Category Archives: germinating

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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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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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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Calendula- Flower of Litha

Merry Meet All,

Calendula – Calendula officinalis

Today we are going to talk more about growing seeds. I have experienced the frustration and joys that most other gardeners probably already knew. Calendula is a seed that is very easy to grow. It is also known as pot marigold. It is an annual flower but if you save the seeds, you can grow more the following spring.

When I opened the packet of the mixed calendula seeds, I was surprised. They did not look like seeds to me. I was unperturbed and immediately planted them in soil in the seed tray. A day or two later, tiny sprouts emerged and I was like, wow! They germinate fast. This makes them an ideal flower to grow. I put the seeds in the spots very close to the surface of the soil and I did not drown them in soil. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch in the soil. That can hinder their growth. Start the seeds six to eight weeks prior to the frost. Sow them outdoors after the risk of frost is passed.

Calendula flowers are grown for their sunny colourful blooms. You can grow the seeds yourself and gain many benefits from this herbaceous flower. It will grow in almost any soil and prefers to receive tons of sunlight. I plan to grow calendula to deter pest insects from eating my tomatoes and pumpkin vines in my garden.

Calendula can grow in pots or right in the soil. You can grow the seeds indoors for an early spring planting. You will grow more calendula flowers if you deadhead the spent blossoms. That forces the plant into more growth of flowers. Calendula self-seeds and will grow like crazy in your garden. It likes to be well watered and to be composted. Also, consider starting seeds indoors to help it withstand the insects munching on it. When the plant is bigger, it can survive that.

Calendula is used in lotions, balms, and salves. Many people grow calendula for those purposes. Wait for the flowers to finish blooming and save the spent flowers to collect the seeds. Dry the flowers indoors well. Check for aphids on the undersides and stems of leaves before bringing indoors. You will know when they are dried when the flower head breaks apart easily. The seeds are big and spiny. These are the seeds. Save them and you will have enough to grow next spring or in the same season, if you wish. Calendula grows well in pots and makes a good cut flower.

The flowers are edible. The flowers are also made into balms and salves for healing.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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