Small Space Gardening for Witches
Many people associate herbs, gardens and growing plants as practices exclusive to green, herbal or kitchen witches. However, a flourishing garden can be a powerful addition to your magical practice regardless of your chosen path in witchcraft. It can provide you with a wide variety of plants, herbs, seeds and other natural materials that can be used to enhance spell work of all kinds, empower and flavour the food you cook or to be used in creating healing teas and other remedies. Planting seeds and watching them grow and finally flower and fruit with tasty produce and helpful herbs is a magic in itself.
Your garden space can also become a place where you can relax and connect to nature on a regular basis, with the added convenience of not having to leave home or be disturbed by others. Growing plants from seed or seedlings can also help you develop a stronger relationship with the plant world and deepen your understanding of each plant's unique energy and benefits. This time also provides the opportunity to infuse the growing plant with your love, care and energy further adding to its magical power. Growing a garden also has benefits outside of your craft in that the plants can help to provide food and shelter to a variety of insects and other animals. As well as plants, you may wish to add items such as homes for bees and ladybirds or feeding stations for butterflies to your garden. Not only will this benefit the local wildlife but many creatures are beneficial to plants: for example by helping with pollination or keeping down pest levels.
If you do not have an outside space to grow in there are still gardening options open to you. Many herbs can be grown inside or in window boxes and there are a huge variety of plants that will happily grow in pots on a balcony or small patio. Climbing plants, trellises and hanging baskets can also help make great use of small spaces. Houseplants are another option and can be found in a huge variety from low growing succulents to large yucca and umbrella trees (Schefflera). Although there may be less practical uses for houseplants within magic, their energy can enhance a room and many have the ability to purify the air around them. Plants native to more tropical climates are often suitable for indoor growing and include capsicums and chilli plants. Cut and come again salads, beansprouts and cress can also be grown indoors successfully. If you are really short of space or otherwise limited in your growing options, sprouts and microgreens can produce delicious and nutritious sprouted grains, seeds and pulses in a matter of days using nothing more than a repurposed glass jar.
Ideas for Small Space Growing
Your garden does not have to have a huge range of plants to be a big help in your daily and do not feel that you must have large crops of each plant grown. In many cases, just one or two plants loving cared for will produce a bounty fruit, seeds, leaves or flowers. You may like to grow many of one plant if it is a favourite of yours or one that you use often. Another small space strategy is to stick to one type of plant based on what will be most useful to you. For example, culinary herbs would be a good choice for a kitchen witch and you can choose between growing your favourites or aim to grow more expensive herbs or those that are more difficult to buy. This can be particularly true if a plant has many varieties and you prefer a less common one. Mint, for example, has many varieties including apple mint and chocolate mint, both of which make a tasty healing tea, but are unlikely to be found on supermarket shelves. Many herbs are very tolerant of soil, weather and care conditions and can offer addition magical properties simply by being around our homes. One common example of this is the practice of planting rosemary for protection.
Gardening in a Small Space
When you have a small garden or just a hard surface patio or yard it may feel impossible that you can grow a beneficial garden. However, there are lots of options for small spaces including container gardening, vertical gardening, square foot gardening and raised beds. Depending on the space some plants such as fruit and other trees may be off-limits but do not too quick to discount these as there are many varieties, often known as dwarf or patio tress than remain a manageable size in smaller gardens. Herbs, vegetables and fruit can also be grown within existing flower beds. Containers can be bought in a huge selection of styles, shapes, sizes and colours but do not feel that you must buy these. Many containers can be repurposed for growing and you may already have suitable items unused at home. Plastic boxes such as old toy boxes or storage containers can easily be drilled to provide drainage and filled with compost. These can be an especially good option for crops such as carrots and potatoes as they tend to be deep and have straight sides. Other ideas for repurposed containers include:
- Old baths, skins and toilets
- Tyres - these can be stacked to add depth
- Washed out food cans
- Old barbeques
- Children’s pull along wagon
- Watering cans
- Magazine racks
- Wellington boots
- Wooden furniture such as chests of drawer
- Wire hanging racks designed for storage (often used as ‘over door’ storage options)
Five Ideas for Small Space Gardens
Planting in a small space does not have to be boring and there are many small plants and even miniature vegetables that can be grown successfully. One factor to consider when growing in a small space is that growing from seed may not be your best option. Depending on the variety, one seed packet can contain hundreds of seeds and you may only need a few of these. Seeds can be kept but may not germinate as well in later years. Growing from seed may require more space as some will need to be placed in seed trays or small pots to germinate and grow until they are ready for their final planting spot. This can generally be done indoors on a warm windowsill or other spot. As an alternative, you may wish to consider buying already established plants or plug plants that are ready for outdoor planting. These can also be great for seeds that are difficult or require very specific conditions to germinate.
1. Mini vegetables
There are some varieties of vegetable that are designed to be grown in miniature: for example, baby corn and cucumbers but many standard vegetables can be planted and harvested earlier gaining the same effect. Growing these not only saves space but can also cut down on food waste as there will be less to use with each harvest. As growing mini vegetables will take less time, you may be able to grow more than one crop in a year. These can be of the same vegetable or you can choose a different plant enabling you to grow a greater variety. Growing your own food can be greatly rewarding and bring you closer to the energy of what you eat. It also means that you know how the plants were grown and can avoid using harmful pesticides and other treatments.
Broccoli and cauliflower can be planted closer together and harvested at a small size. Kabuki and igloo respectively are good varieties to try. F1 hybrid beetroots can be sown and harvested at a small size for baby beetroot and carrot varieties such as Amsterdam Forcing and F1 Hybrids produce good small-sized carrots when harvested early.
2. Hanging Baskets
Trailing flowers and plants are commonly grown in hanging baskets but these can also be used for other plants if you wish. Cherry tomato varieties known as ‘tumbling toms’ and strawberries also do well when planted in hanging baskets. Baskets can be hung from specially designed brackets or suspended from overhead hooks and arches. Other containers such as plastic pots can be used to create hanging pots but drilling holes and adding strong string or chain in order to hang them. It is also possible to buy (or make) plant hangers using macramé. If using these outside take care to check for wear as they are often made from cotton or hemp and can be worn by the weather. Traditionally hanging baskets are used for flowering plants and these are not only beautiful but many have useful magical properties. Red geraniums have traditionally been planted by witches to ward off negativity and can also be used in confidence spells or love work (use pink petals). Lobelia is a genus of attractive small annual and perennial plants that can be found in a range of colours. It is associated with the element of water and can be used in weather and love magic.
3. Square Foot Gardening
Square foot gardening divides a space into 12 x 12-inch sections and each is used for a different crop. It is often done in raised beds and is a good way of creating an easy to maintain and orderly garden. A different plant is grown in each square and once harvested another can be planted – either of the same variety or a different one entirely. The number of plants grown within each square depends on its size, larger plants such as tomatoes or cucumbers are planted one per square whereas smaller vegetables such as radishes or lettuces are planted with up to sixteen plants per 12 x 12 square. Herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers can easily be combined in square foot gardening.
4. Vertical Gardening
As its name suggests vertical gardening makes use of the height in a space, greatly increasing the growing area available. There are many ways to incorporate this method into your garden and this can be as simple as adding hanging baskets along a wall above other pots and containers. Many vertical gardening ideas make use of repurposed containers such as pallets, drainage pipes or guttering and plastic milk bottles so can be a great option for witches on a tight budget or those who are environmentally conscious. Shelving units, ladders, trellis and hanging storage racks also make good options for vertical gardening.
5. Indoor Gardening
Some outdoor plants are also suitable for growing inside. Herbs such as basil will grow happily on a sunny window sill and has many uses including in prosperity, love and protection workings. Oregano, thyme and rosemary can also be grown indoors and will beautifully fragrance any room they are placed in. Food crops such as lettuce leaves, tomatoes, spring onions and peppers can also be grown successfully indoors.
There are also many common houseplants that can be used magically, though some are harder to care for than others. Cacti can be bought in many shapes and sizes and require little daily care, however, they need to be placed in a warm sunny spot and kept out of drafts. Cacti spines can be used in protection spells but should be removed with care as they can cause skin irritation. Ferns are also thought of as protective and are believed to be a favourite with the fae. Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are an easy to grow houseplant that can also be propagated easily. They are said to keep a home protected and are often hung in pots so the long leaves have plenty of space.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Claire