Not everyone is keen on straight lines and square boxes for beds, or strictly structured garden designs – plants grow perfectly fine in a spiral garden too.
A spiral herb garden is an attractive way to grow many fresh herbs in a small space, and many vegetables thrive in the close contact of their companion crops.
I decided to plant my potatoes using the spiral garden design, just to see if it would fit as naturally into my gardening space – I’m happy to say, it does!
The area was a small plot in between a raised bed on one side, and a mound on the other, and could have otherwise been wasted.
I mounded up the soil from pathways on both sides, surrounded it with cardboard cut to a circular shape and then pieced together, planted the egg sized potatoes left from last years crop and kept in the root cellar over the winter.
I planted them in a characteristic expanding spiral from a central point.
The whole thing was then mulched thickly with old hay, and the cardboard was covered with well rotted sawdust from a local mill.
I’m anticipating that the redworms that proliferate in my well composted soil will also enjoy being protected under the damp cardboard, and in the hay.
In fact, I found quite a few large sized Ensenia foetida (the fancy name for the redworm) under an unopened bale of the same hay, so added those to the spiral garden to continue their valuable work.
Planting the seed potatoes in a spiral pattern allows lots of room around them
Hay mulch over the spuds and sawdust around the spiral garden holds in the moisture
Now to stand back and let the potatoes grow.
I’ll add more aged hay as they require it, and other than that, just water if it’s really dry.
Here’s to a great crop of one of my favorite vegetables – a staple in my kitchen.
The growth after a good rain in June
July brings good growth above ground; let's hope it reflects in a great crop!
After the vines died down in August, the potatoes ripened in the warm hay. Before the fall rains started, the spuds were raked up and put into a basket in the root cellar. Although not a huge crop, they will make a nice addition to winter stews and soups for a while.
It's important that they dry off before storage, and are kept completely dark to avoid 'greening' which makes them poisonous. They also need to be kept above freezing, which will give them dark spots in the flesh.