Spiral vegetable gardens: What is it and how to make a spiral vegetable garden?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:19 pm

In today’s article we are going to talk about spiral vegetable gardens. This type of gardens are starting to be seen a lot and they are really attractive. You may not know at first what we mean by the term “spiral gardens” but you will find out throughout the article… So let’s get to it!

Spiral vegetable gardens: What is it and how to make a spiral vegetable garden?
Spiral vegetable gardens with aromatic plants

What is a spiral vegetable garden?

I had not seen a spiral garden until I spent a few weeks in Switzerland. There, spiral gardens are very common and you can find them in private gardens, farms or parks.

Spiral vegetable gardens: What is it and how to make a spiral vegetable garden?

When I discovered them I was very curious to know more about their function, structure and the kind of plants we could grow. So I’ve been doing some research to tell you about all the surprises they hide.

A spiral garden is a structure of stones, wood or bricks arranged in a spiral shape to grow different plants inside it (mainly aromatic and medicinal plants). This technique is widely used in permaculture and allows us to take advantage of the different positions of the sun and the amount of soil moisture to grow.

Below, you can see one of these types of spiral gardens that I found while walking in Switzerland:

Spiral vegetable gardens: What is it and how to make a spiral vegetable garden?
Spiral vegetable garden in Switzerland

Benefits of spiral gardens

Once we are clear about what we mean when we talk about “spiral gardens” let’s see what are the benefits of this technique compared to traditional cultivation.

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Here is a list of the most important ones:

  • Creation of different micro-climates along the spiral. Depending on the position of the sun and the height of the plants, the amount of light and humidity changes. Therefore, we will be able to choose the different plants according to these parameters.
  • Increased biodiversity in the garden. This type of structure allows us to increase biodiversity by placing different types of plants in the garden.
  • Attraction of auxiliary fauna. Normally the auxiliary fauna likes to take refuge between stones, wood, bricks, etc. That is to say, the materials with which we build the spiral garden will in turn serve as a home for the beneficial insects of the garden.
  • Association between beneficial plants. In turn, we can take advantage of the proximity of some plants to establish beneficial associations.

How to make a spiral vegetable garden step by step

Next, we are going to learn what materials we need and how to make a spiral vegetable garden step by step. Don’t forget that each person can adapt this type of garden to their needs and available space. We will give you some general guidelines and from there you are the ones who have to surprise us.

Necessary materials

As you know, in a vegetable garden, we can recycle an infinite number of materials and containers. In this case, the most common materials used to build the spiral of the garden are stones (as we can see in the photo), bricks or pieces of wood.

As we have mentioned before, the small holes that we have left when building the spiral will serve as a shelter for the beneficial insects of the garden.

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However, you can certainly find spiral vegetable gardens made of other types of different materials. There are no rules here, let everyone’s imagination run wild!

Spiral vegetable gardens: What is it and how to make a spiral vegetable garden?
Spiral gardens with aromatic plants

Construction of spiral vegetable gardens

Once we know the materials we can use we will see the different steps to build it:

  • Make a circle on the ground of approximately 2 meters in diameter. The height of the spiral will be around 1 meter.
  • It is recommended, but not mandatory, to place a small pool of water at the beginning of the spiral (at the base of the spiral). This small water pond will allow to provide the garden with a certain humidity and even breed small amphibians beneficial for pest control.
  • Once we are clear about the beginning of our spiral, we begin to place the stones/wood/bricks until we form a spiral of approximately 1 meter in height.
  • Fill the spiral with substrate and compost.
  • Sow/plant the plants we want to grow. In the following section we develop this point more.

What plants to put in the spiral vegetable gardens

One of the tips to make the most of the spiral vegetable garden is to place the plants that need more light and less water at the top of the spiral, since the water will fall by gravity to the lower plants. The lower plants will have more moisture and shadier areas.

It is usually used for the cultivation of aromatic or medicinal plants. However, you can also grow vegetables or ornamental plants.

Spiral vegetable gardens: What is it and how to make a spiral vegetable garden?
Rosemary plant

Here is a list of some plants that you can plant in the spiral:

  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Chamomile
  • Sage
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Tarragon
  • Valerian
  • Lemon balm
  • Good Herb
  • Peppermint
  • Anise
  • Calendula
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Watercress
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Of course, this list of plants are only a few ideas. From there you can grow whatever you want as long as you take into account the advice of sun and humidity.

If you liked this idea to build a vegetable garden in a small space, do not miss the following article where we talk about small size vegetable gardens to grow in small places: “Mini vegetable garden: How to make an urban vegetable garden at home”.

Author

  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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