Phoenix Garden

Phoenix School Learning Garden is focused on teaching students agricultural practices with hands-on experiences. Through this blog we hope to educate others and also learn from community members through discussions.

Winter Gardening Tips!

Ever had troubles trying to grow something in the winter time? Here a few tips on how to provide protection, food, and enough water during the winter season.

Tip #1 – Clean out all the weeds.

It’s not a fun job, but it’s got to be done-along with dead leaves and plants. This will help discourage pests and animals.

Tip #2- Prepare soil for spring.

Use this time to amend your soil and improve drainage in your garden. This will help you prepare for the busy spring season.

Tip #3- Plant winter crops.

Planting cover crops and other winter crops will not only provide you food during the winter but also provide nutrients to the soil and protect against erosion. Check which crops grow best in your region.

Tip #4- Watering.

Water plants when the first inch of the soil is dry. Plants growing in the winter need dramatically less water then you should in the summer garden. The soil does not need to kept moist.

Tip #5 Planning for the next season.

During this time you will have gathered information in order to plan for next season. You’ll need to plan ahead on what to plant and what materials you’ll need to plant or harvest the plants you’re will to plant for next season.

Written By: Kaylee J. Robbins and Beyliegh L. Mullinsgarden

Asexual propagation is created a new plant without using a seed. There are many different types of asexual propagation. The types we have used in the garden so far is called cutting and dividing. To do cuttings all you need to do is have one plant already grown, cut a small part of it off with a root and replant that in soil and water. dividing  is a bit different,to divide you dig up a root or rhizome and break it into many different pieces and replant those pieces. Other types of asexual propagation include grafting, layering, and budding.
We used asexual propagation to make tiny succulents.  We took a small cutting from a bigger plant and replanted those smaller plants in small white buckets. These cute plants were used as gifts for an event held at our school. I think they turned out really great and I enjoyed making them and seeing how small they could get, I thought they were really cute.

Sunflowers JH

Sunflowers are pretty amazing to me. They follow the movement of the sun throughout the day. They are also one of the fastest growing plants, and they grow a lot. They grow about 10 feet in 6 months, and the tallest one recorded is just over 30 feet. Each sunflower can grow up to 2,000 seeds on its head. The scientific name for sunflower, helianthus, literally means sunflower.


Not  only that, but sunflowers are very useful to a garden. They help plants like lettuce thrive with the shade they provide.  Their nectar has good protein in it that attracts bees. They also add nice aesthetic to the garden that makes it more beautiful. As you can see sunflowers have many great things to them and that’s why they are my favorite flower.

Food Fridays

Food Fridays is a fun way for students of phoenix to try new kinds of food that is fast easy and healthy to eat  for example Caprese Salad. Most of the ingredients is fresh from our own garden at our school. The ingredients we put in the meal are tomatoes,mushroom, basil, mozzarella cheese. But it was easy fast and good and especially healthy

Dividing Irises

We began to dig the irises up out of the ground along the side of the school. Digging them up was actually pretty time consuming and took a lot of effort considering we didn’t want to break the roots and tried not to. Unfortunately, I broke a couple of roots, but no big deal. There are plenty of other irises. Once we dug them all up, they were then divided. Dividing them calls for better blooming. Basically, dividing them just consists of removing the old leaves so they can grow new leaves and keeping the good ones that will continue to grow. The second part to this was planting. We took the bulbs and irises up to the orchard. Holes were dug up with shovels, where the bulbs and irises were set in the holes, about an inch or so deep, then covered with the soil that we had dug up. We are hoping they continue to develop and grow.


Our goal in Agricultural Science is to make class time; fun time. Which is where the idea of Food Friday’s comes in. Each Friday we pick fresh produce, planted/grown by students, from our own garden here at Phoenix. This week our produce of choice was basil, food of choice? pesto!

Basil grows very fast in 80-90 degree weather. Basil will need at least 6 to 8 hours of sun. You should set out the plants at least 2 weeks after the last frost in spring. Spacing is also very important. When spacing, generally they should be 12 to 18 inches apart. Basil likes rich, moist, well-drained soil. It is harvested constantly for lots of leaves, so it needs fertilizer. When planting, add plenty of organic nutrients from compost, blood meal, or cottonseed meal to the soil.

The recipe that we used for the pesto consists of;

Basil leaves

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Pine nuts


and Parmesan cheese.

The ingredients were then put into a food processor and pulsed until it was a paste like consistency. The pasta was boiled and drained, then the pesto was tossed into the pasta and we even added some tomato! Most students weren’t very fond of the pesto, but the point is to get them to try something new even if they didn’t like it. I personally liked it, but that’s because I’ve had pesto before and I’m a fan of it, when others may have never had it or just don’t like it. Pesto is a great, tasty, healthy food choice that goes great in many other recipes. It can be used in spaghetti, pizza, butter, salad, etc. And not only that, but pesto is super easy to make and you can also store it in the freezer if you have leftovers and don’t know what to do with it!

I think that Food Friday’s are great because it teaches us students new recipes and ideas. Which also teaches us more about growing produce and learning more about it since we plant and harvest the produce straight from our own garden. Plus, you get to eat the food after we make it, who could complain about that?!

Food Fridays

Food Fridays is a good way for the students to try new food fresh from the garden. On every Friday we use food from the garden like in this photo we used tomatoes (from our garden), fresh mozzarella, basil (from our garden), balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. I really love doing food Fridays because it allows me to try new things that I would have never thought to make.

Also another good thing about food Friday is it teaches students to try and eat healthy. The food we make is always healthy and very good to eat. I hope that food Fridays help students eat healthy and helps people try new kinds of food. We have made so much food like pico de gallo, pasta. I love all the food we make on food fridays and I hope we never get rid of them.

Dividing irises

Dividing irises is a very good thing to do for the plant and the environment around it when you divide them and the irises can be kept healthy and full of bright beautiful pedals. By dividing the pedals. This is also a good way to increase the stocks of the plants. To divide your irises start by lifting the rhizomes out of the ground with a spade or a fork. If possible, lift the whole mass out whole, but if you are unable to do this, carefully break the rhizomes into smaller parts and then lift them out, try to shake off as much dirt as u can from the rhizomes.


The best time to plant and transplant the irises is late july through september. Irises love the heat and drier weather of summer and the summer dividing will reduce the incidence of bacterial soft rot. Another reason to divide irises is because it will help make your garden look beautiful and it helps the bees get nectar when they need it.

Asexual planting

When you cut a plant like in the picture this is called cuttings. And when you cut a plant and replant it you are using the same generics and it is going to be a look alike. Another asexual propagation is layering and that works by using limbs from a tree and bending them to start a new tree. There four ways to do asexual propagation and another is offsets and that is when you take a plant like an iris and you look at the rhizomes and the offset is the plant that grew on the other end of the rhizome.

The other three are separation, division, and grafting. Separation is when you take like an example a piece of garlic and you plant it that separation. For division that is when you take a division of a plant and divide it into smaller plants. The last one is grafting and that is when u take a limb from another plant and make an ision in the plant and tie it together. Like an example of an oak tree and a maple. You would take one of the limbs and cut them to fit into one another and then you would tie them together and they would grow with the new limb.

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