Grade Level: 4th - 7th; Type:Botany
Discover whether packaged seeds, despite having an expiration date printed, actually do expire.
- What are the parts of a plant seed?
- What causes a seed to germinate?
Seed packages have expiration dates--but does that mean they'll no longer grow if planted? In this experiment, we'll find out.
- Packages of old, expired seeds: You'll need to ask friends and family, or ask your local gardening supply store
- Packages of new seeds that are the same kind/variety as the expired seeds
- Soil with fertilizer
- Pick a location rich in equal amounts of sunlight to plant your seeds.
- Separate two spots for your two groups of seeds, at least six inches apart.
- Dig holes for your seeds- insert your expired seeds in one section and the new seeds in the other. Cover the hole(s) up.
- Give the seeds their first taste of water- you should water it a bit everyday or when it looks dry and the soil feels dry. You don't need to water them when it rains.
- Observe the seeds daily and see which one germinates first.
- If growth is spotted, measure the height with your ruler and record the measurement.
- Compare the heights when several weeks have passed and note any significant differences.
Terms/Concepts:Plant growth process; germination; Photosynthesis; Seeds; Water
Rabinowitch E, Govindjee (1969). Photosynthesis. London: J. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-70424-5.
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