Pat Morky: Bug Queen

By Avery R reeves! Emma Lippincott, Savannah Wallace and Sophia Niave 

On Tuesday, February 4th, Pat Mokry came to talk to the 7th graders about what kind of bugs we want and don’t want for a healthy garden, native plants, diseases that plants can get, and composting. Pat is a master gardener for Travis County.


With a great garden comes great responsibility. Pat told us some of the things we need to take into consideration, such as soil requirements, Texas temperatures, climate, water needs, and sunlight. At one point, she focused on diseases plants can get. These included fungi and mildew. She showed us a powerpoint complete with excellent visuals of good bugs, bad bugs, and various molds. This was helpful because molds, diseases and bugs can destroy plants, leaving your garden sickly and weak.

Pat talked about the different bugs that might appear in our garden. She told us the difference between the ‘good bugs’ and the ‘bad bugs’ and how to spot them. She talked about what bugs to avoid and what bugs we need to achieve a healthy garden. She then tested our knowledge with pictures of different bugs, and we had to choose if that bug was a ‘good bug’ or ‘bad bug’. She showed us pictures of healthy gardens and not so healthy gardens. The not healthy gardens quite possibly have struggled with fungi or bad bugs. Bad bugs, bad sunlight and bad water will make your garden into a dead garden.
Composting systems are very important to compost. That’s because most people like to be oraganized. So what are some good ideas of composting system IDEAS?
Composting helps our plants to grow and it also fertilizes the plants.
Compost helps plants to “breath”, and helps it to grow from their roots.
Compost helps by keeping the water for the plant, so it won’t dry out.
Is also the plants food.
Composting old fruits and veggies becomes ferlterlizer. But this kind is richer than the store bought kind. Since it is old veggies and fruits, it has Carbon and Nitrogen and that’s what plants need to grow. No wonder it’s richer. I believe the store bought kind is full of chemicals that make plants grow but not as fast.
Store bought ferlterlizer is full of chemicals.
Our plan for composting is: pour the pile of new ferltlizer in the plants once of month, only if it is ready. Our bin is a four by four foot bin.

Composting old fruits and leaves will hand your garden a good amount of rich fertilizer. Plus, it’s free! The rich fertilizer is nice for a plant because it’s made out of other plants, therefore, they are sharing their Nitrogen and Carbon. What does proper compost require? For a healthy compost, you need: Minerals, Humus, and a proper PH balance. Plants can attract the fungi that they need, though the plants in non-healthy gardens may not have proper resources needed to do that. This is why it is better to have native plants in your garden. Native plants are adapted to the harsh Texas weather, and mostly do not need much attention or water, so you can follow the water restrictions and have a beautiful garden at the same time.

In summary, Pat Mokry gave us great information that will definitely help us with our garden. Thank you, Pat!


One comment

  1. Brenda Puente · · Reply

    I like how you described what pat talked about and gave examples 🙂 Nice Job!

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