California homes, whether they are in Orange County, Los Angeles County or San Diego County are often are limited in backyard space, and what better way to make the most out of that space than to build a vertical herb garden! Our favorite permeable vertical garden are spiral herb gardens because they allow you to not only partake in the sustainable permaculture revolution but also yields fresh, organic herbs at an arms reach from the kitchen. A spiral herb garden is a compact vertical garden built using some specific principles which allow the management of wind and water to create an ideal garden scenario in a limited space.
Why a spiral?
A spiral uses gravity to its advantage and manages water flow and proper drainage as it continues downhill. The most effective spiral herb gardens are put together so that herbs that perform better with less water are at the top and herbs that require a bit more moisture reside at the bottom of the spiral where water will collect. The spiral herb garden variation of vertical gardens will allow you to plant a wide variety of plants along the slope because of the natural shade and sun spots and the varying water levels. Both of these factors should be taken into consideration before choosing which herbs will go where along the spiral. The spiral garden is actually more efficient than a flat landscape which will waste nearly 20% more water.
Here are many reasons why a spiral is perfect for your vertical garden:
- Maximizes space to grow more herbs successfully
- Optimize plant growth with varying microclimates
- Enhanced garden aesthetic: this garden will be the focal point of your garden
- Herbs are easily accessible for harvest: just an arms reach away!
- Growing organic food yourself saves money
- Avoiding GMOs and pesticides is always great for your health
- Little to none weeding needed
- Effectively manages water: less waste is great for our drought
- Drip irrigation makes this garden too easy to maintain
- No more bending or kneeling to garden!
How is it done?
To start your herb spiral garden, begin laying stone or blocks as a foundation for the spiral allows for good insulation during the nights of colder months as well as efficient water management. Structure the spiral in the direction of water drainage (counter-clockwise for us Californians), this allows for efficient water management and reduces evaporation rates. Be sure to take the movement of sunlight into consideration when designing the shape of your circle or oval as well as the height between levels of your spiral as it is important to to make sure that all of your plants get enough sunlight each day.
Here is a video that shows you how to start your very own spiral garden, check it out: