be a matter of soil type, but I KNOW I've seen [quite lush and vegetated] mounds of about that diameter at least twice that height.

Sure there will be runoff, but having any sort of wall spiraling around the mound you'll get sediment deposition and end up with a much gentler slope following the wall.

Looks like I might have to try my hand at building one of these this year as an experiment...
 
trinda storey
Posts: 110
Location: kent, washington
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
so it looks like there is not any gap between mounds such as i did with mine. i wonder if i can still make mine work or am i going to have to remake it? :/
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yours seems like a pretty interesting garden bed for the time being. It's not going to create herb spiral microclimates but you can still use it as-is and build a real herb spiral somewhere else [unless that's premium space right next to the door nearest the kitchen and you really wanted an herb spiral there, then you might have to bite the bullet and trash it to build a real one if your heart is really set on having an herb spiral.]
 
Nicole Alderman
gardener
Posts: 1438
Location: Pacific Northwest
170
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
trinda storey wrote:so it looks like there is not any gap between mounds such as i did with mine. i wonder if i can still make mine work or am i going to have to remake it? :/


You could definitely build upon what you've got there, using the gap as a place to put structural wall material (the rocks, logs, bricks, gravel-filled harware cloth, cinderblocks, and/or whatever). You don't have to remove anything that you've already laid down. Just know that, to get those microclimates, you'll have to spiral up. Which not only means structural support, but also a lot more dirt. The bottom of your spiral, can, of course be ground level, so you don't need to change the first few feet of your spiral much at all (though, you might want to put some sort of barrier between the grass and your mound, or else that grass will have a hay day taking over your mound. Grass tries to take over mine, and that's with the rock barrier. Anything I plant at ground level loves to get overtaken by grass in no time at all.)

As for material to make it taller as you spiral up, you could use dirt/soil. Or, use a mix of sticks and other organic material to make up all but the top few inches. The organic material will shrink a lot more than the soil/dirt, but if you don't have a source for soil (or the money to buy bags of it), you might want to use some "filler" to help build it taller.

I hope that helps!
 
trinda storey
Posts: 110
Location: kent, washington
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks! i was thinking of using logs as filler since i do not have the budget for soil. huglespiral?
 
Nicole Alderman
gardener
Posts: 1438
Location: Pacific Northwest
170
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's what I did (I posted pictures of my progress as I built it on my thread). I also don't have the budget for soil, and our native soil is terrible for growing things (or, at least, I can't seem to make it work well for veggies). This will be year two for my spiral. While there's been some shrinkage, it hasn't been too bad. I would suggest trying to fill in any holes between the logs with small branches and pack it as tightly as you can. I had some bigger collapses (3 inch diameter by 5 inches deep) on the top where I didn't pack in those holes as well. Thankdfully, they weren't around any of my plants, and I was able to just plug those holes with more potting soil. Also try to use the stablest structural material as you can for the walls. A rock at the top of my spiral started sliding off, and a lot of the soil around my lavender plant eroded, and the plant doesn't look too happy now .

I'm hoping that--aside from the lavender disaster--my spiral continues to succeed like it did last year. I've seen a few other people who made hugelspirals, but no one really posted updates years later. So, I'll keep trying to update how my spiral does over the years. Good luck with your spiral, and keep us updated!

Oh! What kind of organic/inorganic material do you have there? Any big rocks? Those could come in handy for making your spiral and saving on material costs (I ended up building mine on and around an old stump that was there, so as not to have to do as much building!)
 
Hot dog! An advertiser loves us THIS much:
This is an example of the new permies.com Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!