Category Archives: saving seeds

Seeds of Hope

Merry meet all,

I love the warm glow of a candle on an overcast wet day. I love gardens and seeds too. I want to talk about how to start seeds in starter pots, because you know, its that time of year!!!

There is more to popping a seed into soil than most people know. It is a bit of an art and a science.

What you will need are seeds, seed starting soil, starter pots, water, and a sunny windowsill. Often, the seed packets come with instructions on where to plant the seeds and how deep and how far apart from other seeds. The size of the seed determines how it gets planted too. Tiny seeds rest on the surface of the soil and larger seeds can be planted deeper in the soil.

Don’t make the mistake I made and put too many seeds in one slot. They will grow better if they are spread out into several slots. I like to fill the starter pot with the right amount of soil and then water it. I let the soil settle then fill the cavity with soil. Then I add the seeds. This avoids the seed drowning in the wet soil and prepares the soil for the seeds. Do not fertilize the soil at this point. That comes much later.

Be sure the starter pot has a hole for water and that you have some form of tray beneath the starter pot. Add the seeds to the soil. If they are large, push them in deep using the end of a pencil. Tiny seeds rest on the surface of the soil. Lightly dust the soil over the seeds. Do not add compost or mulch. Just put the starter pot on the watering tray and then put that onto a sunny windowsill. You can also use grow lights.

At this stage, it is good to wait until a tiny sprout shoots up from the soil. Do not douse the plant in water when you see a sprout. Let the soil dry out between watering. Make sure the seedling gets plenty of sunlight. Also make sure there is a good comfortable temperature in the room.

When a seedling comes up, it will grow its first set of leaves. This is called a cotyledon. Then when it grows the next set of leaves, that is its true leaves. Despite what some sources tell you, its not a good idea to transplant a seedling when the second set of leaves appear. This only confuses the seedling resulting in the plant needing then to put its energy into being moved and adjusting to the new pot. Its energy should be focused on just growing in its present pot. When the roots show beneath or just at the bottom of the starter pot, then you can think of transplantation. Let the plant grow where it is. It is happier that way.

Try not to over water a seedling. It might rot, die off from over watering or its tips might turn brown. When my seedlings were starting out, I added the tiniest amount of water. I knew the sunlight and the soil would sustain them. They don’t need as much water as you believe. Oregano, sage, thyme, these herbs may have come from the Mediterranean. They are accustomed to the hot temperatures there.

Be patient. The seedling is doing the best it can. As a baby plant, like any other newborn, it takes time to grow. It will take a long time to grow to a large size anyway. even years. A true gardener is patient.

I hope this helps you to grow many lovely herbs and flowers!! I wish you luck with it. You can grow anything you want. Once you master how to start from seed, you might not buy seedlings from garden centers again. You will save money starting from your saved seeds too.

I am happy to say that I started a cherry tree from seed outside in my garden!!! I overwintered the seed in the soil. It emerged this spring. I set a circle of stones around the seedling. I also added clean chicken bones to the soil. The bones take 20 to 25 years to decompose or break down. They will become ground bone meal eventually and add nutrients to the seedling. 

I am trying a raised bed area in my garden this year too. I cleared away a patch of dead rotting wood behind the fence of the yard where I live. I used the logs for the raised bed. I plan to fill it with soil then add my indoor seedling transplants I have lovingly tended this spring. I have to clear away weeds and put down newspaper first then I can add soil. I can’t wait. It is my first time trying a raised bed. I am very excited!!!

Blessed  be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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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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Ostara- Balance of light and dark )O(

Merry meet all,

The weather outside is frightful. Ostara is a few days away. I am trying to believe that spring is coming. Yet my snowdrops are buried under wet freezing rain/ slush. Snowdrops are sacred to the Goddess Brighid. I dedicated my snowdrops to her for that reason. Every early spring they grow. More flowers are on the way.

The sky darkens early here still. I may be the only one here but I love the dark half of the year. My dark side reveals itself a lot. I downloaded a cool photo of a skull resting on the open pages of a book. It is such a cool picture. I am currently reading Spirit Conjuring for Witches by Frater Barrabas. I have a ways to go yet. I will post a review when I have finished reading it. I will miss the dark time but I also embrace spring. I can only take so much of wearing a heavy winter coat and boots after all.

I do miss my garden. I have started echinacea, dill, thyme and lavender from seed. I hope to plant them in my garden once all chance of frost has passed. I also have rosemary and calendula cuttings which I hope will develop roots and be ready to plant in soil. I would love for once to successfully grow rosemary. I learned that rosemary doesn’t like to be moved. Dill has deep roots. Calendula will bloom if you overwinter it indoors if there is enough sun. The more I work with herbs, the more I learn from them. I intend to order mugwort, moonwort and mandrake seeds if I can. I am determined to grow a pumpkin patch this year too. I will grow beefsteak tomatoes too and peas, beans, carrots, herbs too, I planted my garlic last fall. I can’t wait. I hope to get hyssop and feverfew to grow from seed too. I have the room in my garden for all this!

I am ready for spring. I look forward to reviving my garden and not being weighed down by a woollen winter coat.

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

For your reading pleasure:

http://www.epicgardening.com/white-sage-plant/

https://www.gardendesign.com/plants/witch-hazel.html

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Ostara Ritual for a Solitary

Ostara Gardens

Merry meet all,

Once you have decorated and dedicated your altar, think about performing a ritual. You can perform this as a solitary and it is best performed outdoors if possible. You won’t need much to do this ritual outdoors. Be awake early to do this. If you want to cast a circle, do so now. 

You will need three candles: one green, one yellow and one purple. You will also need one bowl of milk, and a bowl of honey or sugar. 

Begin by noticing the air around you. Try to sense the arrival of spring. Inhale the fresh air deeply. and sense the change in the seasons. The air may have an earthier aroma. Light the green candle to symbolize the awakening earth. As you light the candle, say: 

The Wheel of the Year turns once more, and the vernal equinox has arrived. Light and dark are in balance, and the soil stirs to life. New life springs forth once more in the eternal cycle. 

Now, light the yellow candle, and say:

The sun draws ever closer to us, pulsing the earth with its warming rays, Light and dark are in balance, and the sun warms the earth with radiance. Life grows once more in the eternal cycle. 

Finally, light the purple candle. Purple represents the Divine in us and in all life. As you light it, focus on the presence of the Divine. Say:

Spring has come! Let us be thankful. The Divine is present all around, in the air, earth, fire and water. We are blessed on this day. Welcome! Life giving Light! Welcome!

Take a moment to meditate on the flames and what they symbolize. Consider your relationship to the Divine. Now blend the milk and honey together, mixing carefully. Pour it as a libation upon the ground, around the altar space and as an offering to the earth. As you do, say:

I offer this milk and honey to the earth, As thanks for the blessings I received and those I may some day receive. 

Once you have made the offering, stand for a minute facing your altar. Feel the cool earth beneath your feet and the sun’s warmth on your face. Feel the balance of light and dark. When you are ready, end the ritual. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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500 Autumn Leaves

trail@night 2

Merry meet all,

If October was a drink, I would be intoxicated. If October was a poem, I would be cross-eyed from rereading it over and over. If October was a slice of pie, I would be falling over in my chair. October is all these things and more. It’s when owls and bats patrol the nights, autumn leaves are painted warm golds and fiery reds then the leaves trickle to the resting cold earth. Pumpkins appear and children cheer. Ah I love October. 

In fact, I think I will make a new vow to myself and I urge you to do the same. Let’s act like it is October every day of the year, not just a once a year thing. I love it and i can’t wax poetic enough about October. Nope. Ahhh

I have had a good month so far despite being impoverished. I won a Halloween costume contest, wrote a short micro fiction story titled ‘Till Death do us part which was published in the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia Facebook page, got a copy of the book I am published in titled Naming the Goddess by Moon Books today from Chapters, made candles with friends, made candles on my own, got a beautiful cookbook titled Celtic Folklore Cookbook and the recipes in that book are wickedly delightful, fed chickadees, saved garden seeds, and collected more witch figurines and bought some pumpkins. I barely have a penny to my name but this has been a good month. 

I just received the latest issue of Essential Herbal magazine today. I rescued the envelope from the torrential rain and eagerly read the issue while crunching on pumpkin-shaped freshly baked scones and sipping tea. I couldn’t put the issue down and have already read 95% of it. I intend to make Fire Cider and other wonderful herbal concoctions. I want to buy a juicer and make apple cider. I baked Barm Brack bread and all I can say is mmmm. It is good! I made mulled cider too. Yeah and I have two mason jars of pumpkin puree in the freezer! Not bad for a starving artist! 

I am also happy to say that a year ago Horror Novel Reviews did an unusual honor of publishing my short micro fiction story, “The Grimm Pumpkin: in their ebook, Horror Novel Reviews: One Hellacious Halloween!! The book is now in print and I am eager to get my kitten mitts on a copy!! I think I’m getting spoiled. ha ha I am including links to these wonderful publications below. 

Essential Herbal magazine is also releasing until November 10, the Second Five Years of the magazine in a great big ebook. This is a tome packed with herbal recipes, lore, advice, wisdom, hopes and dreams, and gardening information. So quick, snatch up a copy. It is a compendium of 30 magazines from 2008-2012 and it is all indexed and arranged. Since I have been a contributor, I get a copy of this. I can’t wait and plan to get a thick binder, get it printed off, then arranged in the binder. All that knowledge at my fingertips. Oh pinch me, I”m dreaming. 

Here is the link for the herb magazine: www.essentialherbal.com 

I also want to happily say that this is my 500th blog post on this blog!! I did it with all of your support and I thank you for your enthusiasm for this blog and my new blog, Paranormal & Pagan Fiction, which is my passion. It is that time of year. It feels good to achieve goals, such as  writing 500 blog posts and reaching 50 blog posts on my other blog and achieving 700 followers on Twitter!! These were my goals and I did it. So a huge thank you to everyone!! Also, Circle magazine has published my reprinted article about Persephone; Death and the Maiden in their latest issue. 

Now… October doesn’t come without its share of dangers. Be careful and calm in everything you do. Guard your feline friends, especially black cats, during this season, and check your kids’ candy for razor blades. People will do some sick things. Watch out for slippery leaves. Don’t slip and fall. Protect your health!! Then, you can have fun. 

Merry Mabon- Samhain!

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Here are the links to what I am published in in case you want to grab a copy!!!

http://www.moon-books.net/books/naming-goddess

http://horrornovelreviews.com/2014/10/21/order-our-collection-one-hellacious-halloween-in-paperback-right-now/

https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/circle-magazine/circle-magazine

http://www.essentialherbal.com

And, lastly, but not least, Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine published my poem titled : Cave of the Goddess, in their autumn issue of 2014. Here is the link: 

http://eternalhauntedsummer.com/issues/autumn-equinox-2014/

The Poem:

Cave of the Goddess

The snake charmer coaxes
a cobra from a woven basket.

The cobra hisses, sways
to the earthy music.

I yearn to be cocooned
in onion skins from the sun.

Mysteries of the desert
pulse in my head.

A red sun rises withered as my tongue.
A river rushes under the sand.

The snake charmer enters the cave,
and sways to the flute’s lyrical music.

I am the cobra who
suffered the scorching sun.

Reborn from the shed husk, I
slither far from charming flutes and baskets.

Blessed Be. 

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Eerie Samhain candles

Solstice 1

Merry meet all,

The time of the Crone is now. Summer has waned and autumn is waxing. Leaves trickle to the earth and pumpkins peek out from their perches on doorsteps. Ghostly cobwebs shiver in the wind. The most horrific season is upon us. Play some scary tunes and get ready for candle crafting in time for Samhain!

Well the chill might drive you indoors but what to do once inside? Make candles, of course. This post is for those of you who are like me and struggling to survive on little cash. You don’t have to break the bank. If you have burned all your tea lights and saved the tea light holders, then you’re in luck.

Clean out the old wax in the tea light holders. When they are empty and clean, set them aside. Make a double boiler by putting a small pot over a larger one. Fill the larger  one with some water, not a lot. Over low heat on the stove, gently melt some wax. I save old candle wax from used candles in a ziploc bag. 

Cover your work area with newspaper to avoid spills and messes. Again, keep old newspaper if you like to make candles. See? saved tons of money already. Wax, holders, and newspaper do work wonders for your dollars. Gather together the necessary items for candle making such as a long wooden spoon, wick, wick tab, and wax putty – mold adhesive, fragrance, dye blocks to change candle wax colours, a pencil to hold the wick, and if you choose, herbs. 

When the wax has melted, you can add fragrances and herbs and oils. You could peruse Scott Cunningham’s wonderful book ‘The Complete Book of Incenses, Oils and Brews for inspiration. Set the wick in the mould and secure it with adhesive or tape or hot glue. Be sure it is centred in the mould- tea light holder- metal tin. Pour the wax into the holder ever so carefully. Make sure there are no holes in the tea light holder. I made tea lights last night and the wax poured out of the bottom of one holder, so be careful. 

Wax will shrink a little so keep that in mind and a little extra wax in the pot. Cool the wax. Let the wax set in the metal tin. I plan to make several orange tea light candles. Why buy them when I can make them and they can contain my energy better because they are homemade? Once you are in the hang of it, you will love crafting your own candles.

 

Trim the wick to 1/4 inch. Enjoy your masterpiece. 

Tip: If you have long white taper candles, try dripping red candle wax down the taper candle for an eerie bloody blood dripping effect!  

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Homemade-Candles

Blessed be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Waning Winter

NT3

Merry meet all,

As I am sure most you are aware, Valentine’s Day is two days away. I hate V-Day and shall not be posting about V-Day. I have my own reasons. 

On a brighter note, Ostara is next month. The Full moon shines on Friday night. This month’s Full Moon is known as Snow Moon. 

“In colonial America, February’s Full Moon was known as Snow Moon, a time when some fierce blizzards would sweep across the land. To some it was the Quickening Moon, a time when nature began to reawaken. Even though early snow crocus may bloom, most regions are blanketed with snow. Now is the time to ask the Snow Moon to assist you in making a positive changes in your life. Just as nature is posed to awaken from its winter rest, we can awaken to a new purpose or calling. The Snow Moon is when you should “plant” your seed for change-, then let them take root. Make a plan now, and stick to it. Anything is possible- a new career, going back to school- you decide. On this night you announce your magical intentions to the Snow Moon. As a token of thanks, light a violet candle and speak to the Goddess: 

As the Earth wears a cocoon of white, in Icy splendour  Snow Moon, you guard the night. Let me make changes, let me be reborn. Now I plant the seed of magick: I am transformed.” James Krambos. 

Taken from Llewellyn datebook, 2014. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Musings about my garden

Merry Meet All,

Gardening is so much work but worth it. I just fertilized my garden and trimmed the tall grasses. My flowers are set to bloom any time now. The calendula I started from seed can hopefully go out in the garden too. I spied some carrot tops in the planter, too. I have to transplant them now and buy yet another bag of soil to fill the new planter with carrot seeds. I will grow the carrots for Magic, my guinea pig. He loves organic carrots.

Remember to fertilize your plants, mow the grass, and protect your plants from critters and storms. I sprinkled salt on a slug before flicking him into the neighbour’s garden. i bought a wonderful gardening book yesterday. It was worth the long trek to Chapters. The book is chock full of information on saving seeds. The title is The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds- 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Fruits, Trees and Shrubs by Robert Gough. I was up all night last night reading the book and I can’t put it down. Well I can, because I am typing this, but this book is amazing and actually makes sense and shows you how to do stuff. I love this book and I am so glad to have added it to my collection. Every serious gardener has a collection of gardening books. I am no exception. I will use all the information from this book and save the seeds from what I harvest from my garden and may never have to buy seeds again.

Good luck with your gardening and seed saving!
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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