I’m so excited! The new apprentices started this week. They’ll be doing the same as I did last year – a six month growing season at Growing Communities’ market gardens. It’s going to be fantastic to have two extra regulars!
While Ru showed them the ropes, I worked with the volunteers on a herb spiral. We’ve put this in the forest garden side of Allens Garden where there was a perfect little spot for it. The purpose of a herb spiral is to be able to grow a variety of herbs together, the different heights mean that you can put those that love drier conditions at the top and then plant those that do better in wetter, shadier soils further down. Another advantage is that you can water the whole spiral from the top. Bill Mollison suggests putting a ‘pond’ for watercress at the lowest point, because water can collect there.
Made from old conveyor belt, ours is a very basic design, with the obvious advantage of being easy to fashion into a spiral. We’re going to put the salt bush at the top as it does well in drier conditions. Ru was keen for us to make the spiral extra high so it would get more sun too, but with the height of the fence behind, I think that was a little optimistic… Other herbs that go well on the higher sections include thyme, rosemary and sage. Mint, parsley and chives do better lower down.
We didn’t have quite enough soil to fill it up, so we’ve put in some leaf mould which is just about ready to use. This will settle down a little and then we’ll fill it up with soil which we’re planning to steal from the raised beds around the site, a little bit from here and there should fill it up nicely.
I’ll keep you posted on how it does once those herbs are planted…can’t wait to get them in.
View from the top