Category Archives: soil

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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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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Sagely Wisdom

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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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Ostara Seed packet cards

Merry Meet All,

Spring is a time to think of renewal and rebirth. The earth shows us signs of rebirth, when the snow claws back and the muddy fresh earth emerges. Buds grow on the trees and baby animals spring up everywhere. Yup spring is in the air.

Here is a Ostara craft that you can try. You will need the following:

Card-stock, or bristleboard
Envelopes
Seed packets
Glue,
Pens, markers and other craft supplies

Select a packet of seeds for each greeting card. Use the glue to attach the card to the front of the card. A hot glue gun can damage the seeds inside. It is best to use regular craft glue.

Use your pens or markers or glitter pens to write an inspiring message inside. Try:

Wishing you a blooms and abundance at Ostara!

Give the cards to friends during the Ostara season.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Buds of Spring

Merry Meet All,

I peek anxiously at my garden every chance I get, searching for a sign of new growth. I noticed that a new leaf has come up in my indoor orchid plant. The flowers are so beautiful. Soon, I plan to rake the leaves back and add fresh soil to my garden. The sight of fresh buds and unfurling leaves lightens my heart.

The flowers that come up in my garden first are usually lady’s mantle and canterbury bells. But a few other plants show their floral faces in early spring.

Hyacinth
Tulips
Daffodils
Crocuses
Snowdrops
Anemone
Apple blossoms and cherry blossoms

All of these flowers are of course, have breathtaking beauty. I am getting excited just writing all of this. I will probably lose my cool at the sight of the crocuses in my garden. If you planted the bulbs in the fall, then you can count on them blooming this spring. Mulch around the roots and water them regularly. Remember to fertilize the plants too after their long winter sleep. Embrace the beauty and power of spring.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under anemone, bulbs, crocuses, daffodils, fresh buds, growth, hyacinth, lily, plants, power of spring, snowdrops, soil, tulips