Permaculture herb spiral start!

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by IngeLeonora, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    Last winter I did the first pre-work for making a 'herb spiral' in my front yard. Then in February, just before I was going to leave for some weeks (to CuraƧao), I made the structure of the spiral with stones. Those stones were already in the garden for years (heritage of a former inhabitant). The 1st of April we returned. Some days later I started planting the first seeds. I have more seeds, but they'll have to wait until it surely won't freeze anymore (that's about the 11th of May, here in the Netherlands). Today I see some very small seedlings coming up! :clap:
    Next time I 'll tell you more.
     
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Excellent Inge! Can you post photos?? We'd love to see your work.
     
  3. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    I am new in this forum. I need some time to find out how to do things. I did not yet try adding a picture. But now I'll try. =-
    I started a Garden Journal for showing how my garden looks throughout the year in sketches. Here are the first two sketches of the 'herb spiral'.
    View attachment 3008 View attachment 3009
     

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    Carolin likes this.
  4. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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  5. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    So it was the right time for a herb spiral!
    I know my herb spiral is not 'following the rules'. It's too low in the middle. I think next winter I will make that part higher. I have plenty of stones. I only need to add more soil. But I hope to have some compost then (started composting at the same time I started composing my herb spiral).
     
  6. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Beautiful drawings Inge! Do you have pics of the spiral in action? I love the look of them but they are not so suitable here I don't think.
     
  7. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    Hi Beekeeper.
    Of course I'll show my 'herb spiral' in action here! But ... it just started.
    During the winter (here that's November, December, January) I had a layer of mulch on the spot. In February I made the spiral shape with stones (from the old paving that was there some years before, when this part of the garden was a terrace). I put the stones directly on the soil. Then we went on vacation for six weeks. So only a few weeks ago I started sowing and planting (first week of April 2015).

    In my opinion a good herb spiral can be made suitable for any place, any climate. Every herb spiral has its own shape. The only similarity is the spiral. You can make it high (like a small mountain) or just a little sloping. You can make it turn left or right. You can make the sunny part larger, or the shadowed part. You choose where to put which plants (herbs, vegetables, shrubs). It all depends on your individual situation.
     
  8. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    map of front yard with herb spiral

    I made this map for you (in English) in my Garden Journal.
    Some more explanation:
    1. the potatoe experiment: I try out how much of a sprouted potatoe I have to use, so it will become a plant with potatoes.
    2. cabbage: I bought small plants of white cabbage and broccolli and planted them at different spots.
    3. 4. I read cabbage likes to be close to sweet peas and beans. I sowed them at the outer edge, so they won't block the sun for other plants.
    5. a handful of little onions planted out here ... I hope to get some seed of carrots too, to sew next to them.
    6. all empty space will be filled with different herb plants.
    Sage, rosemary, raspberry, red berries and a pot full of strawberries (and some other shrubs) were already there before.
    View attachment 3014
     

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  9. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    Now I have some photos for you. One was made a week ago, the other some days later, after some herbs were planted. They are: Madame Jeannette peppers (also known as Surinam peppers, very hot peppers) parsley and thyme.
    Soon I'll show you more, because I see the onions are visible. But I added some new mulch. The herbs are almost invisible now between the green grass clippings, not right for a photo.
    View attachment 3023 View attachment 3024
     

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  10. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Very nice Inge, thank you!
    I've successfully grown potatoes from a very small chunk containing only one eye.
    We've had good luck growing cabbages, but have to cover them with screen/netting to keep the cabbage moths out. They don't seem to mind the reduced sunlight (here in the near-desert).
     
  11. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Great experimenting, and beautiful journal, thanks.

    I've always had a bit of a downer on herb spirals, because in my climate the first thing that would happen in a structure built up like that out of stone is that the soil would dry out ;-) I suppose technically I should be able to design one that works here, probably incorporating self watering systems for summer/autumn, and heat sinks for winter.

    I love that you are planting veges!
     
  12. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    Hi 9anda1f, I like your 'footnote': "There are no weeds".
     
  13. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    Hi pebble. You are right. When you're in a dry climate, you have to adapt the spiral design. Here in the Netherlands the climate is wet, rainy (and a little windy too).
    Do you know about 'Ollas' for keeping the soil wet? They look like terracotta pots. When you search (google) for 'ollas irrigation', you'll find them.
     
  14. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    IngeLeonora, lovely drawings! What kind of herbs did you plant?

    I am trying to use some that I haven't really liked in the past, like lavender and rosemary. I have had Double Chocolate Lavender cookies, and they are quite good. Chocolate seems to be good partners with lots of flavors. I'm still working on the rosemary, maybe mixing it up. I like French Tarragon, but it tends to get strong as the summer goes on. I'm also using dill to try to keep the aphids away from my dinosaur kale, not sure if it's working. :)
     
  15. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Very impressive journal indeed Inge. I love the fresh approach to the herb spiral.
     
  16. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    Hi Sweetpea and Purplepear. This herb spiral experiment I just started this year. But in my garden were already some herbs. I had sage, rosemary, chives, and more I don't know the English name by now. The chives (both big and small species) grow all over and I use them a lot in salads. The sage I use sometimes for my husband to make a calming drink when he can't sleep well. Another herb (citronella?) is for when he has stomach problems. The rosemary has nice flowers, but is an ugly bush, and I barely use it (it's a flavour to use with porc meat, and we do not eat porc).
    In my new herb spiral I planted hot peppers (we use them often in the CuraƧaoan dishes my husband prepares), parsley (for the salads) and thyme (because I like the plant and the scent). I think I will plant dill too, I like that in salads. And I sowed some different seeds, we'll see what comes up.
    My 'spiral' is for vegetables too. I have onions, potatoes, beans, sweetpeas. Carrots will come too. It's all experimental ...
     
  17. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    You reminded me, I need to do more Chives. They are very good for us, too.

    Oh, can we have the recipe? Sounds interesting.

    Nice combination of plants, it sounds really pretty.

    ------------

    Hi, PP, how's it going?
     
  18. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    It's a very easy recipe. You only need a cup of milk, a teaspoon of honey and a handful of sage leaves. Heat the milk with the sage in it, slowly on medium fire until it starts boiling. Then sieve the leaves out of the milk, put it in a cup and mix with the honey. Drink warm and then go to bed.
     
  19. IngeLeonora

    IngeLeonora Junior Member

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    Photo made yesterday. The mulch grass is becoming yellow, but still you don't see much of the young plants (I know they are there!). View attachment 3031
    Sorry the photo is not right up ...
     

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  20. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    IngeLenora, thanks for the recipe, I'll have to give it a try! Look at your pretty picture! The mulch defines it nicely. How long is your growing season there?
     

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