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.


June 2016

killing the weeds TJ

Our garden has an area with lots of weeds.  We want to use this area to extend our  garden with more beds.  We are using a black tarp to cover them. These tarps are gonna help kill them because it causes a lack of sunlight and rain. We are using the tarp because of the effects of a pesticide. The reason we don’t use pesticide is because we have an organic garden. Using pesticides could get on other plants and kill them as well. It can also be difficult to control. By using the black tarp we are staying organic and can kill a large area of the weeds. So far the tarp has been working well, the weeds are brown and dried up.


why do leaves get sun-burnt? TJ

Some plants produce sun leaves in direct sun and shade leaves where the leaves are shaded by others. Sun leaves become thicker than shade leaves because they develop longer palisade cells or an additional layer of palisade cells.

Lindleys plant is sun burnt because lack of sun control. When you look at it you can see the plants leaves outline on other leaves. A way to prevent this is to hardening off the plant. This is when you slowly introduce the plant to the sun. For example you can put it out for 30 minutes one day, 40 the next and so on.

No More Tomatoes In The Green House This Summer. By; Ashley Burns




No more tomatoes in the beds of the green house. Over the past 3-4years, all they have been planting during the summer is tomatoes in the beds. The soil isn’t good anymore, and can be no longer used. Growing the same crop over and over and over will ruin the soil for future crops, and destroy the nutrients in it. Switching out which plant is planted each year can prevent soil to go bad. Because if you’re just planting a tomatoes plant every year, and you get pest. And every year you plant more and more tomatoes bring in more pest causing disease.  That’s why you should do crop rotation. Crop Rotation is very good for your garden or food crop. When doing rotation, it leaches the soil of one kind of nutrient is followed during the next growing season by a dissimilar crop that returns that nutrient to the soil. To bad were not having tomatoes this summer but there’s always next year!:)

Why are Earthworms Important by Nina Atkisson

Earthworms are very important in more ways than so. You could practically call them “ecosystem engineers”

Earthworms change the structure of their environments. There are different types of earthworms which makes different types of  burrows. Some go horizontal and some vertical. They mix soil layers, the tunnels allow soil air and water to get to the roots of the plants. Plants do not grow without air and water getting to them. Most soil has earthworms roaming around in it. Earthworms have a positive effect on ba cteria and fungi in soils. Where earthworms are present there are more bacteria and fungi and they are more active. This is important as bacteria and fungi are key in releasing nutrients from organic matter and making them available to plants. They are also an important source of food in their own right for many other animals that live in soils. If you want more earthworms in your garden you can do so by adding more organic soil.

Earthworms that you are likely to run into are: Night crawlers, Garden worms, Manure worms, and red worms.

Day of Caring – Cameron Bennett

Saturday, May 21st, 2016, was dedicated to cleaning up our green house and getting organized. This day was known as the day of caring. 16 people came from Ingram Books to help do this. With their help, we cleaned up the green house and back garden area until it was spic and span. There was a lot of cleaning to do, but, with all of the help, it only took 3 hours to finish.

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Bee Box – Caitlyn Campbell


Recently, we’ve gotten some new friends in our garden.

In the garden, we have a new box of bees. I know that bees can be frightening, but they’re actually really beneficial to your garden. As pollinators, they offer an important ingredient to maintaining a healthy garden. Without bees, who would pollinate our crops? We need the bees to go from plant to plant, carrying pollen to another flower of the same species. This way, our plants can be fertilized and start fruit and seed production.

In our case, we have a bee box to house our bees, but if you don’t have that kind of access, there are some other ways to attract bees into your garden. It’s important for you to create a habitat for the bees by providing pollen and nectar, and shelters in your garden space.

“There are four essential elements for designing a bee garden:

  1. Choose plants that are best suited for attracting bees in your region
  2. Limit the use of insecticides that are toxic to bees and other beneficial pollinators
  3. Provide shelter in your garden from elements such as wind, rain, or cold
  4. Create habitat for the nest of the pollinator to support the entire life cycle of the pollinator from egg to larva to adult.” (


How to get rid of rollie pollies out of your garden.. By; Ashley Burns

Pillbugs, rollie-pollies, sowbugs, woodlice, potato bugs, we’re all familiar with those cute little bugs that roll up into an armadillo like ball when threatened. But they’re not so cute when they get into your garden and eat the plants and vegetables you’ve worked so hard to grow.

Rollie Pollies can become a burden in your garden, but luckily today I’m going to tell you some tips on getting these bugs out of your garden.

Before having to worry about getting rollie pollies out of your garden, it’s a lot easier to keep them from getting in to begin with.Rollie pollies feed on dead or decaying plants or animals as well as live plants, fruits, and vegetables. They live in moist shady places, like under leaves.

To get rid of rollie pollie bugs reduce the habitat favored by these pests by getting rid of garden debris, leaf piles, fallen fruit and weeds from all growing areas.

Use mulches that are coarse enough to let water pass through easily so the surface next to plants will not remain damp for long.

Improve air circulation around plants by providing trellises for vines and raising fruits, such as strawberries and melons, up off the ground.

or you could even try this!

You’ll need a bottle of beer, it doesn’t really have to be cold. Other fluids or beverages will not work. A few empty tuna cans that have been washed out.

Find out which areas of your garden have a rollie pollie problem. In those areas, make a little hole in the soil that is the same size as an empty tuna can. Place an empty tuna can in the hole so that the top of the can is even with the soil level.

Poor beer into each empty tuna can until it is not quite full. And that’s it. Over the next few days, the bugs that are in that area of the garden will be drawn to the beer, fall in the can, and drown.

I hope these tips work!:)


What you didn’t know about sunflowers. By; Ashley Burns

Here’s some cool facts about sunflowers you probably didn’t know!
Did you know that sunflower are actually thousands of teeny flowers, crazy right.    The yellow petals and fuzzy brown centers are actually individual flowers themselves, they can have more than two thousand flowers on a sunflower.
Planning to clip a few to display in a vase? If you wait until the afternoon, they might be already wilted.. You should always harvest sunflowers in the morning, so you don’t have wilted flowers.
Each sunflower can contain as many as 1,000 to 2,000 seeds. That’s a lot of seeds!!
There are about 70 species of sunflowers. Their genus name is Helianthus (which comes from the Greek words for  sun and flower.) While many varieties look bright and cheery, their shapes can be quite different.
The tallest sunflower on record was over 30 feet tall.Coming in at 30′ 1”, the bloom was grown in Germany by Hans-Peter Schiffer.
 Did you know that Sunflowers have been planted to help soak up nuclear radiation. Sunflowers are actually good at absorbing toxins.
Crazy how many things i didn’t know about Sunflowers. Thanks for reading:)

Cicada’s by SB

image.jpegCicada’s are insects, best known for the songs sung by most, but not all, male cicada’s. They make this sound by flexing their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens.

Cicada’s begin life as a rice-shaped egg, which the female deposits Ina groove she makes in a tree limb, using her ovipositor. Once they egg hatches the cicada begins to feed on the tree fluids. Once the young cicada is ready, it crawls from the groove and fall to the ground where it will dig until it finds the roots to feed on. Once the roots are found the cicada will stay underground from 2-17 years depending on the species.

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