GARDEN UPDATE FROM MS. WEST

Good-bye to Monarchs: October is the peak month for Monarch migration through Texas. We will track the progress of migrating Monarch butterflies as they fly south towards their wintering grounds in Mexico. We will sing them farewell, sew some wildflower seeds to provide nectar plants for their return, and start cutting back our tropical milkweed. We have been doing this for several years, and this year we want to share with neighbors and friends our goal of promoting Monarch health and migration. Students will bring home a handout about cutting back tropical milkweed that can be read and passed along to others. The handout will briefly summarize the following information about why it is necessary to cut back tropical milkweed. You can also find the handout HERE.

Wildflower seeds: Students will remove wildflower seeds from seed heads to prepare for spreading in our pollinator gardens. Some seeds will be distributed this week in the butterfly gardens. We will look at the differing size and shape of seeds, then measure seeds and record data in science journals along with drawings of seeds.

Weather observations: Students will continue to make their observations in the garden using our tools to measure rainfall, air temperature, soil temperature, and windiness. In addition, we will be tracking the time of sunrise and sunset. Observations will be recorded in student-made field notes or their science journal. Please bring science journals if students have not made field notes.

As you may know, the goal of our weather observations is to determine when it will be best to plant cool weather vegetables in our gardens. Here's too cool weather coming soon!

See you in the garden. — Ms. West, Travis Elementary Garden Coordinator