Spiral-shaped Gardens Produce More Food on Less Land

If you are on the lookout to increase the amount of food your garden can produce then spiral-shaped gardens is your solution! Most garden owners grow their plants in straight rows. While that is simple and appears to be the common practice it actually wastes a lot of space.

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But there are plenty of other ways to use up the space in your garden and grow more plants. Using your space efficiently will ensure that your garden can produce more crops in lesser space.

Learn all about spiral-shaped gardens and how they can improve your gardening experience!

Alternate Garden Shapes

Straight plant paths are easy to maintain and offer a walkway. The gardener can easily water, tend and harvest the crops. However, a lot of space is lost due to the presence of these walkways.

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Toby Hemenway, the author of “Gaia’s Garden,” argues that ‘a shape of a garden plays an important role in deciding how much of the area goes into containing plants’. Hemenway considers paths a “necessary evil.” In his book, he claims “it is essential to minimize the presence of paths.”

Gardens that grow crops in straight rows lose about half the total land space. Hemenway’s book offers some alternatives to traditional gardening techniques. Some of these include following a keyhole or spiral to grow your plants.

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Keyhole and Spiral-Shaped Gardens

Converting your single plant rows to raised garden beds of 3 rows each can help you bring down the space lost to approximately one-third of your garden plot. A keyhole garden resembles a horseshoe and only sacrifices about one-quarter of the garden to walkways.

Other shapes you can choose from are spiral and leaf gardens. They ensure that the walkways take up less than a quarter of your total gardening area. Additionally, mounting your spiral into a “mountain shape” about 3 feet high saves space and makes it easy to tend to your plants.


There is no need for pathways if you plant in a spiral. The gardener can access all the plants from any angle. Small herb spirals are the best way to start with spiral-shaped gardens. You can increase the size to a wider planting area as you learn.

Benefits of Spiral-Shaped Gardens

Not only do mounded spirals save space but they also save water. The water slowly moves down from the top of the mound to water the plants below. You can also plant a variety of plants in a spiral as they create multiple microclimates.


For instance, the topsoil is hot and dry, while the lower levels are cool and wet. You could grow oregano, rosemary, and thyme on the top and parsley at the bottom of the mound.

Leaf-Shaped Gardens

A leaf-shaped garden has paths that resemble the veins of a leaf. These gardens have one central path for wheelbarrows and other smaller branches to support foot traffic.

permaculture educator Larry Santoyo said “Growing a garden in the shape of a leaf saves space and makes it easier to access all the plants. The paths take the least possible space and allow the plants to thrive.”

Summing Up

Converting your traditional garden rows into spirals guarantees several benefits that you will not experience otherwise. Shift to spiral-shaped gardens today and watch your garden grow by the day!

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