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MBY 336:4-12 Laws related to ‘zorea’/sowing and ‘kotzair’/harvesting (abridged)
[Based heavily upon Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:
80:28,61, “Metsudah” edition, with notes, translated and annotated by Rabbi Avrohom Davis]
28) Anyone who spills liquid on soil where something grows is guilty of violating the law against sowing (Footnote #108: ‘zorea’/sowing is one of the 39 melachos), for the liquid causes the soil to sprout. (Footnote #109: The Mishnah Berura rules in accordance with the opinion of the Rokeiach and Vilna Gaon that a person is also in violation of the law against ‘choresh’/plowing, because the ground is softened by the liquid. Therefore, even if the ground has not yet been sown, you must not spill water on it because of the law against plowing – i.e. if the ground is fit for agriculture. Footnote #110: Regarding liquids as promoting plant growth, Magen Avraham rules that it is best to be careful with all liquids, but Eliyahu Rabbah maintains that you need not be careful with wine, since, due its alcoholic content, it does not enhance growth. Ed: Based upon the consideration of plowing, it seems to me that there would be no difference between other liquids and wine…) Therefore, you should be mindful not to eat a meal in a garden; because it is difficult to be careful not to spill some liquid on the soil, and, besides this, it is forbidden to carry in a garden. (Footnote #111: This last comment refers to a garden of 70 amos – See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Chapter 83, whose title is: “The enclosure of partitions is useful only when fenced around dwellings”, i.e. not large garden and fields…)

61) If a vessel is used for planting herbs or roses for their beauty or fragrance, it is forbidden to pluck them from the vessel, just as it is forbidden to pluck them from a tree or bush. (Ed: The melacha involved is ‘kotzair’/harvesting.) Furthermore, care must be taken that such a vessel not be moved from the ground to set it in another place (Footnote #175: e.g. onto some object or platform – Shulchan Aruch 336:8), because when it stands on the ground it is nourished from the aroma of the soil, and therefore, removing it from there is like plucking something from the ground! (Footnote 175: From place to place on the ground is permitted, as far as ‘kotzair’ is concerned. However, Pri Megadim, as quoted by Mishnah Berura, rules that it may not be moved in any case, because of the law of muktzah), The converse is true as well: If a planter vessel is standing on an object or platform, it is forbidden to remove it and place it on the ground, because doing this is equivalent to sowing!
(Footnote #176: Biur Halacha 336:2 writes that if you intend to leave it on the ground for only a day or two, or if the land is dry there and not fit for growing, you may place it down, as far as ‘zorea’ is concerned. However, the issue of muktzah still remains, as mentioned above.) You must be diligent in all these matters, whether the vessel is or wood or of clay, and whether there is an opening on the bottom or not. (Footnote #177: According to Rashi, Tosafos and Shulchan Aruch 312:3, even when a vessel has an opening, moving it is merely a Rabbinic prohibition. Rambam maintains that the prohibition is from the Torah.)

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