Plant A Spring Seed
Planting seeds in the spring for a green summer and autumn.
When To Plant Seeds?
Its April, and this is the time of year we plant our seeds. I am not exactly green fingered myself so I am really enjoying learning about plants alongside Teddy and Harry. For the last few years, we have made April a month to focus on planting seeds and performing simple investigations to understand how they grow.
We pour a load of soil onto our tuff tray, find all the pots and planting trays from the shed and talk about which seeds we will plant and where around the house they should go.
Which Seeds To Plant?
We have had success in growing a few different plants from seeds including sunflowers, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkin and of course, cress! We don’t have a garden space to plant lots of seeds so for us it needs to be something simple which can fit on sunny window sill. This suits us as then we see them everyday and remember to water them.
I would definitely recommend sunflowers as an easy starting seed to plant. They sprout quite quickly after you have planted them and it can be fun to see how tall they will grow.
Over the last year we have taken an interest in finding different seeds on our nature walks. The boys love blowing the dandelions in the spring and catching sycamore seeds as the wind blows them down in autumn.
Considering the different seeds we found, and the different ways which plants disperse their seeds, we were inspired to make seed bombs as a way we could disperse seeds. Making the seed bombs is a rather muddy job but lots of fun for those that don’t mind getting their hands dirty! We put wildflower seeds inside our seed bombs and the boys splattered them into the slither of soil we have in our garden so we will watch to see if they grow.
Investigating How Plants Grow
We have performed some interesting investigations finding out how plants grow. Cress seeds are particularly great for plant experiments as they grow quickly and you can see obvious results.
Last year we used cress seeds to find out the following:
- Do plants need soil?
- Do plants need sunlight?
- Do plants need water?
For me the most interesting of these investigations was to look at seeds in sunlight. We place one pot of cress seeds on the sunny windowsill and one pot inside a dark cupboard. The cress seeds in the cupboard grew taller than those in the windowsill in search of sunlight. Although taller, the leaves were yellow leading us to find out about chlorophyll.
Inside the leaf of a plant is a substance called chlorophyll. This uses sunlight for growth and also makes plants green. Without sunlight the plant cannot process chlorophyll and this is why the cress in the cupboard is a brownish yellow.
Investigating Seed Dispersal
We have performed a couple of investigations taking a closer look at the way plants disperse their seeds. In one of these investigations, we looked at the way the size of a copter seed can affect the distance a seed can travel. This was a rather in-depth investigation in which Teddy dropped the different copter models and Harry used a stopwatch to time how long it took them to fall. After many false starts we managed to time all the falling models.
Next, we put all the results into a table and calculated the average time it took for each model to fall before reaching a conclusion. This was a really fun way to include maths into our investigation.
Our Current Investigations
We have a couple of experiments on the go at the moment as we continue to investigate plant conditions. We have planted different numbers on onion sets in pots to find out how space affects the way they grow. This is one of our longer investigations as we will observe the onions over 3 weeks. We have already made some interesting observations and noticed that the onion sets which are planted close together are growing longer shoots then the onions with more space.
This has sparked some interesting discussions as on first thought, we wondered if this fast growth meant the crowded onions were growing better. However, after some consideration we all came to the conclusion that the crowded onion sets are actually competing for sunlight and using their energy to reach upwards.
Don’t forget to plant your pumpkin seeds ready for autumn! Enjoy finding out more about the way plants grow with out hands-on activities in these topics.