Category Archives: seeds

My Favorite Color is October

Merry meet all,

I went shopping this weekend. I conjured cool Halloween items. The first on the list of cool Halloween items is a very large black (of course) rubber spider web doormat. I love the huge rubber rug. My cat likes it too. The next on the list is a set of 4 skull black and white dinner plates. The plates have a trim and a large skull in the center. I bought a cool black thing you rest your cooking utensil on. I bought some black and orange candles, an orange pillar candle that smells of lovely pumpkin spice, a black wand that makes mystical sounds, a beautiful black wire elven crown, fairy wings that I shall cover with black fabric later and lastly, a black spiderweb placemat and black spider web doilies. 

Yes I am ready for Samhain. I am planning and preparing for a Samhain Séance party. I bought a large jug of cider for my legendary cider mix. I am offering pomegranate seeds, barmbrack bread and pumpkin bread, and of course roasted seeds. Carved pumpkins will glow eerily among the candles and incense shall fragrance the room. I hope it all bewitches my guests. 

One note about the barmbrack bread: I may not leave the traditional items in the bread, to avoid anyone choking. I am trained in CPR but it would be nice to avoid disasters. I haven’t begun decorating yet. I will do that later. 

I bought a cool Halloween magazine, which is packed with a million suggestions. I am inspired by the issue. Are you all excited about Samhain? I am. Well that’s obvious. The movie It is in theaters if you can’t get enough of the October spirit and horror movies. I may catch Maleficent next week. I enjoy watching Ghost Adventures too. I wonder if they have a special Halloween show. 

My story is published in Paranormal Chronicles about how the Five Fishermen Restaurant came to be haunted! Be sure to read the issue! My other story is published in The Handbook for the Dead and released on Amazon! Add these to your reading list! I am excited about it and I hope you are too. 

I can’t wait to sit and read the October newsletter from the Horror Writers Association! The issue is huge. It is not October without the Horror Writers Association. 

I implore you to enjoy the month of October as much as you can. It’s only once a year but I live like it’s every day of my life. If you all saw the inside of my home, you’d agree. Watch horror movies, make your pet wear a crown, pile leaves and collapse on them, roast seeds, and hang ghosts from the ceiling. Let me know in the comments what you did to celebrate the most magical of months. 

Blessings, Spiderwitch

 

 

 

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Fall in the Air

Merry meet all,

Tonight I made applesauce. I wish I added a tad more sweetener. The applesauce tasted tart and could have used a smidgen more sugar. That is how I learn. It is beginning to look and feel like fall. 

My garden is dying down. John Barleycorn has died. The metaphorical and literal scythe has fallen. My plants once verdant and green now wither and yellow. It breaks my heart and relieves me at the same time. I know my garden worked hard all summer. My garden has earned its rest over the cold season till spring’s return. 

Pumpkins adorn front porches. The thrift and craft stores are now all well stocked with Halloween products. I went to Value Village last night. I tried on a couple costumes- one of a raven dress and the other was a Witch dress. Neither held my interest. But what did catch my attention were the wings, striped socks- and buckled shoes?, lacy gloves, wands and tutu tulle skirts. I have a costume. This year I want to be a dark faerie instead of the usual Witch. Well one year I was an undead bride. I usually go as myself and this year I want to be different when I attend the annual Samhain Ritual. I happily lost track of time as I explored all the Halloween products. I mean each and every costume, boots, socks, skirts and cloaks. I checked it all out- then went home and enjoyed a hot meal. Yup it was fun. I wished I had some money but that is coming soon. 

This morning, I brought my lemongrass and ginger indoors. Lemongrass won’t survive a winter here in Atlantic Canada. I love the lemony aroma anyway. The ginger had some sprouts so I hope that grows well indoors. I plan to bring in more plants once I obtain terracotta plants. They are better than plastic. I hope the two dill seedlings I brought in fare well too. Time will tell. 

I want to save seeds from my garden too. My tomato plants are ripening on a windowsill. I saved some pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin I pureed and the seeds I roasted!! They are for next year. 

Once New moon arrives, I want to finish my Fire Cider project. The New moon begins in 3 more days. I made Fire Cider, put it all in a jar, and have stored in the fridge. I shook the bottle daily for a complete month almost. I kept an eye on it. I hope the ingredients have blended well. Now I shall strain the mixture and decant the cider into a new clean sterile jar. I will test it and then add sweetener. I plan to have Fire Cider around to combat colds and flu. 

Have any of you begun any fall projects? I would love to learn more. Please comment below. Enjoy Mabon!!

Blessings, Spiderwitch

 

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Cemetery sentiments

Merry meet all,

Recently I visited an arts store because they carried Halloween stuff. I strolled through the aisles, and made mental notes on what to buy once I finally had some money. Seeing the Halloween stuff ( statues, skeletal arms, witch dolls, upside down bats, brooms) cheered me a little. Samhain is my favorite time of year.

The air is cooler today. It is still August but the leaves were falling already in the cemetery. I was also recently in a cemetery trying to write poetry. I did get one poem done though it is far from word perfect. I like the cemetery I visited. I saw a moth flitting over the ground, birds pecking for seeds, crows screeching from the treetops.

The engravings on the tombstones were too faint to read. I sat on the stone step, my notebook and a pen in hand, and just sat for a while soaking in the atmosphere. Inspiration seized me. I now want to write a small chapbook of poetry. It will be effort but everything is effort. There were tombstones of varying sizes and shapes. Everyone probably considered me weird seated and doing what I was doing, but I don’t care.

There is no safer place to be. The quiet of a cemetery lets me think. They are not such dangerous places but people should still use common sense. I just like dark verse.

One problem or side effect of being clairsentient and writing poetry in cemeteries is taking spirits home with you. Parasitic astral larvae live in cemeteries and often want to come home with me. While they get my empathy, I am just not sure I want to suddenly see dishes fly off shelves or my bed rattle late at night. I leave the energies there when I exit a cemetery. I do feel for them- I am sure being dead is no fun, but I have to establish and maintain boundaries.

Ah fall.. time for cardigans, cider, root vegetable meals, and pumpkins. Onions, parsnips, turnips, potatoes are all excellent healthy veggies. The skins are often the most nutrient rich part of the root vegetable. So go ahead, as you peruse some dark gothic poetry, enjoy soups and stews. If you grew the veggies yourself and cook them yourself, you enjoy twice the amount of nutrients because you know where they came from. I advocate for organic food. I know I will be. I grew my own garlic, dill, basil, mint, lavender, chives, and even shallots this year. I can’t wait to harvest more. I did harvest my garlic and dill and froze the dill, The garlic is braided and hanging up in my kitchen. I am waiting till the perfect harvest time to gather in the rest. The health and quality of growing your own veggies and herbs is unsurpassed- and not tainted by those horrid chemicals from the supermarket.

Enjoy fall!

Blessings Spiderwitch

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Pumpkins Vine Time

Merry meet all,

The Halloween stuff is in the stores!! Oh my I’ll grab my broomstick and fly over and won’t be back till I’m broke!!! October is three months away. I’m still waiting for my veggies to grow though. I am anticipating a big harvest though. This is the time of year when I get excited. I live for Samhain. It’s time to dust off our brooms and our cauldrons, don our striped socks and head over to the stores selling the Halloween stuff.

My pumpkin vine has flowers!! My zucchini plant has a new flower too. I can’t wait for them to get big already. My cucumber plant has lots of flowers but tiny cucumbers. Oh my goddess it’s not like they have all year to grow. Can you tell I’m frustrated?

A real gardener is patient. I still can’t find that gardener. Since we are in harvest season, I hope you enjoy reading this post and learn how to grow your own!

Here are some tips on how to grow our favorite Halloween fruit-pumpkins. Pumpkins need up to 120 days to mature. Pumpkins can be grown from seed. However this year I had luck with the transplants I bought from the local plant store. Wait until all chances of frost have passed. They will grow in warm weather. They can take over a garden too and need up to 30 feet of room to grow.

Before planting your transplants, add plenty of compost material to the soil. You can grow the plants in hills. You mound up the soil and then (If you want to start from seed), put one seed per hill and plant up to four seeds in each hill Make sure there is plenty of room between the vines.

Pumpkins need tons of water. Be sure to only water the plants enough and to avoid root rot. If they look wilted, then the plant has died. Feed the plants a healthy mix of phosphorus and nitrogen, and add more phosphorus than nitrogen, which helps them grow their very best.

If you want to prune the vines, then be sure the vines have pumpkins on them first. When you carefully prune the plants, then you force the plant to stop concentrating on the vine growth and it focuses on maturing the fruit vine. This produces better fruit growth in the long run. Also, consider sprinkling diatomaceous earth under your plants. I did all summer and I have a healthy big zucchini plant in my garden that is pest bug free!

If insects are a problem on your vines, then plant nasturtiums. You have to attract pollinators to pollinate your plants. Aphids, cucumber beetles and stink bugs are a pest to your plants. By planting flowers such as nasturtiums, you will attract pollinators and the insects that might like some aphids for a tasty meal. Plant lots of flowers to increase your chances of healthy plants overall.

Harvesting pumpkins is fun and saves you money!! When the stem looks dry and the fruit is an orange color, it is time to harvest them! Knock hard on the rind of the pumpkin. It should sound hollow. Scrape your fingernail on the rind. It should not scratch easily. Harvest before the frost!

Use your favorite witch tool or boline to cut the pumpkin from the vine. Leave a few inches of stem to avoid disease. Let the pumpkins to cure for a couple of weeks first and store them properly. When they are fully cured, you will know. Allow for air ventilation and don’t dry them out near other fruit. Fruit give off ethylene gas. You can coat a pumpkin in oil which seals it for storage.

Enjoy your glowing orange pumpkins after all this hard work. !!

Blessings Spiderwitch

 

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The Good Faeries of the Garden

Merry meet all,

I know it’s a few months till Samhain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be looking for the spooky happening around you now. In case you don’t believe me, I had a freaky incident recently. I found my copper skull spoon in my garden. I have no idea how it got there. I retrieved it, washed it all the while wondering how’d that happen? So it might be more common than you think. I blame the faeries and brownies.

The movie Mary Shelley opens in theaters soon. I am counting the days and hours till then. I am eager to get to work on my garden. If you are seriously into spirits and faeries, well, working in your garden is a great way to interact with them. Trust me, they are around. And not to mention the spirits in the plants themselves. So that is a lot of spirit work.

I recommend waiting till May Full Moon to do any garden work and planting. There is still a risk of frost. The May Full moon could be a powerful time for inviting the faeries and other helpful nature spirits to your garden. Leave a libation of honey and milk or mead and bury crystals in the soil. Clean the garden, use no pesticides and actually care for your garden. Decorate your garden with artificial lights, wooden pentacles or hang crystals from trees. Add some fairy statues and they will not be able to resist. Faeries care for the earth more than us mortals ever will. So showing you care is a great way to get their help. Then be consistent. If you find certain plants growing unusually well and your garden seeming like it’s more protected than others, it is a good sign the Good Folk are there. I have left my apartment door unlocked (unknowingly to me and unintentionally) and I have never been robbed. I don’t know how I did that. I usually do lock my door. But I am sure something is guarding my place.

One good idea if you like the darker side, is growing dark colored plants. You could grow black hollyhock or black roses. Use your imagination.

If you see pretty bright lights and the birds and insects flock to your plants or bird feeders, they are there. You will know by the auspicious signs you see. But you have to actually be outside to witness the signs. So every time you have some extra organic scraps, offer it to your garden. Keep the feeders full and remember to leave crystals in the soil. They will charge the soil and plants. Leaving offerings to your garden keeps a balance between you and the spirits. Be good to the earth. Try composting and recycling. Honor the spirits. Keep your garden clean and free of debris.

When it is harvest season, you can again leave a libation and thank the spirits for their aid. Decorate your garden with pumpkins, gourds and flowers of the season. The Full Harvest Moon has been allowing farmers to harvest their crops for centuries. There are lots of spirits and perhaps ancestral spirits everywhere. I love the harvest time. I can sense energies so easily. I see them in my house too.

I hope this helps you and keeps you busy during the growing season.

Blessings, Spiderwitch

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Filed under gardening, organic, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain, seeds, spring

Spring Equinox

Merry meet all,

Blessed Ostara!! Today marks the spring equinox. The weather today was beautiful, cool and sunny. I couldn’t have asked for more. I visited the local witch shop. I am always there. I took my broom with me to show it off. I baked cookies and watched the faery fabulous movie Maleficent. My windows are open to let in the spring energy. I am eager to plant more seeds.

Wse depart from the dark half of the year to the lighter half. Now the Goddess stirs and awakens. The Crone gives way to the Maiden and the God rises too, to plant seeds of new growth. I am excited to get to work on my garden once again. I have seedlings begun already.

I took photos of the graveyard recently. I shall soon share the pictures with the Horror Writers Association for their slideshow. I attended a wonderful memorial service for an acquaintance. I enjoyed the whole evening of the service, feast and the after party. The crows were agitated in my neighborhood prior to the service. I can’t help but wonder if it was another message. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up for me to visit the cemetery more often. I guess  bringing coffee in a thermos will suffice. I shall try again tomorrow to write more horror poetry.

I wish you all a wonderful Ostara. Blessings to all

Spiderwitch

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Store seeds for spring

Merry meet all,

How to Store Seeds
Store seeds for the next spring season! Collect the seeds from the herbs you grew and there will be no need to purchase new seeds next spring. This saves you money in buying seeds and if you grew organic herbs, you will know they contain no pesticides. If you store seeds properly, then they should be fresh and viable by the time spring returns. Saving seeds is economical and enjoyable.

It is important to keep seeds clean for storage. How you collect them, when you collect the seeds, and how you clean them determines how the seeds will last till next spring. You have to wait till the seed heads have signaled they are ready to be collected. You don’t want to discover the seeds are molded come next March. That will ruin your efforts.

Supplies
Invest in paper envelopes, a sharp pair of shears for cutting herbs, twine or embroidery floss, and Mason jars. Dry jars and paper envelopes are invaluable in saving seeds properly. They cost pennies. Seeds can be stored in jars, paper bags, and envelopes and at certain temperatures. It takes patience and effort to store seeds but well worth the effort.

Collecting Seeds
Seeds vary in how they can be collected, cleaned, and saved for storage. It depends on the herb and the type of seed you wish to save. Some seeds require threshing, winnowing, and some seeds shatter when still attached to the plant. All of this has to be taken into account before collecting seeds.

Some wet seeds need to be fermented first. Dry seeds can be winnowed from the chaff. Try to wait as long as you can before removing seed husks from the plants. The longer you wait, the better quality of the seeds in the husks. These seeds reach maturity while attached to the plant.

Preparing Your Seeds
To clean wet seeds, scoop the pulp and seeds into a slanted bowl filled with water. Healthy seeds sink to the bottom of the bowl. Non-viable seeds float to the surface. Repeat the process a few times to rinse the seeds clean and to collect as many healthy seeds as possible. Rinsing the seeds keeps the seeds from sticking to whatever surface you place them on.

To dry wet seeds, line a strainer with a paper towel to absorb the remaining moisture from the seeds. Next, spread the seeds on glass or a ceramic surface. Place the glass or ceramic plate somewhere dark, dry and warm for several days before putting the seeds in a jar. Make sure the seeds are thoroughly and that the jars are completely dry. Storing seeds or herbs before they are properly dried or putting them in damp jars invites mold, thereby ruining your efforts and time. Remember to date and label the jar. Store out of direct sunlight.

To store dry seeds, wash the seed heads to remove insects and dirt. Then if you saved the flower, seed husk and stem, bundle it together with twine or string and hang to air dry. Wait till the leaves and husks are crisp and dry before removing the seeds. Or cut the seed heads from the plants, wash, and leave the seed heads on a screen or towel to air dry. Once dry, winnow the seeds to remove the chaff. Dry the seeds again. It is crucial that you leave the seeds to dry as long as you can to ensure the seeds don’t mold. You have to be patient to properly dry seeds.

Common Herbs
I have included some commonly used herbs below with tips on how to dry them to store the seeds.
Ocimum Basil
You can harvest the seed heads when they turn brown. To harvest the seeds, resist the urge to pinch your basil plants. Let the seed heads dry out. Separate the clusters from the seeds in a bowl. The viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl. You can blow off the chaff or shake the bowl to remove the chaff. Basil seeds are small, round and black. Store the seeds in a dark airtight jar and label and date the jar.

Chamaemelum Chamomile
Chamomile is a perennial herb belongs to the Aster family. The flower head is an achene, that is, one dry indehiscent, fruit bearing one seed connected to the flower ovary. Wait until the flower heads have dried and turned brown before collecting seeds. Dry the seeds on screens or paper towel then thresh the seeds. Store the seeds in a labeled and dated jar or paper envelope.

Lavender angustifolia Lavender
To save the seeds from a lavender plant, wait till the stems turn brown. Cut the stems with a clean pair of sharp shears. Bundle the lavender stems together and place in a brown paper bag. The stems should face upward. Leave the bare stems in a tied bag in a dark, dry place to dry out. When the stems are dry, run your fingers down the stems to separate the seeds and discard the stems. Empty the contents of the paper bag onto a flat surface. Separate the seeds from the flowers. Store the seeds in a dry, airtight jar.

Lemon Balm Melissa
Bees and people alike love lemon balm for their warm lemony aroma. Lemon balm is a perennial and a member of the mint family, like lavender. The flowers are white but do hold tiny black seeds. Each flower has four single-seed clusters. Put a plastic bag over the flower heads to save the seeds outside. When the plant has matured, go outside early on a dry morning and remove the stems and plastic bags. Once inside, spread the stems on a screen or paper towel. Rub the seedpods to get the seeds. You can store them to dry in a plastic bag. The stems should face upward. The seeds will then land in the bottom of the bag. Store the seeds in a dry airtight jar out of direct sunlight.

Mentha x piperita Peppermint
Mint is a perennial valued for its flavor. A variety of mint exists such as peppermint, apple mint, spearmint, and chocolate mint. The flowers grow in spikes. Wait until the spikes turn brown. Store the seedpods in a cardboard box or envelope for two weeks to dry. Open the box or envelope and shake the seedpods to remove the seeds. Pour the seeds into a labeled and dated envelope. Store the seeds in the paper envelope at a temperature of forty or fifty degrees Fahrenheit.

Storing and saving seeds allows you the convenience of knowing where your herbs came from, saves you money, and enables you to share your bounty with your friends and family. If you grew organic herbs, you will have the satisfaction of knowing they contain no GMOs or chemicals. Seeds may be of similar shape or color, so sort seeds in their own jars or envelopes and label them clearly. Otherwise, you may end up growing lemon balm when you wanted chamomile. If you save and store your seeds properly, you will be blessed with an array of seeds to choose from to germinate in the spring season.

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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Filed under Calendula, easy flower to grow, flower, gardening, germinating, seedheads, seeds, sunshine

Seed to Plate- Tips on how to grow seeds and what they don’t tell you

Merry Meet All,

I have some tips for you eager gardeners out there. I care about you. I care about your seeds. I want you to have a bountiful harvest in the fall. So I am posting this to save you from grief and to lose sleep and money over your investment of seeds. Growing plants from seed IS expensive. So read on to learn some tips I have gleaned from my own experiences of growing seeds.

Choose a good potting soil. It may be worth spending the extra money because good quality potting soil means growing happy, healthy plants.

Sterilize all of your containers. This means the small starter pots, milk cartons, cloches, seed trays and other containers. You have to kill the potential parasites and insects that lurk in the containers. Let them soak in bleach and water then let them air dry. That way, you don’t have to buy more containers. Reuse the containers you have and keep them clean. Store them somewhere in your garden shed or closet so they are available for later use. That can save you a lot of money.

Buy good quality seeds. I have placed several organic mugwort seeds in wet Kleenex in a plastic bag and out of all the seeds, only two have sprouted. Be careful who you purchase seeds from. Buy seeds from a trustworthy company. You get a lot of seeds in one packet and it makes sense to invest in good seeds, which means healthier plants. Purchase seeds that still have vigour in them.

Use popsicle sticks to label all of your plants. I bought a package of kids’ popsicle sticks for two dollars. I owned a black permanent marker and neatly wrote the names of the plants on the popsicle sticks. This has saved me a huge headache because I now know what I am growing and where I planted it. They do not get lost in the garden or the seed tray and the ink does not run off in the rain. You can mark each stick with a pentacle, a triquetrs, or the triple moon if you wish.

Stock up on small plant pots- plastic or clay, and keep them handy and clean. Sometimes, a seedling grows so fast you have to put in a slightly larger plant pot to give the roots room. Make sure every plant pot has a drain hole.

When you put a tiny seedling in the small plant pot, do not drown the seedling in soil. Give it room to move and breathe. You should be able to see the seedling. I know plants can find their way to the surface but trust me, I like it when I can see it growing. I have killed seedlings by putting too much soil over their heads.

Put seedlings in soil that is meant for them. Match the needs of the plant to the soil. I ran out of organic potting mix and was forced to use cactus potting mix for my seedlings. I just bought yet another bag of potting mix and transplanted a few holy basil or tulsi seedlings into larger pots to allow the roots to breathe. I can now be sure they will grow stronger.

This one may be a surprise, but hesitate when giving good quality plant pots away. I wish I had reconsidered when I gave my good plant pots away. I am sure the receiver appreciated my kindness, but when I needed a good plant pot, I was mercifully given small plastic plant pots to use for my many seedlings this spring. So just make more room for them in your storage shed and leave them there.

We have had heavy rainfall here. My garden suffered the rain. The rain washes the soil away. I added a new bag yesterday before the rain got heavy. Also, my planter had no drainage hole. I had just gently transplanted the radishes from the soil into a planter with no drainage hole. As a result, the radishes almost drowned. I had had enough. I stabbed the bottom of the planter with a screwdriver. Immediately, the water drained from the planter and I was thus able to save my radishes. I felt much better, knowing I can now leave my planter and it can drain properly. So do not hesitate to help your plants grow in any way you can. It costs to buy the planter, soil, and seeds. But you do not have to let a rain flood ruin all your efforts.

To help some seeds grow, you can soak them in warm water overnight or for a few hours. This coaxes the seed into germination. I am soaking rhubarb seeds in warm water and one of them is already sprouting. I am glad because I am trying to cover the back corner and fill it up with plants. Rhubarb can grow in shade. I have a shade garden. I can also eat what I harvest next year. Rhubarb is slow to get going. I also soaked sweet pea seeds in warm water. This softened the hard brown shell. The sweet peas will have lovely violet flowers.

To give your seedlings an advantage over slugs and disease in the garden, place a cloche over them. You can make your own cloche from a plastic apple cider jug. Rinse out the empty plastic clear jug and cut out the top and bottom of it. You can also sterilize and reuse this cloche. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy glass cloches.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Good luck with growing your seeds.

May the Goddess and God bless you with a beautiful garden this year.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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How to save herb seeds

Merry Meet All,

Herbs have long been prized for their beauty and usefulness. Herbs are loved for their colour, beauty, and fragrance. Here are some tips on how to store and use herb seeds. This is a great way to save money.

Mint is known for its invigorating peppermint scent. Mint is invasive in the garden and when you brush by, the scent is released in the air. Watch for when the mint flowers brown. This is the time to start storing seeds. Cut the flowers from the stems and hold the flowers over a bowl. Over the bowl, seperate the flowers and empty the seeds into the bowl. Clean any chafe or debris from the seeds. Place the seeds on a paper towel or a pie pan and allow to dry for a few days. Store the seeds in a glass jar in a dry, dark place.

Lavender seeds are easy to save. Cut the lavender above the brown area of the stem shortly after the flowers begin to bloom. Bind the stems together with a ribbon or elastic. You can make the ribbon or elastic be a colour that corresponds with the element of lavender. Be sure the stems are facing in the same direction. Place the bushel of lavender stems in a paper bag, stem side up, and secure the bag by tying it shut. After two weeks have passed, run your fingers down the stem of each plant to remove all the flowers and seeds. Discard the stems after removing the flowers and seeds. Store the seeds in a clean sterile Mason jar and leave in a dry, dark place. Empty the contents of the paper bag onto a flat surface. Sort the seeds from the flowers and store the seeds in the labeled jar. Lavender seeds do not save well, so use them as soon as possible.

Coneflowers are admired for their beauty and medicinal qualities. The seeds are hidden in the plant’s spiny centre. The method of removing the seeds are by winnowing the seeds. It is recommended that you wear gloves while removing the seeds. Also, watch for the time to remove seeds from coneflowers. Hold on till the stems droop and the flower head turn brown to black or the seeds will not be developed enough for next spring’s planting. There is another method. Soak the seed pods in water overnight. Water softens the bristles and makes removal easier. Lay the seeds out on a paper towel and allow to dry, then store in a glass jar.

Verbena flowers attract butterflies. Verbena self seeds itself each year but by saving the seeds, you save money and means that you have access to the same variety. Wait till the flowers fade and turn brown. Cut the stalk once the seedheads have turned brown. Leave the seedhead in a well ventliated room to dry for two weeks. Leave in a bowl lined with paper towels to absorb absorb excess moisture. Label an envelope with the name Verbena and crumble the seedhead into the bowl. Remove the debris. Label the envelope with the name and the date of the seed harvest. Place the seeds inside and store in a dry, dark place. The verbena seeds are a light tan colour and good for one to two years after harvesting. The chafe, or straw-like husks, can be planted with the seeds. Do not let the seeds come into contact with humidity.

Remember to thank the Goddess for the bounty of seeds you have harvested. Storing seeds helps you save money. Good luck and happy planting.

Blessed be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under coneflower, lavender, lemon verbena, mint, saving, seeds, storage