Soil borne diseases affect the roots of plants and trees and can make them sick or even die. Some will kill a tray of seeds as soon as they germinate, others will affect garden plants or wipe out whole crops and some can even slowly kill a beautiful, mature tree in a forest.
They can be caused by different issues but the most common soil borne diseases result from the plant receiving too much water or being planted in the wrong type of soil. Soil borne diseases can also be transferred to an area through other diseased plants being introduced or people walking or driving soil into an area. This is why Australian bushland is often quarantined or production nurseries and farms are so stringent on hygeine.
The experiment that you can download below will help children find out which areas of their garden beds have a soil borne disease. If they do find any areas, it doesn’t mean that these beds can’t be planted into, just that the plants from here shouldn’t be transferred to other garden beds. In fact, most soils in Australia will have some form of soil borne disease but it comes down to the health of the plants as to whether they can thrive regardless.
Suitable for Years 5 to 9.
National Curriculum Area/s: Science