Herbs are very essential to our health because of the nutrients that it can give to our body. It also increases our eating pleasures because we can get the full flavours from our meals. So, if you don’t have herbs growing at home, you’ll be missing out the health benefits of herbs in your daily life.
In this article you will learn how to grow herbs the smart way. I will teach you how to make an Herb Spiral.
What is an Herb Spiral?
It is a fantastic Permaculture Design that you can use every day. The great thing about herb spiral is - it maximizes your space by building your herbs up instead of building it out, so you are increasing the surface area where you can grow things on simply by raising it up. This is good way to grow herbs especially on small spaces.
What’s cool about Herb Spiral is it creates micro-climates. Micro-climates simply means - creating a different growing conditions based on how it is being built. The top most portions have a dryer condition because the water is draining down and it created a wetter condition down at the bottom. This design is very fantastic because you can grow different kinds of herb following different weather conditions. At the top portion you can grow Mediterranean herbs like sage and rosemary that don’t need lots of water while at the bottom part you can grow herb like Vietnamese mints, lemon balms and other herbs that need a lot of water.
Here are the simple steps in making your Herb Spiral:
1. Choose your location.
List at least 2 places close to your back-door or kitchen
Choose the sunniest position
2. Prepare Your Herb Spiral
Make a pile of dirt; it doesn’t have to be great quality soil to fill the area or pot. Mine’s about 70cm high. Use bricks, or rocks to edge it, and form a spiral from the top down.
For a spiral in your backyard, 2m in diameter is a good size (so you can reach the middle from all the edges).
3. List Your Favourite Herbs
Examples of herbs are basil, rosemary, lemon balm, chives, mint, thyme and etc
4. Get seedlings of your favourite herbs from your local market, nursery or friend’s garden.
5. Make small holes in the dirt and fill with quality compost. If you don’t have any of your own, you can buy some from your local nursery or hardware store.
6. Plant your dry-loving herbs into the top of the spiral (thyme, rosemary etc.) Plant moisture loving plants towards the bottom (mints, lemon-balm, gotu kola).
7. Plant heat loving plants facing towards the sun (north-west in the Southern Hemisphere, south in the Northern Hemisphere).
8. Cover exposed soil with hay, bark or finely chopped leaves
The mulch will keep the moisture levels more even in the soil, saving you a lot of time watering, and protect the micro-organisms in the soil from the sun.
It’s very important to use mulch - you can use leaves fallen in your yard, buy some hay, straw or bark.
9. HARVEST & EA T! ! !
Start picking leaves when the seedlings have grown twice the size from when planted.
I’ve picked small leaves as soon as two weeks after planting.
Make herbal teas by simply pouring boiling water over the herbs. One of my favourites is
Lemon-balm and mint tea ~ Delicious!!!
Add to salads, marinades, dips, sauces - everything tastes better with herbs!
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