Friday, May 13, 2016

Herb Tea from the Marquez Garden

Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea

We grow both mint and lemon verbena in the Marquez Garden. Here is a recipe for a refreshing tea that can be served either hot or cold. I adapted this recipe from

1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves  (about 10 leaves)
1/4 cup of fresh lemon verbena leaves, rinsed, lightly packed (about 5-8 leaves)
1 cup of water

Bring a pot of fresh water almost to a boil. Put the leaves in a teapot. Pour the hot water over the leaves. After approximately 3 minutes pour the tea in a glass or cup. Use a strainer if you wish to keep the leaves out of the cup.

Read more:

Friday, May 6, 2016

Thanks to Kellogg's Garden Supply

Kellogg's Garden Supply donated 100 bags of soil to the Marquez School garden this week.  We received Xerimulch, Native Planting Mix, Raised Bed Planting Mix, Worm Gro and Patio Plus Outdoor Potting Mix.

The Xerimulch will be used to mulch the Native American Garden and some of the edible beds. Mulch keeps the soil moist, retards weeds and reduces the need for water. When we apply it we leave a small ring around each plant.

Native Planting Mix is a new product to use with drought tolerant natives, especially when planting in pots.

We add Worm Gro or other compost to all of our vegetable and flower beds before our fall and spring planting. It adds nutrients back into the soil. Remember, healthy soil makes for healthy plants.

I use the Raised Bed Potting Mix when starting new raised beds and reviving old ones.
This is the third year that we have received soil donations from this locally based company.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ms. Keller's Class and Mr. Lantos' Class Plant Seeds to Take Home

Fifth graders in Ms. Keller's and Mr. Lantos' class planted seeds in biodegradable containers this week. Some used Jiffy Pots and others used recycled cardboard egg cartons. They can take home and transplant into their gardens or into pots. These are biodegradable containers so the pots can be directly planted into the ground or the seeds can gently be taken out of the pots.

When three sets of leaves appear, the plants should be moved outside in the shade for a few hours for 4-5 days. This will get them used to the outside conditions. Then they can be transplanted into the ground.

Ms. Conn's Class Plants Seeds to Take Home

On May 2, Ms. Conn's 5th graders planted seeds in Jiffy Pots which they took home. The pots are made of biodegradable peat moss and wood pulp. Planting in these 3" round peat pots reduces transplant shock because they can be planted directly in the ground or in large containers.

The students chose from flower seeds and vegetable seeds. Sunflowers, beans and cucumbers were popular. They need to keep the soil and container moist and place in a sunny window. Before planting the seedlings should be hardened off by being placed outside in the shade for a few hours each day. When transplanting, either take the plant gently out of the container so the roots won't be disturbed, or plant directly in the ground. If planting directly in the ground, enlarge the hole at the bottom of the pot.

After planting the students helped in the garden by planting tomato plants, adding compost to other beds and watering. Thanks to the Pecsok family for donating tomato plants.