Potty Gardening Club: Growing from Seed
Hello again Potty gardeners,
Did you do any of the previous experiments? Keep watching them, they will grow! This week we are continuing with growing things. Plant seeds come in many different shapes and sizes. Look at the picture below of just some of the seeds I have in my greenhouse.
From these tiny seeds some large plants will grow. Some of the fastest seeds to germinate and grow are from a leaf vegetable called Rocket. As its name suggests it grows very fast, and it is a good plant for you to try to grow at home. You can plant rocket in an old washing up bowl or saucepan. If you plant rocket seeds, you will have a crop of tasty green leaves to have with your salad or on a sandwich in no time at all! Rocket can grow so quickly in the summer that they soon start to flower and if you do not cut the flower heads off they begin to produce seed. This is the natural cycle for most plants: grow, produce flowers that insects like bees help to pollinate, then produce seed which would fall to the ground or be transported elsewhere by birds or animals. Then wait until it’s time to grow again! Some seeds may wait a long time to germinate or require certain conditions, but mostly the seeds we grow from packets are quite easy.
Did you know that tomato and cucumber are actually fruit? That means they carry seeds inside them. In natural surroundings, the fruit would fall from the plant and the fleshy part would rot away, leaving the seeds on the ground to grow. You can experiment with this yourself by following these instructions for growing a tomato from fruit seed. Why not give it a try?
Some plants have other ways to spread. Strawberries put out runners that produce mini plants, and then when they are big enough they separate from the mother plant. This method provides two ways for the plant to produce offspring – by flowering, fruiting and providing seed, and by runners. Flowers when they lose the petals grow into seed heads, the seed heads swell, ripen and finally open or burst, releasing the seeds.
Look at the pictures below of a seed head.
Have a look around your own garden and see if you can find seed heads ready to burst or open. You could then collect some seed, plant them and see if they will grow.
Until next week , Happy gardening.
Written by Rob Gagliano, Casual Learning Development Leader and Natural Science Collections Volunteer