- Identify common health problems in seedlings
- Describe the solutions for common health problems in seedlings
Those initial days after the seeds have germinated can be the most nerve-wracking. So many things can go wrong that would derail the entire crop before it even gets started. Too much water, too little light, or any number of unforeseen issues could cause problems for young seedlings.
The challenge at this stage of plant development is that seedlings are nearly defenseless. The root systems aren’t very developed. Leaves are few. And stems are extremely fragile. That doesn’t provide much in the way of resistance to disease or less than perfect conditions.
But thanks to technology, conditions can be controlled giving young seedlings the best chances possible to thrive. Of course, when something goes sideways it’s important to diagnose the problem early and to respond quickly. This lesson will prepare you to do just that.
Teach the Teacher
Tools & Materials
- Printouts of the Common Seedling Problems Worksheet
- Pencils, pens, or Crayons
- Damping off
Introduction (15 minutes)
Begin the lesson with a brief review of the primary problems that seedlings face. Describe the symptoms, causes, and remedies. It’s helpful to display each seedling problem on a flat screen or Smart Board.
Activity (15 minutes)
Pass out copies of the worksheet so that each Student has one. Have them draw a line from the image showing a common problem to the remedy. When all Students have completed the worksheet, review the answers with the Class. Then have the Students inspect all the seedlings to identify any possible problems.
Discussion (10 minutes)
How often should we inspect our seedlings? Are we currently doing everything properly? What, if anything, could we do differently?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you can name one problem that seedlings face?
- Now that you know some of the common problems that seedlings face, how many of you think you could fix those problems with seedlings in the Lab?
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