I decided I had to have one. A quick search showed several videos on how to build them. Easy peasy, right? I just needed to collect the materials. I decided that I'd rather use reclaimed brick or stone to build my spiral, rather than buying new material. I ended up getting my bricks for free, but lots of people sell them for 10 or 15 cents a brick if you come pick them up. The price was definitely right, and it's greener to reuse than buy new. Win, win!
I was never able to find an exact list of what you need with amounts, so here's what I used. Obviously these numbers are going to vary with the size and shape of your spiral, but you can use this for a frame of reference.
200-250 bricks (plus broken pieces as needed for edges or weird spots in the spiral)
480 lbs. manure (I used 12 bags, 40 lb. each)
1 bale straw
Compost - I don't have exact measures here because most came from my compost heap. I used two standard wheelbarrows full of compost, plus 3 bags (.75 cu. ft)
Herbs for planting - So far I have Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Basil, and Sage
Cardboard - I ended up using two pizza boxes and three mailing boxes, but I could have used more.
|First round, before adding more cardboard|
I saw lots of different ways of marking out the spiral, but I am not much of a planner, so I just laid it out freeform. It worked out pretty well, though I did have a partial collapse on the east side as I was filling in with manure and compost. This is why we choose a level site. Lesson learned.
|Notice the lean out on the left side.|
The videos and websites I found all said to wet everything down between layers, but I had a couple weeks while I was looking for more bricks, and then a couple more while I was getting compost and manure. I figured the rain did a good enough job.
Next in is the straw. I put a good thick layer all the way around the spiral. After that, alternating layers of manure and compost, making sure to have compost on the top to plant into. I wasn't terribly careful with the thickness of the layers, I just layered it in there. Each layer should be wetted down.
|Ready to plant!|
I bought some herbs, thinking I would have the bed mostly full, but I barely made it halfway around the spiral. It's like a TARDIS herb garden - definitely bigger on the inside!
|All finished. Maybe we need some mulch on the top layer...|