LEARNING ACTIVITY
Growing healthy plants using natural pesticides
Category: Food Production
Climate Region: Arid | Temperate | Tropical
State or Territory: ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA
Age Range: 7-13

STORY

The school garden classes were amongst Beth’s favourite. It felt great to be outside where she can chat with her friends and get her hands dirty. Beth and her friends were responsible for the rockmelons which grew well in their subtropical climate. While watering and weeding, Beth noticed lots of tiny insects on the new leaves of the rockmelon plants. There were too many to remove by hand! Beth and her friends Hayley and Eliza started researching for pest species that feed on rockmelons, and were able to identify the tiny insects as aphids. The girls agreed to prepare a natural pesticide to manage these aphids to they didn’t spoil the rockmelon crop they had been tending to for close to three months.

ACTIVITY OVERVIEW

Gardening and growing healthy plants is a priority for Junior Landcarers as plants are vulnerable to pests and diseases. Creating the right conditions for growth and investing in good care strategies can help keep them healthy in the long term. Using natural pesticides to treating plant pests along with regular monitoring can help. These pesticides are made from naturally occurring ingredients, they rid the plants of pests, limit diseases whilst keeping the plants, soil, wildlife, water sources and beneficial insects free from any unpleasant chemicals or negative environmental impacts.

Outcomes

For children to:
• understand how to cultivate healthy plants using organic gardening methods
• look to natural ingredients as a solution to ridding plants of unwanted pests and diseases
• know how to make a natural pesticide and evaluate the results of using it.

SEASONAL NOTES

Application of pesticides is generally weather dependent. It is best to apply the spray in non-windy conditions so as to prevent drift. Certain pests will be present in specific seasons and regions.

Did you know?

Plants are the primary source of food and nutrients for many organisms including humans.

Did you know?

Plants are constantly under attack from insects, small and large herbivores, fungi, pests, bacteria and viruses.

Did you know?

Aphids are a true bug (Order Hemiptera). Their mouthparts suck sap from plant shoots and stems. This can transmit viruses and leaf loss.

Did you know?

Plants are the primary source of food and nutrients for many organisms including humans.

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