Monday, March 11, 2013

Getting Dirty: Do's and Don'ts for the Pagan Gardener for Spring

Bright Blessings!


Boom Shaka Laka Laka ,  Boom Shaka Laka Laka, Boom Shaka Laka Laka, Boom!

That, my fellow Green Witches, is the sound of your respective garden areas awakening to the sounds of oncoming Spring and the Blessing Rite that is coming.

Blessing?  Yep.  You read right.  You did not just think you could hitch up your petticoats and get digging without some prep work did you?  (face palm break)

Get out there and do a Blessing Rite you have either written, or use one you have seen elsewhere that speaks to you.  Do this on the Spring Equinox if you can.  Gather some friends and spill the wine as you celebrate and consecrate.  Scott Cunningham is a great source of inspiration, so maybe a visit through his works would be in order.

I mean, you are a magickal person, right?  And that means that in loving and living the simple Way of the Wise, you show love to all.  Especially the Mother.  And since you are about to offer unto her your service in growing another generation of food with this turn of the Wheel, what better way to show your reverence for the act than to make spirituality a part of your practice here?

Those who are planting for the feeding of their families, whether immediate or community, want a bountiful harvest in the months to come.  Those who are planting with the goal in mind of selling their wares also wish this.  And for those who intend to use the harvest in ways of the Hidden Children, in the ways of the Wise, as a Witch, HooDoo, Magickian, Herbalist, etc., the evidence of the unseen at work in the herbs shall be proof in their effectiveness.

When planting with purpose, always decide first what your garden will look like - not just on paper, but walk the ground.  Or if without space, survey your container areas, or window boxes.  Really look.  Step outside your human self, and see it as the plant may see it.

Does that dusty corner in the kitchen really feel like light will get to a sun loving plant enough to not only let it survive, but thrive?  Will it get care, or be neglected?  Is the land prepared properly, or is there junk and what not next to it?  Does the land feel your care?

This is also the time when you should be selecting what you will grow this year.  Be reasonable.  You cannot have an entire herb farm in your apartment.  Where will the fronds of the fennel go, after all?  There is only so much space.  And while the thought of that monkshood may sound like a good idea, the neighborhood daycare may not appreciate it growing next to their fence.

Get good seed catalogs.  Try to go as traditional as possible in your seed source, preferably non GMO. Sellers such as, , are a few good sources  I can recommend, but there are many others.

Educate yourself on the needs of the plants and what you realistically can provide during the growing season.  Do not try to grow belladonna if you have never been able to sprout garlic.  Start small, and do not give up.  If you are a traveling sort, a plant that is high maintenance is not for you.

 The plants have spirits, do not abuse them.  You are facilitating the blossoming of new life, and therefore are responsible for its well being and care.  That includes cutting down the weak and malformed in your crop.

So let us cover some steps in your gardening to get going.

Step one:  Clean it up.  Really do it.  Prepare a clean, clutter free area where the earth can breathe.  This is the time to do it.

Step two:  Turn your soil once it is warm enough.  Let it breathe.  Turn under and spade in the grass and other growths.  For the perennials in your garden, they will be fine.  Just do not pull up their roots.

Step three:  Feed your soil.  Check the readings if you can, or at least feel it out and add some of whatever it needs.  This is a good time to mix in your compost if you have not already been doing so earlier.

Step four:  Check the Moon phase and proceed accordingly.  Get an almanac. Start your seeds indoors and finish your ordering.  Seedlings and transplants may not come when you think they will, so be prepared.  Bless your seeds for extra oomph.

Step five:  Draw your garden sigils and runes into the ground before you begin to transplant your plants.  By this time, your borders should be set, so place your wards at the cardinal points.  Any offerings to devas, fey, or other forms should be done at this time.

Step six:  Transplant and direct sew.  Give a little wine, some honey, some blood meal, or whatever is appropriate in your practice.  If plants are being sewn for a specific property or purpose, visualize it and instruct the plant.  Be thankful.

Step seven:  Be attentive and a good watcher behind the rows.  Weed, weed, weed, and watch for fungus and non beneficial bugs.  Learn companion planting.  Do not harm the good guys.  Educate yourself on what you need and do not want in your green kingdom.

Step eight:  Begin to prune and cut.  Yes, it seems cruel, but like in life, without pain and cutting away what is not needed, we do not thrive.  Get rid of overgrowth and do not overfeed.  Keep order and allow chaos only under your watchful eye in certain areas that are resting for next season.

Step nine:  Do not be discouraged.  Be empowered by your successes and educated by your not so good results.

Step ten:  Harvest and leave ten percent for seeding.  Then collect the seeds.  Leave any that can winter over in good shape and protect from the elements as best you can.  Leave what remains in the field after Samhain for the Lord and the creatures of nature.  Unless it is a winter crop.

Step eleven:  Preserve, dry, can, and otherwise store your fruits of your labor.  Clearly label all ingredients and store properly.  Have a harvest party where you exchange recipes and spells with your friends.  Many hands make light work.  Also, make sure you log and journal what you have stored and dated.

Step twelve:  Put the garden to bed.  Clean up all the dead and dying crops and either compost or dispose of properly.  Leave it clean and make an offering, thanking the land for its use and bounty.

Step thirteen:  Rest while the garden rests.

This should get you started.  The rest is up to you.

Greenest Wishes,

M. Belladonna

Video of the Day .

*He is always with you somewhere in your garden*

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