Seeds are small and mighty and ready to become plants, but… they need some help!
What does a seed need? Some of the same things YOU need!
- Sun – to keep it warm, like you need!
- Soil – nutrients and protection, like you need!
- Water – to drink, just like you!
- Air – to breathe, like you!
- Space! – huh? Outer space? Nope, they need room to grow!
Baby seeds need all of the same things we do!
What is IN a seed?
- Seed – dried lima beans are nice and large, but any dried bean will work!
- Paper towel
- Plate or bowl
- Warm location
- Soak some beans in damp paper towels placed in a warm spot overnight.
- When the seed coat is softened, you can open it up!
- Inside, you’ll see the radicle (first root) and the first baby leaves.
- The rest of the bean is the starch that the seed eats until it grows large enough to get food from the sun.
Seeds are the package from which new plants grow! They are able to stay dormant (sleeping) until they have all of the things they need to start to germinate (grow). By wetting the seeds and storing them in a warm location, you are allowing the seeds to start to germinate. When the seed coat softens, you can peel it off and see all the parts of the seed.
Germinate a Seed
- Seeds (we suggest dry beans from the grocery store)
- Paper towels
- Zipper bag
- Dampen half of a paper towel and fold in half (so that it fits into the zipper bag). You want the paper towel lightly wet but not soaking.
- Place the seeds in the bag along the paper towel and zip closed.
- Tape the zip bag to a window that will get sunlight with the seeds facing inside the house so you can observe.
- Observe the beans daily and watch as they germinate.
- In about 24 hours, your seeds should begin to split open and roots will begin to push out from the seed!
- In a few more days, the leaves will emerge!
- Once your seed has sprouted a long root and some leaves, plant in some soil!
By putting the seeds in the bag with the damp paper towel, you are providing the seed with two things it needs, water and protection, which would normally be provided by the soil. By taping the bag to your window, you are providing it with warmth and sunlight! Because the bag is clear, you can observe the seed germinating and watch as the root grows out of the seed followed by the first stem and leaves!