Organic & Bioenergetic Gardening
Quick Links: Channeling Life-Force to the Garden | Moon Phase & Astrological Signs Gardening Charts | Crystal Gardening Chart | Comfrey Fertilizer | Companion Planting Chart
For me, gardening is a passion. Being actively involved in the care and nurturing of the natural world is one of the best ways I know to expand my consciousness and connect with our life-giving mother earth on a deeper and more profound level. It is also deeply satisfying to know that I am participating in consciously based gardening practices that will have a positive effect on the health and healing of our planet!
The information presented here is not an "A-Z guide" to gardening. Instead it can be used to supplement and enhance your current practices.
By now, many of us are aware of the importance and benefits of organic gardening. But what does it mean to garden bio-energetically? Bio-energetics is defined as: The study of energy transformation in living organisms and systems-or-The study of energy in life.
I use the term bioenergetic gardening as a way to describe a system of gardening and interacting with the vegetative world in a more holistic way. Being aware of not only the water, sunlight and nutrients that a plant needs to grow, but also learning about the energetic needs of individual plants. Remember that a garden is a living system and the care and thoughtful energy we put into it will have a direct effect on how it will gift us in return.
Channeling Life Force
To really get your garden off to a good start, try sending it some love! The act of consciously directing energy into plants and seeds can have a profound effect on their health and vitality as they grow. The energy you emit is a real, palpable thing, so consciously sending focused, loving energy into the things you grow can bring about real, palpable results! The energy of emotions such as love and gratitude are extremely powerful and can give your plants that extra boost they need at the beginning of their life cycle.
Before you plant that beautiful geranium that caught your eye in the garden center, try this exercise in channeling life force:
Take a deep breath, inhaling to the count of six, hold the breath for a count of four then slowly exhale to the count of six. Repeat this breathing cycle two or three times till you feel energized and focused. Now place your hands, palms down, a few inches above your plant. Visualize a violet-white light streaming down from above your head, into your crown chakra and moving down and out through the palms of your hands. Anchor that image in your mind for a few moments and then speak to your plant, either silently or aloud, expressing the appreciation and joy you feel for it becoming part of your garden space. Express your gratitude for the gifts that it will bring and ask its guardians (the nature faeries) to protect it.
This exercise will help to ease transplant shock and ready your plant to thrive in its new home!
Note: If you have many plants to transplant just group them closely and run energy to them all simultaneously... no need to do it one at a time. This is also a great technique to use before sowing seeds.
Now that you've gotten your plants off to a healthy energetic start, it's time to think about planting. A good place to begin is with the phases of the moon
A hundred years ago, and for thousands of years prior, many farmers (and entire civilizations, in fact) planned the planting of their crops in accordance with the moon cycles. Today, with all of our scientific advances and knowledge, it seems many of us have forgotten the wisdom of our past. When we return to our roots we remember that energy is everywhere... and when we become conscious of how to recognize and use that energy, we truly become co-creators of the world around us...instead of merely observers! Consider the influence of the moon's energy on bodies of water. Just as its gravitational pull dictates the tides of the sea, this powerful energy has an effect on all living things. Think of those flowers, fruits and vegetables growing in your garden. They're made up of cells and minerals and numerous other substances, but mostly, they're made up of water. For example, a tomato is about 95% water, corn is about 70%, and most flowers are right around 90%! So as you can imagine, an energetic force that has such a powerful influence on our oceans is quite likely to have a pretty strong influence on our vegetation as well! And when we understand the patterns of how this energy works, we can harness it to bring about the results we are trying to achieve. So before you sow those seeds, or tuck that newly purchased rose bush in to the ground, stop and consider where the moon phase is at. You can refer to the Phases of the Moon section of this site to learn more about the cycles of the moon and the specific energetic influences of each cycle, but here is a quick reference guide for moon phase gardening.
MOON PHASE GARDENING CHART
New moon Through First Quarter (Waxing Moon) - Sow seeds of above ground crops such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli and chard. Sow annual flowers like petunias, geranium, calendula and zinnias.
Second Quarter (Waxing Moon) - Continue sowing above ground crops like eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, melons and flowering annuals.
Full Moon - Gather magical and medicinal herbs now. Sow slower germinating seeds like lobelia. Fruits and vegetables harvested just after the full moon are said to have increased flavor.
Third Quarter (Waning Moon) - Sow root crops like carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Sow perennial plants. Plant bulbs and tubers.
Fourth Quarter to Dark Moon (Waning Moon) - Do not sow seeds. Prepare new planting beds, weed, prune and harvest. Transplant plants and seedlings now to ensure a strong root system.
Now for those who'd like to get even more specific, you may want to try gardening along with the lunar astrological signs as well! Like the moon, each of the twelve signs of the zodiac has its own unique energy which affects the garden in specific ways. Each sign appears at least once in the moons monthly cycle and lasts from two to three days. There are actually several different schools of thought as to which astrological days are best for what. The chart below offers the standard that I have found most useful; however, it's important to remember that the way you feel as you garden is passed energetically to the plants as well. If gardening becomes a ridged regimen of tasks and begins to feel more like a chore, you and your plants will suffer! Appreciating and enjoying your time in the garden are some of the best ways to pass on life promoting energy and encourage healthy growth.
MOON SIGNS FOR GARDENING
Earth days: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Good days to plant and transplant.
Air days: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Harvest crops, especially flowers, on these days (best when the moon is in Aquarius). Weed garden beds. Draw on the mental aspect of the air sign to plan and design new garden areas.
Water days: Pieces, Cancer, Scorpio
Plant and transplant on these days. These are good days for tending to irrigation needs. Also auspicious days for drawing up those deep emotions and sending love and gratitude to your garden.
Fire days: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Do not plant. Instead use that fire energy to perform garden maintenance like digging, tilling and weeding. Aries and Sagittarius are also good days for harvesting crops.
Now that plants are planted and seeds are sown, it's time to tend to the garden. Another important aspect of being energetically conscious gardeners is the way we choose to feed and care for our plants and soil. When we think about our garden in a holistic way, we realize why it is so important to implement organic methods. Not only do the fertilizers and sprays we use impact the vegetation we use them on, they also have an impact on the insects, the soil and the energetic beings who live synergistically together in our gardens. Using products and methods that improve the state of the garden as a whole helps to create balance and promote an overall wellbeing.
Creating a soil that is so rich in nutrients that your plants need little help is of course the ultimate goal, but this can take many years to accomplish. In the meantime there are many very effective organic fertilizers that you can use to help ensure your plant have the nutrients they need to thrive. Products like fish emulsion and kelp sprays are great sources of top quality nutrition for your plants, but let’s focus on some lesser known strategies that may be utilized to help the garden along.
Crystals in the Garden!
We know that crystals are a valuable tool in balancing and healing our bodies, but have you ever thought of using them in your garden? Chosen specifically for their individual properties, crystals can be another great way to gift your plants with some extra energetic love!
Below is list of crystals that can be of particular help in the garden, followed by ideas for practical application. Try experimenting with this list or use other crystals that feel energetically appropriate to you. You may want to chart your results for future reference!
CRYSTAL GARDENING CHART
Honey Calcite- Useful for cleansing toxins
Amber, Jasper, Peridot- Useful for increasing energy and vitality in plants
Blue Quartz- Useful for increasing plants immune systems
Turquoise- Use to protect plants and garden area from stress
Obsidian- Use to protect plants and garden area from negative energies
Opal- Useful in creating harmony and unity in the garden
Clear Quartz- Useful in harmonizing and balancing energy in the garden
For an effective and efficient way to enhance your entire garden with the energy from your crystals, try using them to energetically infuse your organic sprays and fertilizers. Simply add one or a combination of several stones to your homemade or purchased products and leave them outdoors for a few days during a waxing or full moon. When you're ready for an application simply remove the crystals and apply your products as usual. Wash your stones by soaking them in a solution of salt water for an hour or so and they'll be ready to go when you need them again!
Plant Some Comfrey
This perennial herbaceous plant is extremely easy to grow. Prized for its medicinal properties, it is also an invaluable plant for use in the organic garden. The leaves contain nitrogen, silica, calcium, iron, magnesium and especially potassium, making it an excellent organic fertilizer. It also works well as a compost activator and can even be used as mulch around your flowers and vegetables! A few dried leaves in the bottom of a hanging basket or flower pot will help keep plants beautiful all season long.
Make Your Own Liquid Comfrey Fertilizer:
In the bottom of a bucket (any size will do), place one or any combination of several crystals from the crystal gardening list. Fill the bucket with some freshly harvested or dried comfrey leaves, cover with water and secure a piece of plastic with a few holes in it over the top of the bucket. Set the bucket outside where it will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight each day, and let the mixture steep for 10 days to two weeks (I like to start my fertilizers on the new moon, and finish them on the full moon for an extra energetic boost). When the solution is ready, strain out the liquid - yes, it smells bad - and save it in an airtight container. Be sure to remove those crystals and give them a good salt water soak so they'll be ready for the next time you need them! When you're ready to use your fertilizer simply add 1 part comfrey solution to 10 parts water in a spray bottle or garden sprayer and use as a foliar feed, spraying generously on your flowers and vegetables. Remember, this spray will be high in Potassium, which will help produce stronger, more disease resistant plants, help yield more flowers and crops, and help plants better utilize water.
--Don't forget to use a good organic compost around the entire garden as well. This will help supply your plants and soil with Nitrogen, which is essential for healthy growth and leaf set as well increased fruit production. You can make your own compost tea (liquid compost fertilizer) by following the same method as above with the liquid comfrey spray. Apply every few weeks to your nitrogen loving crops as needed.
COMPANION PLANTING OR SYMBIOSIS
Plants that are energetically compatible with one another tend to grow well together and complement each other in the garden. Just like people, being surrounded by "friends" who support them helps plants become healthier, happier and more productive. Not only does the practice of companion planting provide some very practical and useful organic gardening benefits, it provides important energetic support for your garden family as well!
COMPANION PLANTING CHART
Asparagus- Friends - Parsley, basil, nasturtium, tomato
Enemies - Onions, garlic
Beans (Bush)- Friends - Beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, leek, marigold, parsnip, pea, potato, radish, rosemary, strawberry, sunflower. Enemies - Basil, Fennel, Kohlrabi, onion family, gladiolus, fennel
Beans (Pole)- Friends - Carrot, cauliflower, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, marigold, pea, potato, rosemary, strawberry. Enemies - Basil, beet, cabbage, fennel, Kohlrabi, onion family, radish, sunflower, gladiolus
Beet- Friends - Bush bean, cabbage family, corn, leek, lettuce, lima bean, onion, radish. Enemies - Mustard, pole bean
Broccoli- Friends - Beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, chard, cucumber, dill, Kale, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, onion family, oregano, potato, rosemary, sage, spinach, tomato. Enemies - Pole bean, lima bean, snap bean, strawberry
Brussels Sprout- Friends - Beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, cucumber, lettuce, nasturtium, onion family, pea, potato, radish, spinach, tomato herbs. Enemies - Kohlrabi, pole bean, strawberry
Cabbage- Friends - Beet, bush bean, chamomile, carrot, celery, cucumber, dill, kale, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, onion family, potato, rosemary, sage, spinach, thyme, tomato. Enemies - Strawberry, tomato, pole bean
Cantaloupe- Friends - Corn. Enemies - Potato
Carrot- Friends - Bean, brussel sprouts, cabbage, chive, leaf lettuce, leek onion, pea, pepper, red radish, rosemary, sage, tomato. Enemies - Dill, celery, parsnip
Cauliflower- Friends - Beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, cucumber, dill, kale, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, onion family, potato, rosemary, sage, spinach, tomato. Enemies - Pole bean, strawberry, tomato
Celery- Friends - Bush bean, cabbage, cauliflower, leek, parsley, pea, tomato. Enemies - Carrot, parsnip
Corn- Friends - Bush bean, beet, cabbage, cantaloupe, cucumber, morning glory, early potato, parsley, pea, pumpkin, squash. Enemies - Tomato
Cucumber- Friends - Bush bean, cabbage, corn, dill, eggplant, lettuce, nasturtium, pea, radish, sunflower, tomato. Enemies - Potato, aromatic herbs, sage
Eggplant- Friends - Bush bean, pea, pepper, potato. Enemies - None
Kale- Friends - Beet, bush bean, celery, cucumber, lettuce, nasturtium, onion, potato, spinach, tomato aromatic herbs. Enemies - Pole bean
Kohlrabi- Friends - Beet, bush bean, celery, cucumber, lettuce, nasturtium, onion, potato. Enemies - Pole bean, tomato
Leek- Friends - Beet, carrot, celeriac, celery, onion, parsley, tomato. Enemies - Bean, pea
Lettuce- Friends - most everything, especially basil, beets, carrots, garlic, onion family and radish. Enemies - None
Lima bean- Friends - Beet, radish. Enemies - None
Onion Family- Friends - Beet, broccoli, cabbage, chamomile, carrot, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, parsnip, pepper, summer savory, strawberry, spinach, tomato, turnip. Enemies - Asparagus, bean, pea, sage
Parsley- Friends - Asparagus, corn, tomato. Enemies - None
Parsnip- Friends - Bush bean, garlic, onion, pea, pepper, potato, radish. Enemies - Caraway, carrot, celery
Pea- Friends - Bean, carrot, celery, chicory, corn, cucumber, eggplant, parsley, potato, radish, spinach, strawberry, sweet pepper, turnip. Enemies - Gladiolus, onion family.
Pepper- Friends - Carrot, eggplant, onion, parsnip, pea, tomato. Enemies - Fennel, kohlrabi
Potato- Friends - Bush bean, cabbage family, corn, dead nettle, eggplant, horseradish, marigold, parsnip, pea. Enemies - Cucumber, pumpkin, raspberry, rutabaga, squash family, sunflower, tomato, turnip.
Pumpkin- Friends - Corn, eggplant, nasturtium, radish. Enemies - Potato
Radish- Friends - Bean, beet, cabbage family, carrot, chervil, corn, cucumber, leaf lettuce, melon, nasturtium, parsnip, pea, spinach, squash family, sweet potato, tomato. Enemies - Hyssop
Rutabagas- Friends - Nasturtium, onion family, pea. Enemies - Potato
Soy beans- Friends - Everything. Enemies - None
Spinach- Friends - Cabbage family, celery, legumes, lettuce, onion, pea, radish, strawberry. Enemies - Potato
Squash- Friends - Celeriac, celery, corn, dill, melon, nasturtium, onion, radish. Enemies - Potato
Strawberry- Friends - Bean, borage, lettuce, onion, pea, spinach. Enemies - Cabbage family
Tomato- Friends - Asparagus, basil, bee balm, bush bean, cabbage family, carrot, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, pot marigold. Enemies - Pole bean, dill, fennel, kohlrabi, potato
Turnip- Friends - Onion family, pea. Enemies - Potato
And last but certainly not least, don't forget to make friends with the local faery folk and ask for the protection and assistance in growing a most spectacular garden!