Category Archives: container gardening

Seeds of Hope

rosy tulips

Merry meet all,

I am just in from seed planting. Yesterday I bought some organic topsoil. I wheeled the soil home and put it all on my new garden patch. Today my garden looks beautiful even in the rain. The rocks get that sheen and the green vibrant plants stand out among the earthy rocks and soil. 

I cleared away more weeds and removed rocks from the soil. A Witch’s work is never done! I just planted hollyhocks and lilies in the garden. I hope they germinate. When they do, I will thin the seedlings more and enjoy watching the hollyhocks grow! I can harvest more seeds from the stalks come fall. The witch hazel is also coming along nicely. The flowers I planted at the base are doing well too. 

The photo above is one I took of the beauteous tulip growing in my own garden. It’s a double-petaled deep mahogany red tulip and the hybrid is called Uncle Tom, (mundane name, if you ask me.)  The scent is amazing!! I also watered the seeds and my garden with my organic Neptune’s Harvest organic fish emulsion fertilizer. 

I shall continue to post more here soon!! The Full Moon shines on June 2nd. The moon is waxing. This is a good time to get out and do some gardening!! You can plant seeds that grow above ground now, because the moon is growing full!!

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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A Garden to honor my ancestors

Seedling Magick

Merry meet all,

Tonight I’m sipping coffee and I occasionally peek out to my blossoming garden. It cheers my heart to see the plants grow. I also take pride in it for a different reason. 

I am carrying on the work of my ancestors. I am part Celtic and part Viking. My maternal grandmother is from Scotland. My maternal grandfather is from Cape Breton-French Acadian. My father was Norwegian. 

They would have worked hard in a garden to provide the food to feed their families. It was a produce or perish way of life then. They would have raised livestock. I don’t raise livestock but I do have two familiars. A garden was necesary. I also know how to fish, saw wood, gather and store wood, and operate a real wood stove. I know how to identify animal tracks, herbs and berries, and cook homegrown food- and ride horses. I often practice slow cooking, as opposed to eating processed food out of a can. Yes I do know to work a coleman stove. 

Allow me to elaborate here. One time in Pleasant Bay, my sis Niki harvested some root veggies from her garden. She cooked a pot of stew and it was cooked on the wood stove. I love the sound of a stainless steel kettle rattling on the wood stove- and a woodpecker pecking at the outdoor house walls. Then I was given the pot of soup and I held the pot of stew on my lap the way to the main house, where we all enjoyed it. I mean, it was delicious. Well it was made from totally locally grown vegetables and cooked on a wood stove. What was there to not like? 

I also can sew and clean. I know you may be thinking these seem like such domestic chores- especially since last fall, I was in the kitchen literally cooking all day. But I filled glass dishes with the plastic red lids with four different soups and I was able to feed myself all winter long. 

I have a fresh stash of lentils and beans. I know what to do with them. Performing this work is satisfying because I feel like I am carrying on a tradition. I have occasionally gone camping, maybe not as often as I should. Spending so much time in Pleasant Bay has helped me appreciate going for a simple walk. Well today was rainy. I also know how to make candles, make crafts like candles, jewelry, and bind books But my main pride and joy is my garden. I fail to understand why no one started a garden in the backyard here before me. Oh well my job. And I love it! I bought a celtic cookbook to also honor my ancestry. 

I am studying the different gods and goddesses in the Celtic pantheon. That is just fascinating to me. I do have a hard time getting my hands on books and information on the Vikings so I could honor that side of my family. I hope to learn more about them. 

I plan to make good use of the raspberries in my garden in jam and maybe eat them with pancakes. I plan to grow tomatoes, kale, lettuce, carrots, beets and radishes, potatoes, chives, garlic, rhubarb, and onions. For someone who lives on a meagre budget as I do, this is a lot of food. This includes the herbs and flowers I shall also harvest in the fall. The Witch Hazel will be cool. I haven’t planned on what to do with that yet. I can also harvest roots, seeds, and flower petals for various magickal uses. 

I let my Samhain pumpkins compost in my garden all year. The orange pumpkin was closer to the house. The white pumpkin composted over the tulip and garlic bulbs. When I raked the leaves this spring, I didn’t find the white pumpkin. I guess that is how well it composted. But the soil, bulbs and bugs would have benefitted from the nutrients from it. I did find the dried crumbling remnants of the orange pumpkin. I know it helped the soil. 

I planted snowdrops because I read they were sacred to Brigid. This is one of many ways I hope to explore and deepen my connection to my ancestors.

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Sagely Wisdom

b400c-echinacea1

Merry Meet All,

Imbolc is almost here!! Sorry for the pause in the posts, but I have been so busy trying to write a novel proposal that everything else has been- and that includes my entire life, has been on hold. Now that some of the maddening, gritty work is done, I can concentrate on other things. 

…like Imbolc. I’ve germinated garden sage and milk thistle seeds so far. I put the seeds in a folded damp paper towel in a ziploc bag. The seeds germinate much faster. I found loose sage leaves at the grocery store then discovered the sage was from Israel. What? i was shocked. So I rejected the sage and instead, bought a bag of seeds. 

Now I know where my sage is coming from. My own garden or windowsill, which I prefer. The sage from Israel would be useless to me. The magic properties that sage is known for would be long gone. The power of the herb would barely exist by the time it reached Canada. I couldn’t believe it. I would rather grow my own, which is highly possible as I have a garden. 

I wanted to buy the sage to steep in a teapot and do my sacred magic circle of sage tea all around the perimeter of the apartment here. But I wouldn’t use sage leaves from Israel. Sage is known for increasing longevity, aiding in protection and offering wisdom. How much of the natural wonderful properties remain in it by the time it is on the store shelf? Not to mention that the leaves are sprayed with a pesticide and preservative. Ugh Who wants that? 

Ah I am now left to the wonderful chore of growing my own. I have a young sage plant in my garden but it is buried under snow. I won’t harvest from a young plant I will wait till it is established. I can’t wait to plant my seedlings in the garden in the spring. 

I often read my copy of Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs. I love that book. I couldn’t live without it. It is an excellent reference book that should be on the book shelf of every serious Witch/ Pagan or Hedge Witch. 

Grow local! Grow your own herbs. My Genovese Basil was unintentionally uprooted this fall so I potted it up and brought it indoors. I can’t believe how it is flowering. The plant gets lots of sun from the southern window. My sage seedlings are growing next to it. Soon I shall have a few lovely sage plants blossoming in the garden, when spring arrives. I will have all the chemical-free sage  I want for casting protective magic circles!! 

I’ve been reading and enjoying Raven Grimassi’s articles in Witches and Pagans magazine. I now have new fun ideas to try on my herbs and plants thanks to him. I want to buy his books. I like his approach. I hope they include more of his writing. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Container Gardening

Merry Meet All,

I direct seeded radish into my garden this spring. That lured slugs near. I just waited for the radishes to emerge and replanted them into a container. I am glad I did. I want to be the one to bite into my own garden grown radish, not the pest. I know farmers and other eager gardeners brave the garden pests, but container gardening is very popular now, probably for that reason.

I attended a talk at the local library about container gardening. The planter I have is deep enough for radishes and can keep some pests away, ensuring that I will have a crop of radishes. They grow fast and can be sown when it is still cool in spring. While a container should be a foot deep or so to grow most veggies, you may be surprised at what you can use for a container.

Here is what you need to know to venture into the wonders of container gardening.

Your veggies will need six hours of sun a day.

Your veggies will need plenty of water. Test the soil before you water and wait till the end of the day. Container grown veggies may need more water than those grown in the garden, but you don’t want them to dry up or drown. You need to keep the soil moist, not wet. Make sure the container has good drainage or use stones to aid drainage.

Warmth- You can leave your containers out in the garden all summer. Leave the container where it is most likely to receive the most amount of sun. Also, use good potting soil. Refrain from using garden soil as it is not sterile and may contain weeds. Just discard weeds if you spot them in your container.

Fertilizer. Your vegetables will need fertilizer. You can choose between granular or liquid fertilizers. They both work. Every couple of weeks, feed the plants a liquid fish emulsion fertilizer.

Seeds or seedlings. You can be bold and have the smug satisfaction- to which I can attest, and grow your vegetables from seed. Or you can try growing them from seedlings which you can purchase from a local nursery or garden centre. I started my peas, mesclun mix, and radishes from seed. I bought pumpkin seedlings. I was surprised to find I had purchased white pumpkins, not orange. That brings ghosts to mind.

The other best thing if you grow vegetables in containers is that at the end of the season, you can save the seed and thereby save money, and use the soil you grew the vegetables in and add that to your garden. The soil will contain nutrients from the container grown vegetables. Consider it to be similar to free compost for your gardening soil. Your garden will thank you.

Some vegetables grow upwards and up and up. Tomatoes, peas, cucumbers all grow up and need supports. You can buy tomato cages and trellises or make your own trellis to support vines. They are relatively cheap and available at stores. Read your seed packets carefully to determine prior to planting so you will know how high they grow and what you need to support them with. I found out after planting that my peas grow up to 4 meters-that is 13 feet. I wish I had known. Now I need to purchase a large trellis to support the peas.

Pests. Just because you may keep slugs away you may find other undesirable critters drawn to your plants. While you sleep at night, they will snack on everything you worked so hard to grow. Birds, raccoons, cats, rabbits and deer may eat everything to the root. But there are deterrents available. I wrestled with deciding where to grow my veggies. Finally I decided to go for it and grow the veggies outside. That way, they receive the proper amount of sun, wind and rain. You can use chicken wire, fine netting, alarms, bird feeders to keep them away, fencing, natural pesticides, lights at night time, a dog. If you see that something seemed to have devoured some potatoes and onions, like a racoon, plant and sacrifice some strawberries slightly away from your veggies and they can eat them. Also, watch out for pest insects like carrot fly or aphids. Ladybugs eat aphids. So plant something to keep ladybugs nearby.

May the Goddess bless you with a garden harvest
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Spring Sprouts

Merry Meet All,

Beltaine is coming! Before you know it, you will all be dancing round the Maypole!! I bet you’re all excited. I will have lots of fun stuff here so you will be prepared for Beltaine. Beltaine is the third spring Sabbat in the Wheel of the Year.

I heard of a way to grow carrots. Or, rather, the carrot tops. You need the carrot top (without the leaves), and it should be one inch in size. Cut the carrot top off and place it in a bowl full of water. Push two toothpicks into either side of the carrot and suspend the carrot top just above the water in the bowl. Place the bowl on a sunny windowsill. Soon you will have nice green carrot tops growing. I plan to feed the carrot tops to my pet guinea pig, Magic. He will love that. I plan to grow carrots and peas in containers indoors as well. The slugs eat everything in sight.

My potted garlic is growing well. Graceful, long shoots are growing from the garlic bulb. I spotted tulips, my bugleweed and woodruff, chives, are coming up in my garden. Each passing day, it becomes more spring. This is an exciting time.

Stay posted, as I will be posting more about Beltaine.

Plants in photo: From left to right, garlic, orchid plant, tomato sprout begun from seed, umbrella plant, and carrot

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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