Category Archives: gardening

Spring Sprouts

Merry meet all,

My project for herby sprouts is working!! I am amazed at how a whole huge plant can start from a tiny seed. I now have a garden on my windowsill. I’m growing snapdragons, lavender, thyme, basil, moonflower and morning glories, tomatoes, pumpkins, elecampagne from seed. My calendula overwintered and is now flowering! I also just bought black rose seeds.

I accidentally snipped a calendula flower and stem. I put the stem in a glass of water and waited and waited. Several weeks later the stem grew roots which I planted back into the same pot with the other calendula. I have three sprigs of rosemary in a glass of water to grow roots.

Patience is important when growing from seed. Try not to over water the plants. That killed my dill sprout. Just add a tiny drop of water every other day or if the seedling looks limp. Keep the starter pots by a sunny window. I have a plastic bag around the starter pots which helps to trap the water. Use good seedling potting soil. It is geared towards starting plants from seed. Let the seedlings grow on their own.

My moonflower just germinated!! It is weeks away till I can plant them but it is fun to watch them grow and help them along. I use a small clear plastic mister bottle which I have watered the seedlings with. You can also water from beneath. That prevents the seedling from root rot and dying. If you do water on the surface of the soil, add a tiny amount of water.

Small to tiny seeds lie on the surface of the soil. Water the soil prior to planting the seeds so they don’t drown. Bigger seeds are planted deeper in the soil. The sprouts still push through soil. So now we have sun, soil, water and time… what else? Love. Be gentle to your plants. Let them grow and just trust that they will grow. Before you know it, you will have a full fledged garden of seedlings waiting to bloom once the frost has passed.

Don’t disturb or transplant young seedlings. Let them grow where they are. You can if you want magically empower the seeds to fulfill your magical intention. The roots take time to be fully developed. Transplanting them too early can put the seedling in shock and damage it. They are content in the home that they germinated in. When it is time to harden the seedlings and plant them outside, then you can uproot them. Again, patience is key.

My morning glory seedlings )O(

Starting your plants from seed indoors has a few advantages. They are protected from the frost, can grace your window with their beauty and you can be sure that you will have a beautiful plant growing. If you start from seed, you control the growing conditions. You can grow several of the same plant without paying a fortune. Your plants will be ready to go once the frost has passed, saving you the effort of buying the same plants from the garden center.  

I’m starting the nasturtiums from seed outside. They are easy to grow and grow well there. Snapdragons seed heads look like skulls, which is one of the reasons why I bought the seeds. I also like the sound of the plant’s name. I’m running out of room for more seedlings. This has been a magical and fun project. 

My snowdrops have bloomed. My spring bulbs are growing slowly too. I can’t wait. 

Happy planting!

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Vines in a knot

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Merry meet all,

Are you having trouble with growing root veggies? You are not the only one. However I have some helpful tips for you. The trick to growing anything successfully is Phosphorus!!! It is what feeds plants and most helps them to grow. 

It could be you need to clear roots, rocks and weeds out of your garden area. Try to do that before planting anything and being disappointed. Soil should be crumbly and loose- and full of earthworms. The next step is to amend the soil. Lime sweetens the soil but bear in mind that tomatoes and a few other plants need acidic soil. Phosphorus encourages flower bloom and root growth. Add bone meal and seaweed to the soil. Work it into the soil with a spade or tiller.  Water the soil thoroughly afterwards. Then wait and watch your garden improve. Seaweed is extremely beneficial to soil. 

This fall, I’m adding more spring bulbs and elephant garlic to my garden. I just successfully transplanted comfrey to keep the large weeds at bay. Comfrey stands its ground in the garden. Bees love comfrey. A win win all around. The next task is to figure out how to grow my tomato plants indoors and keep them from my cat. I’ll let you know how that goes. 

 

Till then,

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Flower Power

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Merry meet all,

Insects love plants. They want to help pollinate your plants or eat your plants. Insects flock to my garden in droves with a hunger for my plants or a thirst for pollen. I just photographed a nasturtium and discovered an aphid on it. A little green bug scurried for cover. It keeps them away from the other tasty plants. 

I have found a deterrent for slugs in my garden. Can you guess it yet? Ok eggshells. I have saved all my eggshells to scatter around plants on the soil. It works! slugs don’t like slithering over sharp edges or objects. Diluted dish soap will work too. If anyone has any other nontoxic suggestions for insecticides, I would love to hear them. 

That all said, I have fallen irrevocably in love with nasturtiums! I don’t know why I didn’t grow them before. My gosh, I love them. Well they are now a mainstay. I plan to save the seeds and the seeds from many other of my plants. It saves money to start plants from seed and is not hard to do. My biggest challenge of when to start from seed is knowing when to. I started my tomato plants from seed late. 

All summer, I fed my adorable guinea pig named Magic the dandy dandelions from the yard. He didn’t protest when I fed him the fresh vitamin rich leaves. The lawn is mowed. I could go farther up the nature trail to feed him dandelions. Burdock grows profusely on the nature trail and is ideal for prosperity magic. Now that the moon waxes, I may gather some for that purpose. 

I grow raspberries and rhubarb in the garden. I made my own homemade berry jam with the garden grown fruit! Yes I do own a canning kit and booklet and finally had the chance to put it to good use. So now I own 1 1/2 Mason jars of berry jam. Mmmm so good. I plan to brew more ‘potions’ in my kitchen witch kitchen. That’s why harvest time is so awesome! It’s time to get witchy in the kitchen with herbs from your own garden. 

Good luck to you as you brew your own Potions!

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch 

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Hekate’s Blessing )O(

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Merry meet all,

Hekate is a powerful Goddess. She works her dark magic in mysterious ways. She is also a goddess of love and compassion. Since I brought her into my home and life, things have changed in here. If you want something done, ask her. Don’t forget to leave offerings such as cinnamon, skeleton keys. The cinnamon can be stored in a vial or you can bind cinnamon sticks and offer that to her. 

I was frustrated with my pumpkin vine. I got the idea to ask for Hekate’s blessings. I took my Hekate statue out to my garden. I touched the statue to the plant, which prior to this, wasn’t flowering at all. I kept the statue on the plant for a few minutes. I felt the energy. She must have blessed the plant because the next thing I know, the pumpkin plant is flowering. It is also bee pollinated. A pumpkin or two are on the way. 

Tonight is the Full Moon.  The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Lammas. Lammas is the first of the three fall harvest Sabbats.The bucks get their antlers.Now it is time to focus on the garden harvest. I want to take my Hecate statue out to each plant in my garden,which is a lot, and ask her to bless every plant in the garden. It will be a lot of work but if she works miracles, and would increase the growth, beauty and productivity then fine with me. 

Concentrate on abundance tonight as you perform your esbat. Focus on what you have around you. Ask for the Goddess’ blessing on your goals. 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Tips on how to grow herb seedlings )O(

 

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Merry meet all,

Here are a few tips about growing plants from seed that I learned. They may help you grow better plants. 

Growing seeds in the ground or in peat pots- there are two ways to start herbs or flowers. For root veggies, you have to start them in prepared moist composted soil. The soil should be full of nutrients, not be dry as a bone and contain compost. There is a spot in my backyard under dead trees and dead leaves that is composted soil. I occasionally scoop up soil from that spot and deposit it where I am growing veggies or flowers. It adds nutrients to the plants. If all the soil was totally sterile, nothing would grow. Good soil is full of insects (get used to that- they’re there to help), contain grass,  dead leaves or other plants or nitrogen. I worked limestone into my soil. Limestone sweetens and regulates soil. I suggest working limestone in early spring or in the fall. 

I put hollyhock seeds in the soil. Nothing. So now I am starting them in peat pots. Now they are germinating. (typical). But if you start them in peat pots, you can keep them in the pots without disturbing the roots. This is one example when it is almost better to start with peat pots to ensure the seeds germinate. I really wanted to grow black hollyhock seeds and now I can. Soon when the true leaves appear, I can plant them outside and let them blossom!! I put lettuce seeds outside. Sometimes the seeds rot or get buried too deep into the soil because of the rain. They never germinated. So I put the seeds in peat pots. Now they are germinating. …. 

Also, if you can, place the peat pots on a tray. I find it very helpful to water plants from below. This makes the plant develop stronger roots. The plant has to pull up the water to replenish the roots. If you water from above regularly, damping off can occur. The plant rots. Water the plant about an inch a week from below. Be patient and gentle. Turn the pots to let the roots get exercise. 

The hollyhocks’ roots will get established in the soil over the winter. Letting a plant stay in its spot over the winter lets the roots get to know it’s ‘home’, so to speak, save for annuals. This is also helpful for plants. 

Make sure your seedlings receive ample sunlight. With all of this care, you may have beautiful healthy strong seedlings to plant in your outdoor garden. Plants are happier outdoors where they get sunlight wind, help from good bugs and sunlight. 

Good luck! Happy planting

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Plant Homes

Seedling Magick

Merry meet all,

I love my garden. My garden is on the brink of being in full floral glory. The plants are growing but the buds haven’t blossomed. I can’t wait for seeing many flowers in bloom. The mauve canterbury bells. purple coneflower, tiger lilies, heliopsis, and astible are about to bloom. 

I suffer from the crazy idea that I have to cover every inch of my garden with green. I just transferred a thick clump of woodruff to another spot of the garden because it was choking out the dead nettle. I also evicted the insanely invasive violets to a neighbour’s lawn patch. I also planted woodruff there. The violets and the woodruff will grace that patch with tiny white woodruff flowers and the violet flowers. I don’t care if they grow and become invasive there. They were choking out everything in my garden. No rest for the green Witch. 

I have just planted buttercrunch lettuce seeds. Mmmm I can’t wait to harvest that. The nasturtiums have germinated. The nasturtiums will guard and defend the other plants as they grow, attracting the aphids to the nasturtiums. 

So my garden is a labor of love. But I don’t mind strolling first thing in the morning with my hot coffee in hand. My garden is a place of serenity and peace. I can say there is more serenity in my garden than in my life. I don’t think I am the only one who feels that way. 

WHen you are transplanting, be sure to get the roots as well when you remove a plant from its spot. Dig well in its new home before setting the plant and roots. Water the plant well after transplanting it. Soon the plant will adjust to its new home and grace that spot with its beauty. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O( 

 

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New Moon harvest

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Merry meet all,

Today I bound my garlic cloves from the garden with an elastic and hung them to dry. I chopped off the onion stems and stored the onion heads in a dry clean basket. I will leave the garlic and onions to cure for a number of weeks. Then I hope they store well for the winter. The bluejays steal eggshells I leave in the garden. I wonder why. I believe I shall harvest more rhubarb too. I do enjoy some raspberries from my garden too, though not as many as I’d like. 

The sky’s overcast here today. The sun’s trying to shine through the clouds. The oak seedling in my garden’s doing well. The garden sage is doing well. I can’t wait for another big harvest from my garden. I love to garden and I am sure it shows, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment and brings me peace. I love my garden. It’s been a lot of work and I am seeing the results of my labour, which is part of what Lammas is about. 

The New Moon shines tomorrow night. The New Moon phase is a good time for new beginnings and starting new projects. Cleanse your crystals and burn a candle to meditate or reflect on what you would like to do. I am seeing August as a good time to get my writing and sewing done and up to date. September always signals a change for me. 

Many New Moon Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch 

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Litha Rites

tomaotoes

Merry meet all,

Litha is almost here!!! Well, today it’s raining. But I sure hope for sunshine on June 21st!! Here is more info to help you prepare for an awesome Summer Solstice. 

This celebration focuses on the sun. Use solar colours when decorating your altar. Reds, oranges, golds and yellows are associated with the sun. Try setting your altar outdoors to truly get the most out of the ritual or at least near a sunny window. 

Litha is also a time of balance. The light and dark are in battle with each other. Perhaps a Brighid’s cross or a yin yang symbol would do. Decorate your altar with pinwheels, sun wheels, oak leaves and acorns, and sunflowers. 

To decorate your home for the Solstice, bring in washed flowers, herbs and vegetables from the garden. Leave the food in baskets and arrange the flowers in vases. Burn yellow and gold candles. Arrange flower candles at the base of the candlesticks. Braid herbs into a herb wreath and hang it on your door. Collect seeds and store them in a pretty cloth pouch or a seed envelope. 

Celebrate Litha either as a solitary or with your coven. Go outside! I plan to take a cauldron outside and burn incense on charcoal  in the cauldron. It will smell beautiful. I also plan to spend the day or part of the day tending to my garden. I will burn incense as I tend to my garden. The scent will help carry me away. Midsummer is a magickal time. 

Hold a bonfire, welcome fairies into your garden, share a special meal outdoors with friends and family. The choice is up to you how you enjoy the day. Go for a nature walk and go wildcrafting or clean up trash as you see it. Be sure to wear gloves. 

Have a fun Litha!

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch  )O(

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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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