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Gardeing/Houseplant tips

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Plants are an important part of earth as well as important part of rituals and spells.

The time, love and energy that goes into growing plants is rewarding and relaxing. Its also fun for children no matter their age as they learn about the cycle of life, the chain that connects all things...and playing in the dirt!!!!  Here are some easy plants anyone can grow at home, inside and outside. Some of their magical and pratical uses, and tips on keeping your indoor or outdoor garden alive. As well as tips for butterfly gardens and more.  
Also try here for great gardening ideas for the whole family as well as gifts like personalized seed packets: Earthly goods

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Rose

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Full sun plants, water when dry. COmes in any different varrieties from wild to hybrid, mini to giant, bushes to climbing. Colors include yellow, white, orange, pink, red, and dark purple.
 
Rose hips are an excelent source of  vitamin C. They also have vitamins B,E, and K, beta carotene, bioflavonoids, fiber, folate and riboflavin.
Love, Growth, fertility, beauty.
make rose water, sachets, and potpourri from their petals
You can also eat rose petals. Sprinkle them on salads, use them as garnish, or make them into wonderful rose-petal jam. You can also make rose hip teas, jelly, soup, bread, pudding, applesauce and more. (be sure to remove all the seeds with rose hips)
Aloe Vera
Easy to grow indoors or out in sand soil, water once a week in the summer, depending on the size of the plant, do not soak the soil and let it dry out between waterings. (be careful not to over water. signs of over watering and under watering are pretty similar,  If your not sure dig up the roots. If it had no roots but simply a ball kind of like a flat onion -may look rotted/brown- then its overwatered.)
 
Great for burns, scars, dry skin, and strechmarks. Break open leaves to use gel whenever wanted.
Action, force, protects agaist negative energies.
Basil
Annual, easy to grow from seeds. Small plant will last around 1-2 years if prunned and not allowed to go to flower. Water when dry, medium to full sun.

Great in Italian food or pesto. Good as a tea. Calms the stomach, in small amounts helps calm vomiting and constipation.
Mix in cleaning solutions or mop water to help cleanse the house while cleaning the house.
Purification and protection.
Marigold
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Perennial grows in pretty much all conditions, (grows almost like a weed). Water when dry. Can be purchased in small to giant varieties and yellow or orange.
 
Made into lotions for Burns, cuts, skin irritations, and acne or used as a compress. Massage oil into scalp to clean foollicols and stimulate hair growth.
Petals are good in salads, custards, and cakes.
Flower that looks like the sun. Physical strength, sucess, prosperity, protection.
Dill
Very tall, thin plant, is a weed. Medium to full sun (can grow indoors but will need a deep pot and staking, harvest often.) They like well draining soil but water well. Annual but will grow all year in cool/warm weather from their own seeds.
 
drink as a tea to stablize appitite, increase digestion and relieve mild bowel disorders.
Good for nursing mothers.
Protection, love, creativity, money, prosperity.
Lilac
Perennial bush/small tree. Easy to grow. Needs watering when first planted or in large periods with no rain, full sun. Colors include lilac, deep purple, pink, and white.
 
The flowers were once used to treat fever. Good for stiff necks and tension headaches
Add to a bath to help you relax, make into sachets, or oil.
Lilacs can be tasty, mix with cream cheese, in salads, jelly or make into an old fashioned candy called Crystals of Lilac.
Lilac drives away evil where it is planted or strewn. Peace; Clairvoyance; Creativity; Happiness; Harmony; Exorcism; Protection.
Lavander
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Perennial likes warm weather and very well draining soil. Add lots of rocks or sand to the soil to achieve this. Water when dry, give full sun. Only 2 varrieties are hardy enough to withstand the Northern U.S. winters. When planted outdoors in cold climates mulch thickly in autumn after flowering is over. This plant is hard to grow from seeds (which take 14-28 days to germinate) and is easier to buy as a small plant at your local garden store.
 
Lavender leaves were often used as seasonings much like sage, though has not lasted in popularity over time can still be used in meals to add a wonderful flavor.
Lavender flowers can be taken as a herbal tea for their calming properties, and to reduce the effects of stress. They combine well with other calming teas such as Linden flowers and Chamomile. They make great sachets for under the pillow, or in linnens closets. Add to the tub for a calming bath, or make your own oil or lavander water.
It is thrown onto the Midsummer fires. Peace, purification, joy, love, healing.
Mint
Hardy Perennials. Can be grown indoors or out, medium to full sun, grows like a weed. Varrieties include speramint, lemon mint, chocolate mint and more.
 
Calms upset stomach, indigestion, menstrual cramps, and stomach problems.
Put a few drops in boiling water and breath in the steam to help clear a stuffy nose. (be careful not to over do it with mint)
Protection; Healing; Prosperity; Good Luck; Healing, Fortune; Travel; Peace, Exorcism
 
Chamomile
Some varrieties are annual, some perennial. Sow from seeds, Do not cover these seeds with soil. Plant needs full sun and average to rich soil. Keep soil moist. Clip flowers from stems just as they fully open.
 
Make your own tea, naturally calming to help you relax or sleep and soothing to upset stomachs and sore throats.
Wealth, prosperity, success, Physical strength, Health.
 
Dandelion
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Perennials which grow in pretty much any condition but prefer sun, water, and acidic soil. Try sewing seeds from a very open white fuzz dandelion plant, or by transplanting a new plant that has not gone to seed yet. Dry conditions make dandelions bitter.
 
Dandelion is a leaf crop and very nutritious. It contains Vitamins - A, B (thiamine, nicotinic acid), C, D, and Minerals - iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, boron, and more. Use the root as an anti-flamitory for arthritis, as well as constipation, and gallstones.
Try adding dandelion greens to salads, jelly from the flowers or use them to add a yellow color to the dish you are cooking, and make coffee out of the roots.
Try making dandelion wine.
 
When fuzzy white the seeds released by each flower represent fertility and abundance. The seeds journey illustrates a time of letting go, of starting something new.
Divination, luck, calling spirits, psychic powers, and wishes

Sage

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ASage is related to mint and there are many different varrieties, some annual, some perennial. Basic sage is easy to grow inside or out from seeds. They like a well draining soil (sandy or rocky) let the ground dry before rewatering. Full sun, avoid frost. Trim the top leaves at the stem to encourage bushy growth. Will overwinter but in northern US heavy mulching is recommended.
 

The name Salvia derives from the Latin 'salveo', which means to heal.
Make into a tea for stomach upset (indigestion), bloating, and mucous congestion. Also works good as a mouth wash.
Absorbs negativty, cleansing, protection.  Burn it to consecrate a ritual space.

Planting Tips
Knot Gardens
This is something I have just newely discovered but has been around for awhile. Basically it is growing your plants in your garden to look like celtic knots. This is something for a gardener with time and dedication but they look quite lovely. The plants and length of time to grow vary depending on what type of plants you choose to use ranging from shrubs, flowers, herbs, and more. Here are a few links if you think this interests you.
http://www.bbg.org/exp/stroll/herb.html
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1082/is_n1_v40/ai_17907653
http://www.superbherbs.net/design5.htm
 
For a humming Bird garden
-Be sure to have a water source and a humming bird feeder to attrack birds and help them when flowers aren't in bloom
- Hummingbirds are attracted to color and nectar, not fragrance. (try picking bright bold colors when choosing flower colors like reds)
Some populor hummingbird flowers:
-Perennials: Bee Balm, Butterfly bush, Foxglove, Fuchsia, Cosmos, Columbine, Verbena, Flame acanthus , Geranium, Holly hock, Cardinal flower,
-Annuals: Touch-me-not, Nasturtium, Petunia, Spider flower, Zinnia, Four-o'-clock
-Bulbs and tubers: Iris, Tuberous Begonia, Montbretia, Gladiolus
-Vines,shrubs, and trees: Azalea, Eucalyptus, Hibiscus, Lilac, Honeysuckle, Trumpet vines/Trumpet creeper, Cardinal climber
 
 For a Butterfly Garden
- Make some puddles. many bird baths are to big for butterflies but they the will drink from puddles or other very shallow water, if you have a bird bath just fill it a little.
- Have some bushes or over grown area. Let some milkweed, dandelion, or bushes grow up for shelter and for catepillars.
- Flowers: Sweat pea, Thistle, Queen Annes Lace, Cosmos, Columbine, Verbena, Hollyhock, Dogbane, Butterfly Bush, Dillweed, Fennel, Coneflowers.
- avoid pesticides, even weed preventers as insects are sensative to these. They are made to kill and effect all insects.
 
For a Faerie Garden
- have running water like a fountain or little pond
- Faeries like mushrooms and old trees.
- leave out sweet foods for the fae
- Tend well to your garden, dieing gardens are not considered attractive to fae.
- Trees: Hawthorn, apple, elder, Oak, willow, birch, fig, and Rowan.
- Flowers and Herbs: clover, foxglove, lilac, dewdrop, milkweed, primrose, roses, thyme, elderberry, bluebells, blackberry, cowslips, heather,  pansy, violets, ferns, Fairy Lily (Chlidanths fragrans ), and Elecampane (aka Elfwort and Elf Dock)
 
 For a Bat Garden
bats are one of natures best insect repelants, Bat Fact: a bat the size of your thumb can eat up to 600 mosquitoes an hour!!
- Set up a bat house or 2 (Houses should be painted a dark color for greater warmth, there should be no nearby limbs that allow easy access for predators, and should be 15-20 feet from the ground, keep it away from bright lights at night and in a lot of warm sun during the day.)
- Have at least one tree in your yard.
- Have a source of fresh water like a fountain.
- To help attrack bats grow flowers that attracks moths: all night-blooming flowers, Spearmint, Lavender, Phlox, honeysuckle, chives, lemon balm, white jasmine, Sweet Rocket, Marjoram, cherry pie, and soapwort.
 
Night Time/Moon Gardening
- Night blooming flowers: evening primrose and Missouri Primrose, moon flower (aka moonvine), night blooming cereus (for warm regions), angel's trumpet, Four o’clocks, Night Phlox, Evening Stock, Nottingham Catchfly,  yucca, Antares water lily
- night fragrant plants: Night Gladiolus, August Lily, Fragrant Columbine, gardenia, tuberose, Night jessamine/jasmine, rosemary, Nicotiana, Sweet Olive (shrub)
- Flowers whose blooms look elegant in the evening light and add some color(make great compliments to the night blooming plants, generally light colors such as white, light blue, light pink, or yellow flowers compliment well.) 
Eden climbing roses, Vinca Cooler Coconut, Plumbago (shrub), Hydrangea (shrub), Lambs ear, Cleome, Silver Mound Artemisia,
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In The Garden
- Be sure to plant all edible plants at least 15 feet away from exaust or other smoke in any given direction.
- To reduce bugs keep the garden clean. dispose of rotting materials such as leaves, sticks, and logs.
 - There is no need to work the soil deeply when adding compost or soil amendments. Eighty five percent of a plant's roots are found in the top 6" of soil
- Add soil ammendments in the fall and let them break down and over winter. Most nutrients will not leach out of the soild over winter.
- mulch up oak leaves to add calcium to your soil naturally.

- To eliminate weeds in flower beds lay down a lyaer of mulch (To prevent diseases and pest infestation, avoid piling mulch against tree trunks.)
- Pine trees need acidic ground, which mulch and their own pine needles provide them with greatly. (spread mulch out as far as the drip line.)
- look for what lives in your garden: look under logs, rocks or pots.
-  Having problems with pill bugs or sow bugs? try putting a solid fence around your entire garden and release some toads to live in your garden. they love to eat them, a toad house (sold at garden stores) also give tem a pleasnt place to stay.
- Problems with slugs? put a bowl or bucket of beer out they crawl right in, or whip out the salt.
- Choose your pots wisely. Clay pots attract pill bugs but clay pots also do not create as much waste, if broken they can just be added to the ground like a rock.
- The best time to water plants and grass is early in the morning when water won't evaporate away. In high heat (80+ degrees) do not water in the midday sun it can literally cook the plant, during humid seasons do not water int he evening.
- Many bugs are easily washed off of plants with a strong blast of water (make sure that the plant is strong enough to handle it)
- to treat infestation of all bugs (aphids, mealy bugs, and more) spray the plants with a biodegradable, diluted soapy water. (see resources for biodegradable soaps.) if plant leaves burn diulte more and wash off plants a few minutes after spraying. 
- Beneficial insects such as ladybugs, fireflies, green lacewings, praying mantis, dragonflies, damsmel flies, and spiders keep harmful insects from devouring your plants. Many also pollinate your plants and decompose organic matter.
-hang bird feeders and bird houses to attrack birds. Many eat bugs. Locate bird feeders where scattered seeds and hulls won't be a problem.
-change bird bath water regularly and empty all containers of standing water to keep down mosquitoes and other bugs.
- sprinkle generous amounts of chilli pepper or cummin around bulbs in dirt when planting and on surface when planted to deture animals from digging up your bulbs such as mice, moles, squirles, and cats. Reaply afer a rain.
-To deter deer from grazing in your landscape, try placing strongly scented bar soap around your plants, to encourage deer leave out a salt lick.
 - Hang shiny objects that flap in the wind, such as aluminum pie plates or even strips of aluminum foil, to discourage birds from eating the flowers and fruit from your trees and plants.
-grow oats among your vegetable plants to prevent weeds and soil erosion. Cut them down before they go to seed (as the vegetables grow tall) and work them into the soil as "green manure."
- Deeply water transplanted trees or SOD daily.
- Frequent, shallow waterings lead to plants that develop shallow roots in the top inches of the soil, where they find moisture. When you go away for a week, the surface dries out quickly and your plants suffer. Practice watering deeply and less often, including your lawn.
- Cut your grass with a manual reel mower: they are light, quiet, use no gas which is good for the earth, the air, and your pocket, and new models are very easy to use and push with adjustable grass height and bags to collect clippings.
- Manual reel mowers let grass breath, never tears the grass and can cut it shorter then regular mowers.
- To control earwigs bury a can half way and fill with 1 inch cooking oil. Leave overnight, empty in the morning. The height of earwig season is around june/july.
- To prevent dandelions. Most lawn grasses favor a soil pH (acid-alkaline balance) of 6.5 to 7, which is neutral or slightly acid. Dendelions like more acidic soil. To lower the PH add lime. It's better to edge your way up to the desired pH over a few applications than to overshoot and then face the more difficult task of bringing the pH back down so be sure to have your soil tested.
- To prevent dandelions, clover, and crabgrass in your yard try
Corn gluten meal. It acts to suppress germination of a variety of weed seeds. A multi-year program of applying corn gluten meal every spring will eventually give you a weed-free lawn. Remember that corn gluten meal will suppress germination of grass seeds as well, so time your applications away from reseedings. As well do not use if you have any members of your family with corn allergies.
 
In The Home
- To reduce the risk of powdery mildew avoid overhead watering. water at the base of the plant.
- Garden soil isn't considered suitable for potting outdoor plants in containers, or houseplants. It's quality is too variable, and may be heavy, drain poorly, or loose and unable to hold water well. It may also contain disease organisms, weed seeds, and insect eggs.
- Garlic, leeks, and shallots are well adapted to growing in a garden or containers. They take up very little space, have shallow root systems and don't need deep soil preparation, and have few insect or disease problems.
- make sure you have adequate window sunlight during winter. During summer plants can be brought outside.
- florescent lights provide the widest rage of colors for indoor plants for suplemental lighting, you can buy floresent lightbulbs to fit in normal sockets now, they also last longer and use less energy.
- Rotate plants so they dont grow bent towards the light.
- Keep leaves free of dust. Plants breath through their leaves. Mist them, wipe them with a damp sponge, or put them in your shower and give them a gentle rain bath from above.
- To prevent powdery mildew keep air circulation going. Put plants in a room with a fan or open window.
- Spider plants, Aloe, and Mother in laws tongue (aka snake tongue or snake plant) grow with minimal sunlight, and minimal watering. They are easy to grow indoors.
- Make sure pots can drain water and have light weight potting soil for good drainage (adding peat moss to soil can help alot)
- water with room tempurtue water to avoid root shock.
- Let tap water stand a day or two to help reduce the chlorine amount in it.
- Collect rain water to water your plants when possible to avoid chlorine, salt, and flouride from damaging your plants or causing brown tips.
- If watering with tap water with flouride in it add 2 tsp of limestone powder per each 6" pot of soil to prevent damage.
- Don't water your plant if your house has a water softener. Calcium and magnesium compounds are the components that make water hard, leading to lime deposits on plumbing. They are important nutrients for plants though, and sodium is not and will build up in the soil.
- Indoor plants loose soil nutrients and need fertilizing. This is especially true when using bottled or rain water. Be careful not to over fertilize though as plants grow slower then outdoors, its better to do less then to much. Try simply adding a few drops of liquid fertalizer once a month to the water for feeding.
-To prevent soil loss from holes in the bottom of pots line the bottom with a coffee filter (cut to size) this will let the water drip out but not the soil.
- for pots that have no hole place a layer of small rocks at the bottom of the pot.
- for small cases of powdery mildew place plants in an area that recives longer sun, circulated air, and trim back the leaves so that the plant can dry thouroughly.
- to treat bad cases of powdery mildew mix and spray plant every few days with baking soda water. 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 quart water, to muc will  burn the plant. (also try adding a few crushed garlic cloves to water and spraying.)
Organic Lawn Care Plan
Are you interested in an Organic lawn care maintnece plan? Don't know where to begin? This is a base step by step plan to grow a lush, green, weed free lawn. Organic lawn care is very feasable but does require a little maintnence. Over time it will require less but anything that is ignored will show, things that are loved will show also, for the better. Now please keep in mind that this plan is just a foundation, and based on the Average lawn, every lawn is different. Take the time to try and address the issues listed at the bottom as well as they affect your lawn. 
Spring:
1. Begin lawn care Early in spring. The first warm day (no snow on the ground) thatch the grass. You can use a thatching rake or any long pronged metal rake. This helps remove old growth so new growth can sprout as well as lets the sun and rain reach the soil and plant easier.
2. Early spring after it begins to warm up make a trip around your yard. Take a small bucket and a spade. Pop up any weeds you may see sprouting already. (this is more feesable for some weeds such as dandelions and not so much for others like clover) this prevents it from growing to large becoming hard to pull and from producing more seeds. Simple stick the spade straight down into the soil (preferable within a few days of rain for soft soil) at the base of the weed. Then tilt the spade to pop the weed free and grab the weed by the base and pull up.
3. Apply Corn Gluten Meal in early spring (the general rule is to apply it when the crocuses and other first flowers start to bloom). This is granular and goes in a spreader. (they are easy to use you just walk and push them, easier then a lawn mower.) Corn gluten meal is a pre-emergent natural treatment and naturally adds nitrogen to the soil. Do not water or cut your grass for 5 days after applying for best results. It is avaliable at a wide varriety of stores and online.
4. set the height of your mowing blade to 3".
5. remove the grass clippings from your first mowing with a rake.
Summer:
1. make a trip around your yard pulling any unwanted weeds.
2. rake any pine needles/cones/etc. under the pine tree and out of the grass.
3. treat lawn soil with Compost Tea or Epsoma Bio-Tone Starter. Compost tea can be made by you, or bought online at www.soilsoup.com Epsoma products are available at some stores and online. This can be applied earlier in the season however it must be applied after all frost has passed and soil tempertures hve reached 50 degrees or above.
3. Re-seed any Bare or thin patches in your lawn with the appropriate seed for the growing enviroment. (this must not be done until at least 1-2 months after applying the corn gluten meal.)
4. water new grass when needed. Water your lawn early in themorning for long periods. Do not water often. The purpose is to water the grass DEEP so that the soil is wet deep down not jsut on the surface. As the surface dries the grass will send out long, strong roots in search of the water. This will makei t more drought resistant in the future.
5. Mulch any grass clippings and leave them on the lawn. This will add nitrogen to the soil and help keep moisture in during the hottest months.
Autumn
1. make a trip around your yard pulling any unwanted weeds.
2. Apply a second coating of Corn Gluten meal early in the fall while it is still warm.
3. Mulch leaves in your yard instead of raking them up and removing them. Remove large sticks and any other large debri.
4. mulch grass clippings onto your lawn.
Be sure to take these other fators into consideration with your lawn and adjust your lawn plan accordingly.
Is it really cold where I live? Is it really hot where I live? Is my lawn really shady? Is my lawn really sunny? Is my soil very sandy? Does my soil have a lot of clay? Is my soil generally very wet or dry? Does my lawn have a lot of pines (most likely rising the acidity level of the soil.) Has there been frequent pesticide use on my lawn in the past?

An it harm none, do what ye will.