Grow Your Own Food

Published on March 13th, 2012 | by Becky Striepe


How-to: Refresh Your Herb Spiral for Spring

finished herb spiral

Remember that super sweet spiral herb garden that we built last spring? It produced lots of delicious herbs for my kitchen, but it lay dormant over most of the winter. Like any container that you’re planting in, these herb spirals need a bit of maintenance to spruce them up for spring plantings. Here’s how to fix yours up so it’s good as new!

sunken herb spiral

See how everything sunk over the winter? And I'm not sure how those bulbs growing up top even got there!

1. Dig out any plants that are still alive. A few of our herbs made it through the winter, and a couple got really big! We dug up the bigger plants, like the rosemary and catnip that completely took off, and planted them either in the ground or in larger pots. The herbs that were thriving but still small enough for the spirals we dug up and set aside to re-plant.

plants waiting to be repotted in our herb spiral

2. Check the structure. Are there loose bricks or bricks out of place? Stuff hay under any wobbly bricks to stabilize them and move anything that’s dislodged back into place. Take your time and work slowly.

3. Add more hay. The spirals contained a layer of rocks, a layer of hay, a layer of compost, and a layer of soil. That hay compressed over that past year, so we needed a fresh layer to build it back up. It only took one small bale to fill ours back to the top with hay.

4. Add more compost. Spread a 1-2″ layer of compost over your hay.

5. Fill with potting soil and plant. Once your spiral is completely full, you’re ready to re-plant the herbs from last year. You can fill in the gaps with new herb plants or other plants that can grow in small containers. We planted green beans at the very top of our spirals this year!

That’s it! We have two spirals out back, and the whole process took us about an hour and a half. Did any of you guys build an herb spiral last year or are you planning to build one this spring? I’d love to hear your experiences with the project! I’m really happy with ours. The plants thrive in there, and guests are always wowed by them! Who says growing food can’t be pretty?

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

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