growing seedlings

Messy Witch Aesthetic

Most of the witchy pictures I see on my dashboard are the super beautiful, artfully arranged still lifes (lives?) that we know and love. But not all witchy aesthetics are photogenic! I think most of us, in some way or another, fit the Messy Witch type. These may or may not include:

  • Leaving the ashy remnants of incense in whatever it was burned in, until such a time as the incense burner needs to be used again
  • Half-empty teapots left out overnight
  • Unused “official” grimoire; “real” grimoire is a janky old notebook with notes and recipes scribbled hastily and almost illegibly
  • Seedlings growing in plastic solo cups
  • A fairly large tree branch sitting awkwardly in your closet, because you swear you’re going to make a broom one day
  • Notes, underlining, and sometimes scribbles in your favorite books

There’s no shame in not having a super photogenic, artsy brand of witchcraft! I want to start seeing photos of Messy Witch Aesthetic on my dashboard, too.

So reblog if you’re a Messy Witch, and add your own mess!

Lesson 21: Plant Care 101

By: Chief Moderator Bee

Live Lesson: 2/24/17 @ 7:00PM

Summary: This lesson provides a basic overview of the knowledge a beginner will need to successfully grow plants. It is not intended to be a class on green witchcraft specifically, though there may be elements of witchcraft incorporated.

ANATOMY OF A PLANT

  • Shoot system: portion of plant above ground
  • Root system: portion of plant below ground
  • Flower: the reproductive organs of a plant, consists of modified leaves
  • Bud: site of new growth
  • Node: point where leaf diverges from stem
  • Leaf: photosynthetic organ, consists of blade and petiole
  • Root: anchors plant and provides water and nutrients from soil

PLANT NEEDS

  • Sunlight
    • Plants require sunlight for photosynthesis. The amount required per plant is variable, but most prefer medium or indirect light. In the Northern Hemisphere, a southern or southwest window provides the most light, followed by east windows or bright spots in sunny rooms, followed by a north window (not preferred).
  • Water
    • Plants also require water. Again, this varies widely, but the most common watering frequency is 1-2 times per week. I personally prefer the finger test, which is simply sticking your finger about 1” into the soil and checking for dryness. If the soil is totally dry, water the plant thoroughly. Thorough watering should allow water to drip from the bottom of the plant, in order to ensure sufficient saturation. In addition, many plants will benefit from a humid environment.
  • Soil
    • There are many different types of soil, but a few are more common than others. Potting soil, topsoil, garden soil, succulent/cactus soil, seed starter mix, compost, and orchid soil are the most common. Potting soil is soil that has been mixed to provide the best environment for potted plants. Garden soil is usually topsoil with compost or manure added, and should NOT be used in pots, as it is very dense. Topsoil is simply the first layer of soil. Succulent/cactus soil has sand added, seed starter mix is used to grow seedlings, compost is almost entirely decaying organic matter, and orchid soil is formulated with bark and moss to ensure healthy orchid growth.
  • Space/Container
    • Proper spacing of plants is most important in outdoor gardens, to ensure room to grow and proper air circulation. With potted plants, the container itself is most important. A container should be large enough for the plant, with room to grow, and have at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Clay readily absorbs water, and is preferred for many plants to prevent them from sitting in water. Plastic and metal are also very common, as is glass jars and bottles. I frequently re-purpose containers as plant pots (and it gives me an excuse to have ice cream).
  • Circulation
    • In order to prevent mold and other fungi, proper air circulation is necessary. It will also help strengthen a young plant. Keep in mind, strong winds can harm plants.
  • Warmth
    • Plants enjoy warmth. Many will be fine at room temperature, but some prefer more or less – research accordingly. Warmth is most important for seeds and seedlings, because they use the heat to tell when it’s time to germinate. I typically wrap my seedling in a heating pad to encourage germination.

PLANTING SEEDS

When planting seeds, not only should you read the seed packet for information, but do your own research! Google is your new best friend, if it wasn’t already. Seeds vary in preferred depth, soil type, soil density, spacing, warmth, and water, so keep this in mind. Knowing where the plant is from and the general climate there can be very helpful! For example, rosemary is Mediterranean, so it likes lots of sun, somewhat sandy soils, warm temperature, and little water. You don’t have to go memorize average daily rainfall in that region, but it helps to have a general idea.

MAINTENANCE

Maintenance is fairly simple. Outside of the basic needs of a plant, there are a few more to look for. As a plant grows, the root system will grow too. A plant can become “root bound” if it outgrows a pot, which can be very unhealthy, though some plants are more tolerant than others.

To repot, gently lift the plant up by pinching the base and wiggling the plant carefully to help the roots loosen from the soil. You can use your fingers to work the dirt clumps out of the roots, if necessary. If the plant is really stuck, press your hand flat against the soil, with the stem of the plant between your thumb and first finger. Flip the pot upside down (expect a small rain of loose earth) and give the bottom of the pot a sharp smack. Be ready for the weight of the plant to suddenly shift when it comes out! Then you can proceed to loosen the roots and repot. After you’ve gotten the plant itself out, replant it in a larger pot and bury to cover the roots. Most plants won’t mind having part of their stem buried as well, but some get fussy, so keep that in mind.

The other main maintenance that should be done is pruning. Pruning encourages the axillary buds to grow, creating a new branch where the leaf was cut. Many plants require pruning to be fully healthy. For non-woody plants, simply use a sharp knife, scissors, or your nails (wash your hands!) to cut the leaf away as close to the stem as possible. Wait a bit, and you will likely see a new branch! You can also cut the stem above a node to encourage growth. Depending on the growth pattern, you may get one, two, or even more new branches. In addition, some plants benefit from flower pruning (to encourage growth rather than fruiting) or deadheading (removing dead flower heads to encourage new ones). For example, it is recommended that the flowers immediately be plucked from strawberries in their first year, to encourage them to grow “daughter” plants and result in a larger crop next year.

PROPAGATING

Propagating is the means of producing new plants. There are various methods, but seeds, cuttings, and offshoots are the most common.

Seeds are easy, but require time or money. It takes time for a mature plant to produce seed, plus they need to be pollinated either by hand or by bees or other pollinators, so this may not be ideal.

Cuttings are popular as an “instant gratification” method (my favorite!). Simply take a cutting of a plant by slicing above the node of the stem. The chosen cutting should have several sets of leaves for best results, and it should be a segment of new growth (especially important in woody plants) with no flowers. Pinch or cut off all but a few pairs of leaves near the top, leaving 2-3 bare nodes. Place in water or soil. For water, replace every few days to replenish dissolved oxygen. For soil, keep moist, but not wet. I personally prefer water because I can easily track development, but some claim better success with soil. If using soil, sometimes a rooting hormone may be applied to encourage root growth.

Offshoots are new baby plants that have grown from the root system, stem, or rhizome of an adult plant. To propagate using them, wait until they have several sets of leaves, then use the methods described in the segment about repotting (Maintenance) to expose the roots. With a clean knife, carefully cut the baby plant away from the parent, making sure that it receives a portion of the roots. If the plant has a rhizome, cut so that the baby plant gets a small portion of the rhizome. Repot using previously discussed methods. If the rhizome is large, you can allow it to heal for a few days by setting it in a cool, dry place. This can help prevent infection or rot, but is not a requirement.

Propagating succulents is quite similar to propagating cuttings, though some, like aloe, produce offshoots called pups. In the case of propagating succulents from leaves, only some are fit for this. Use succulents whose leaves pop off easily. Select a healthy, whole leaf and pop it off, then let it sit on soil (not in!). Ignore it for a while and eventually it will produce new roots! For pups, treat them like offshoots (they are a type of offshoot), but do not water for at least a week after repotting. This encourages healthy root development.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Diagnosing plants can be tricky. Below are some common symptoms and potential causes. Be sure to research the plant in question, as some plants are more susceptible to certain illnesses, pests, or conditions.

  • YELLOWING LEAVES – too much/not enough light, high temperature, root bound
    • YOUNG LEAVES – not enough light, overfertilization, mineral deficiency
    • OLD LEAVES – overwatering, natural aging, root bound, root rot, major element deficiency
  • DEAD OR YELLOW SPOTS ON LEAVES – fungal, bacterial, or viral infection, fluoride toxicity, pesticide damage
    • IRREGULAR – pesticide damage, cold water damage, thrips, air pollution
  • MOSAIC PATTERN ON LEAVES – viral infection, high temperature, pesticide damage, major element deficiency
  • VERY DARK, LIMP LEAVES – cold/frostbite injuries, crushing, bacterial infection
  • SMALL LEAVES – low light (in conjunction with spindly stem), too much/not enough fertilizer, low humidity, root rot
  • LEAVES FALLING OFF – overfertilization, overwatering, cold injuries, low light, root rot, natural cycle
  • WILTED/DROOPING LEAVESoverwatering, underwatering (soil pulling away from side of pot), overfertilization, root rot, stem rot, root bound
  • ABNORMAL SUBSTANCE ON LEAF
    • WHITE, POWDERY – powdery mildew
    • BLACK, PATCHY – sooty mold
    • STICKY – insect activity, natural secretion by plant
  • STEM ROTTED – fungal or bacterial disease
    • AT SOIL LINE – overwatering
    • ABOVE SOIL LINE – sunburn
  • TALL, THIN STEM – not enough light
  • SLOW GROWTH – not enough light, compacted soil, too much/not enough fertilization, too much/not enough water, root rot
  • NO ROOTS – unsuccessful cutting
  • ROOTS CLOSE TO SURFACE – hot surface, overwatering, compacted soil, erosion
  • DARK, LIMP ROOTS – overwatering, overfertilization, root rot


PLANTS FOR BEGINNERS

BASILOcimum basilicum, 6-8 hours full sun, frost sensitive, likes warm conditions, easy to grow from seed or cuttings, likes moist (not wet!) soil


SNAKE PLANTSanseveria trifasciata, indestructible, rhizomatous, drought tolerant, neglect tolerant, medium indirect light (perfect indoor/bathroom plant!), propagate through offshoots or leaf cuttings


ALOEAloe vera, 6-8 hours indirect sunlight, sunburn sensitive, frost sensitive, prone to root rot, needs cactus/succulent soil, picky about water (water when dry to 1.5”-2”/3.5-5 cm), propagate through pups


WANDERING JEWTradescantia zebrina, I DIDN’T NAME THIS, 4-6 hours full/indirect sun, likes warm conditions, overwatering tolerant (avoid watering directly on leaves), propagates easily through cuttings


ROSEMARYRosmarinus officinalis, 6-8 hours full sun, likes warm conditions, frost sensitive, somewhat drought tolerant, prone to root rot, prone to powdery mildew, difficult to grow from seed, grows somewhat readily from cuttings


LAVENDER – Lavandula angustifolia, 6-8 hours full/indirect sunlight, prefer warm conditions, frost sensitive, overwatering sensitive, prefer drier conditions, somewhat difficult to grow from seed, grows somewhat readily from cuttings


MINTSMentha spp.(piperita –peppermint,spicata– spearmint),MUST BE POTTED, WILL TAKE OVER GARDEN, prune regularly, full sun/partial shade, likes somewhat moist soil, grows extremely rapidly, somewhat difficult to propagate from seed, propagates easily through cuttings


SAGESalvia officinalis, prefers warm conditions, 6-8 hours full/indirect sun, likes pruning, somewhat drought tolerant, somewhat difficult to grow from seed, propagates readily from cuttings


Thank you!

anonymous asked:

Hi, cutie pie! I'm starting my own garden soon and I want to paint sigils for them to grow beautiful and strong. Do you already have some?

Plenty.

Good luck with your garden!

Blessed Ostara

So what is Ostara? 

Ostara is a celebration of the Spring Equinox (March 21) celebrated by many practicing Wiccans, Pagans, and Witches. It marks the day when night and day are equal and balanced. The Sun God’s strength increases and the Goddess celebrates her fertility. Together they bring us Spring.

Ostara is a time for the celebration of fertility and balance, But fertility can be many things. It can be a new beginning hope, Or a fresh start. A goodbye to the harsh cold Winter, And a hello to the change Spring brings us. 

Eggs are commonly used for symbolism on this day as they have always been a symbol for fertility and life.

Ostara is very similar to the Christian holiday, Easter where followers celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Both are celebrating life. 

Eggs are commonly used for symbolism on this day as they have always been a symbol for fertility and life. 




 So what can you do to invite this change and fertility into your life?

Take some egg shells, And hollow them out The idea is to make little “Pots”. Once that is done, Hold them, And think of what you need in your life. A new love? Peace? Healing? What ever it may be write your wishes for the Year on your shells and use them as planters for seeds. Water them, Take care of them and know that as your seedlings grow, They are pulling nourishment from the shells. They are being infused with your own intention. They’re bringing your spell to life.

Once they outgrow there little homes, Plant them outdoors so that they can be a reminder of what Spring brings to you.

Last year I bought some melons at my local farmers market in San Francisco. They were about the size of a softball, had light green fruit, and were the sweetest melons I’ve ever tasted. I have no idea what kind they were, but I saved some of the seeds, we’ve planted them and I’m really hoping they make it in the garden. Fingers crossed for sweet melon goodness come August/September from Opa’s Garden!

My little maple tree

One day, in a fit of ennui, I stuck a seed from a sugar maple near my apartment in a little pot of soil. Yesterday the seedling poked its head through the surface of the soil, and now I have a maple tree growing on my patio. This seedling is the offspring of the tree that gave me my wand.

I don’t know if anyone will find this interesting, but I do love watching new things grow!

2

Dwarf sunflowers to the right. Sprouted in one day, now three days in. Mobile and messy little cuties.

Going to transplant them very soon.

Mr. Skull Grass has hair! I might try different kinds of seeds to give him a thicker mop. Still pretty cool though.

It finally rained here today, for about five whole minutes. I hope it gets better.

We need rain, and lots of it.

Love and light to you, my friends.

i was going to write about electricity and +/- charges and grounding but

a stubborn rhyming kick threw this poem into a mind’s black soil -

“a dark place, yes
below the streets

and indeed therein
an ichorous sea

this is where the wretches be

but you should also know
here is where the seedlings grow

this is where you’ve taken me”

and something slow-burst green somewhat might some day.

I’ve killed most papaya seedlings, have kept the ones that had the biggest true leaves. I’m afraid i don’t know if this is the 2015 or 2017 batch i got from bermudienne, because i didn;t label the pots. I did sow some of the 2015 variety again, and they’ve also all germinated, so there’s going to be two plants.

vimeo

Pumzi is a Kenyan science-fiction short film written and directed by Wanuri Kahiu

A Sc-Fi film about futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III –The Water War. Nature is extinct. The outside is dead. Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it and the seed starts to germinate instantly. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside but the Council denies her exit visa. Asha breaks out of the inside community to go into the dead and derelict outside to plant the growing seedling and possibly find life on the outside.