Earth Science – Seed Germination

Adult help required with cutting tool.

Do seeds germinate better in paper or on soil? Which one provides a better start and which one ends up with larger and hardier plants? Find out by doing our simple seed germination science experiment. Bear in mind that if you want to showcase these seeds and plants in a science project you’ll need to plant them well in advance of a science fair, if that’s what your project is for.

There are several ways to germinate seeds. If you germinate the seed in the dirt and pot, there is no need for transplanting. If you germinate in a paper then you do have to transplant but it may be faster to germinate.

What’s the best way to germinate?


You Will Need

3 dixie cups
6 paper towels
paper dessert plates
1/2 gallon distilled water
Potting soil
Small notebook and pencil
Small paring knife (you will need an adult’s help with this part)
6 seeds

What to Do

1. Add about two inches of potting soil to three cups
2. Slice a small slice in 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 wet the paper towels and place a seed inside them and then place each one on a plate.
4. Water the soil, but don’t over water
5. Place all the seeds in a room that is dark and quite warm and water as they begin to dry out. Make sure not to overwater and keep all the seeds in the same conditions. Keep them all in the same darkness and give them equal amounts of water so that your experiment offers good results.

Monitor the state of the seeds daily. Note when they begin to germinate, which ones germinated first and which have the thicker and better stalk on the plants.. Note their growth rate in a week and in two weeks.

Chart or graph the outcome and arrive at a conclusion that you can share with the other students.

Ready for some additional information and experiments on Seed germination or gardening? Find out about the benefical insects that can live in your garden?

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