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.


February 2016

Mushrooms!! RL

Our class did a spore print with mushrooms:-)

What you do is get a mushroom, even the ones at the store are fine, just make sure to take off the top layer of the mushroom, get a piece of paper and put the mushroom face down on the paper, let the mushroom sit for at least a day, and you will see spores from a mushroom! Pretty radical !!:-)

Spore print credit to Kayley G:-)P_20160229_133355.jpg


Asexual propagation- RL

Asexual propagation is a way of cloning to the parent plant.

What we did was we took cuttings of rosemary and succulent plants and planted them in newspaper pots 🙂 because we are all about recycling and reusing things .

Another way you could plant cuttings is in a water bottle . What I did was cut the top off the water bottle and poke 3 holes in the cap, then get a hand held hole puncher and make 2 holes on the sides after that get a string, however long you would like and put it through the holes. And then hang it from anywhere you prefer.

Kale- By Ashley and Nina

At Phoenix Charter High School, the students are growing kale and many other veggies in our garden.

You can grow Kale anytime from early Spring to early Summer. How you plant Kale is you mix 1 1/2 cups of 5-10-10 fertilizer. Then you dig 3-4inches into the soil, and then plant the kale seeds 1/4-1/2 into deep, well-drained, light soil.


After about 2 weeks, thin the seedlings so that they can space apart(8-9inches)

Then just wait and boom! you got yourself some delicious kale!

Soil Drainage by Nina Atkisson Ashley Burns

On January 27th my classmates and I went out to the Orchard to look at the quality of our soil.  Our orchard is in poor heath and in bad shape

So we decided to go dig 3 holes about 1 1/2 feet deep. One hole more up hill the other up more but on a flatter land and the other one going down hill. When digging the lower hole we found big blocks of cement. When we did the drainage test it was very well draining. As well the higher one up hill was well draining and big rocks coming out of it. The high one on flat ground had less rocks and took several hours to drain. Doing this we have a better idea of the quality of the Orchard is.  We think it is bad quality because it was badly taken care of and could use some fertilizer


New Plants for Spring! – K. H.

In the past few weeks, we have been learning the importance of crop rotation in a garden. For the spring harvest, we plan on adding a diverse variety of plants and vegetables in the beds and rotating which plants are planted in each bed. We have decided to start growing our plants for spring inside the greenhouse to accommodate for the winter weather and transplant them into the beds when the weather gets warmer. Among the vegetables we are planting are cilantro, sugar snap peas, and cauliflower. These plants will be extremely beneficial to both our garden and our school. We decided on these plants because they help provide our school and our kitchen with fresh and nutritional foods grown by the students and the staff. Rotation of crops reduces risks of harmful insects and diseases. I look forward to transplanting the plants in the spring and I hope that it will continue to benefit the garden for future students.

  • K.H.

Becker’s Vineyard – Caitlyn and Cameron

On February 1st, 2016, we went to Becker Vineyard to take a tour and see what it was all about. This vineyard was really large, but is actually one of the smallest when it comes to their wine production. Each year during the winter, when the grape plants are dormant, they all have to be pruned by hand. They have to go through each row and one by one cut off almost all of the vines, only leaving 2 canes to continue the growth of the plants for next harvest. The cool thing is they aren’t just throwing away these discarded vines. Instead, they have them chomped up and used in the soil as compost. So really, they’re just recycling the old vines to make the new ones better.

The grape vines at Becker’s were 15 years old. If they are not cared for properly, they can get out of hand and won’t be able to produce nice juicy wine grapes for the next harvest. That’s why each year they have to go through and prune each row. We got to help them with pruning their last row.

Then when they make the wine, they put it in large wine barrels. Each wine barrel carries $5,000 worth of wine. There are different types of barrels. They have ones made in America,  and some were made in France. Depending on what the barrel is made of, the wine in them will ferment into different flavors. Since different barrels affect the flavor of the wine, some barrels cost more than others.

Garden Leadership Class

The Garden Leadership class has been doing a lot of great work this term. First, we looked at old garden plans and notes so that we could decide what to plant in the coming months. We thought about crop rotation, companion planting, and what produce is most needed in the cafeteria and farmers market. We also worked on the soil in our outdoor garden, adding leaves, compost soil, and chicken manure to return nutrients to the Earth. Then, we started doing some community outreach to find people who will donate supplies so that we can help a local non-profit start their garden. This week, we started planting seeds indoors so that when the time comes, we can transplant the starts out into our garden. So far, we have started celery, cauliflower, and various types of peas. Today, we made some mini greenhouses with seedling heating pads and plastic domes so that we can start tomatoes, peppers, and rosemary, seeds that need soil that is a little bit warmer in order to germinate (the germination temperature for the first set of plants is 55-65 degrees, and the germination temperature for the second is 76-85 degrees).

I am really proud of everyone that I have gotten to work with in the garden. Even when we are being chased by terrible yellow jackets, we have got some hard workers and smart cookies!

-Lynn, AmeriCorps Horticulturalist

Look Up, Down, and Around by BN

Have you ever walked downtown and took the time to look Up, down, and around? We are hurting the trees as a society. We have calculated how far the root system reaches. All the trees roots reach a far ways under the asfault. This isn’t healthy for tree because this means the only place it is able to get water is at the base of of it. Another is have you  ever walked downtown or somewhere where the trees are planted in the sidewalk?  Did you notice the sidewalk rise up or cracked? Not only is it a  safety hazard for us its not healthy for the tree either. The roots are compacted and this constricts growth.


Continue reading “Look Up, Down, and Around by BN”

Tree Decay(Fungi)~SS

14551362040961587366295Several fungal diseases, sometimes called heart or sap rots, cause the wood in the center of trunks and limbs to decay. Almost all species of woody plants are subject to trunk and limb decay, although older, weaker trees are most susceptible. Decay fungi destroy the tree’s internal supportive or structural components—its cellulose and hemicellulose and sometimes its lignin. Wood decay makes trees hazardous, because trunks and limbs become unable to support their own weight and can fall, especially when stressed by wind, heavy rain, or other conditions.

Wood decay usually is a disease of old, large trees. It is very difficult to manage, but a number of factors can reduce the risk of serious damage. Properly prune young trees to promote good structure and avoid the need to remove large limbs from older trees, which creates large wounds.

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