To determine whether seeds germinate better in wet paper towels or in soil.
There two main ways to germinate a seed – in a wet paper towel or in soil. If the seed is germinated in soil, it does not need replanting into a pot. If a seed is germinated in a wet paper towel, the seed must then be transplanted into a pot with soil for the plant to grow. Which is the better way?
- 3 plastic cups
- Paper towels
- Plastic or traditional plates
- 1 gallon distilled water
- Potting soil
- Journal or logbook
- Small knife (you will need an adult’s help)
- 6 seeds
Estimated Experiment Time
A few days.
- 1. Prepare three plastic cups with soil.
- 2. Knick the six seeds with the knife (ask an adult to help you with this) and plant three of them about ¼ inch deep in the cups with the soil.
- 3. Take the other three seeds and place them in the fold of a three different paper towels and place each one on a plate.
- 4. Water the paper towels until wet (not soaking) and water the soil cups as well. Don’t overwater!
- 5. Place all the seeds in a warm, dark room.
- 6. You will want to water the soil cups or wet the paper towels again when they start to feel dry.
Seeds need to be in a warm, wet and dark environment to germinate well. Make sure the seeds are in the same amount of darkness, are the same temperature and have the same amount of water to decrease the number of variables in your experiment. Remember to use distilled water instead of tap water!
Monitor the seeds daily when you check for water and make notes about the germination process. Note which seeds germinated when, and how well they germinated.
When all seeds are germinated and you have collected all the data, chart the results on a graph. Which method of germinating seeds worked the best? Which seeds germinated the fastest? Did the two different methods produce seed germination equally? If one method did germinate the seeds faster than the others, which seeds actually germinated better? Which seeds had thicker, longer sprouts? Your graph will help you determine which method of seed germination worked better and produced the best results.
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