School gardeners invite & encourage staff to garden this summer
You don’t need a green thumb to have fun!!! You may have received the handout “Thingstodo STUDENTS garden ” from science teacher Sarah Collins (who does not work summers). Here, some more ways to get involved
1) Water the Plants on Denton Place between the side dismissal doors. These round and square planters are filled with pollinator friendly plants and flowers. Because they aren’t edible, the plants can be watered from the storm water catchment system aka rain barrels. Fill watering cans with the faucet on one of the tanks. Each planter or section of a planter needs at least one full can…Please water before 10am so the wet leaves and plants don’t get burned. (Note: The edible plants (tomatoes, etc) in the garden space on the corner of 1st and Denton Place are on a timer based irrigation system. If you suspect the watering system is not working, please email email@example.com
2) Pick and Eat produce in the edible garden on 1st place. When ripe, you can harvest tomatoes, basil, eggplant, lemon verbena, ground cherries and more!
3) Plant Beans in 1st two beds (PreK-1, PreK-2) **Time sensitive/ Must be done by Friday July 8th.** We’re removing the snap peas this weekend, leaving behind nasturtium and prepping beds for various types of beans. A teacher, para or therapist will have a clean slate (and prepped bed) to work with on the first day of summer school July 5th. Find various packets of bean seeds in the garden inbox in the PTA desk area in the cafe.
4) Plant Kale By late July, the squash will be done and, after plants are removed, an interested teacher or staffer can lead some kids implanting kale.
5) Sign Up to get notifications about all summer garden info via https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/summer372garden
- Bees and earthworms are crucial to the garden’s success. Learn to love them! Bees won’t hurt you if you stay calm. They’re in the garden to eat the flowers, not to bite or sting people.
- Use hose without pushing buttons. If you need to use the hose on 1st place, please be sure to leave the settings as you found them.Dial: Keep at timer. Grey lever for manual hose — positioned up/ NOT sticking out). Blue pipe handle: In the ON position (sticking out).
- Experiment! The garden committee is happy to support garden-related food and art projects such as making mint-infused lemonade, sketching or journaling. We will reimburse for one-time expenses up to $30.; please request pre-approval for expenses greater than $30. Garden@ps372pta.org ASAP (Examples: Jiffy pots for propagation, recipe ingredients, paper plates, cups, chips for garden-made dip, etc). Spritzers for students are a great investment! Find them at the hardware store.
- Ask questions Some summer staffers, such as Mr Unyque, Ms Chandra T and Ms. Amy V, are familiar with the garden. If you see something unusual (wilting or yellowing or powdery white mildew on the leaves) cat poop,etc, please send a photo or note to firstname.lastname@example.org and a parent gardener will attend to it over the weekend. Don’t be shy — we are happy to hear from you!
- Join the Google Group to Get Info. Student teachers and other outside providers may be out of the loop. To get notifications about the garden, join https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/summer372garden
MORE ANYTIME ACTIVITIES
- Hunt for insects. Count the number of lady bugs, aphids caterpillars, beetles, etc that you see. You can take photos and, later when back in the classroom, use an online tool such as Insect identification By State or Project Noah to identify the bug and/or report the siting. Good questions to ask: Friend or Foe? Is this insect beneficial to the plants or is it damaging the plants/harvest.For example, black flies and aphids (tiny yellow bugs) can damage plants while friendly bugs such as lady bugs help the plants by eating the aphids and other pests.
- Steward Specific Plants Students can chose a plant to be “theirs” during the session. They can monitor its health and growth every time you visit the garden and note findings in a field journal.
- Taste, Touch, Smell Herbs. Spend time around the herbs in the main teaching bed, which has bench seating around it. The sensory garden includes lemony-smelling lemon verbena, lime balm, peppermint and spearmint, rosemary, lavender, and eucalyptus. Pick off leaves and try to identify the plant by smell or taste.
- Propagate mint or lavender from cuttings. Find instructions here. This can likely be down with supplies such as one jiffy pot per student, top soil& compost from the bags in the garden and scissors to take cuttings from lavender, spearmint, peppermint of mountain mint. (Consider also reusing small plastic cups/pots in garden that have drainage holes. Ms. Chandra can advise)
- Cook with Your Students For inspiration, click through to see some of the recipes and projects that the students enjoyed last summer: