Seeds that grow fast

Hi, happy teachers! Today, I’m going to tell you about a science project I found that reaches children on so many levels. Gardening, in general, is considered a healthy occupation for children. It relieves stress, builds confidence, and has a positive impact on psychological wellbeing. These observations are the results of studies conducted all over the world.

Growing plants also encourages planning, initiative, and organizational skills. If you have a greenhouse at your school, that’s even better. I have one, which is how I got started. It allows me to plant fast-growing seeds for the classroom at any time of year. I made the science class even more interesting by asking the children to measure their plants every day, decide if it needs shade or sunlight, and monitor the amount of water they need.

Unfortunately, not all children have the opportunity to participate in gardening. They may not have a yard, an adult to encourage them, or or some other limitation. Since my school has a gardening room, we can plant all year round. I knew all my kids could have the chance to plant seeds, take care of them, and watch them develop into full-blown plants.

Here are some sample projects that I think are great:

  1. The first one is by an incredibly enthusiastic teacher who sees the value of fun learning activities, no matter the weather or time of year. She wants to encourage you to keep up the momentum in your classroom towards the end of the year when you and your kids may feel like winding down. Planting fast-growing seeds is a lot of fun, and she offers several ideas that increase the benefit. These include grass which looks like hair that needs to be trimmed, and flowers to take home to Mom for Mother’s Day. After she explains the setting, you see the children participate in the planting and caring for the seeds. The flower pots are also part of the activity. Each child paints or decorates a pot for his or her plant. This is done the day before planting so the paint has time to dry.
  2. This video gives an example of how growing seeds can be a multi-disciplinary activity. It teaches the scientific method with a writing component that asks the children to think. They need to take notice of what the seed looks like now, and predict how it’ll look when it starts sprouting. The activity also includes plans for the future, and even starting a garden in their school. You’ll see in the video how this activity is great for every child. Whether they immediately grasp the science aspect or not, they can enjoy caring for and watching their plants grow.
  3. This video shows the benefit of using a clear container for the seeds. By using wet paper towels instead of soil, the children can actually see the seed germinate and start to put out tiny roots and stems. They use trimmed water bottles, which also teaches recycling and avoiding single-use plastic. Each container is made into a “monster” with eyes and a nose glued on the side. When the grass grows, it looks like monster hair, and the kids love to trim it and watch it grow back.
  4. This video shows the benefit of using a clear container for the seeds. By using wet paper towels instead of soil, the children can actually see the seed germinate and start to put out tiny roots and stems. They use trimmed water bottles, which also teaches recycling and avoiding single-use plastic. Each container is made into a “monster” with eyes and a nose glued on the side. When the grass grows, it looks like monster hair, and the kids love to trim it and watch it grow back.

Contents

Which flowers to grow

While grass is fun and keeps on being fun after children take their monsters home (because they need to regularly trim the hair), flowers are the most satisfying plant. It provides a tangible expression of the child’s work and care. It also makes a great present, which is why one teacher planned an activity so that the class could take home a flower for Mother’s Day.

You may wonder what the definition of “fast growing” is. Flower seeds that germinate in less than 14 days and produce a blossom within 70 days are considered fast growing. All the above videos show the beginning activities, from choosing the pot, filling it with soil, and planting the seed. It’s great fun, and children love it, but then what? They have to wait forever (it seems) to get any action. Here are a few of the most popular that you can get:

Nasturtium →

Source: “Nasturtiums” by Amanda Slater – Under Creative Commons license

Nasturtiums are brightly-colored, edible plants that are very easy to grow and usually bloom the whole summer. You may wonder why I mention that they’re edible. When young children are involved, there’s always the chance they may decide to taste a seed. After all, they regularly eat sunflower seeds, popcorn and sesame seeds, so why not try some others? That’s is the main reason I avoid Morning Glory and Foxglove.

Note: Morning Glory seeds are poisonous, and Foxglove seeds are toxic. However, they’re fast-growing. If your students are old enough to understand that they’re poisonous, and should’ntt be tasted, you can use them.

Nasturtiums produce vibrant warm colors that make a great show when they bloom. They’re considered companion plants, and provide pest control in a vegetable garden, which is a good way to introduce organic farming.

Cosmos →

Source: “Cosmos” by Kiwisrus Rose – Under Creative Commons license

Cosmos produce a very satisfying blossom. It resembles the type of flower most children draw, and comes in a variety of colors. Some even have two colors. They have a straight stem that shoots straight up, with the blossom at the top. They grow quickly and bloom profusely throughout the summer. You can buy packages that contain a variety of colors. These flowers make great bouquets.

Marigolds →

Source: “Marigolds” by Serres Fortier – Under Creative Commons license

Marigolds are another fast-growing edible plant that comes in brilliant yellow, red or gold colors. They don’t grow as tall as cosmos, but they also produce a satisfying blossom. These plants need full sun exposure and are often planted among vegetables for natural pest control. People don’t like the fragrance very much, and neither do insects.

Sunflowers →

Source: “Sunflowers” by Kathryn – Under Creative Commons license

Sunflowers are hugely popular with children, because they grow tall and provide more seeds for birds and squirrels during the winter. The seeds may also be collected and sown again the following spring. My students, who chose to grow sunflowers, measured them every day to see how much they grew and who had the tallest.

Zinnias →

Source: “Zinnias” by Amy the Nurse – Under Creative Commons license

California Giant Zinnias are easy to grow and last all summer and well into the fall. They attract birds and bees and some grow to over three feet tall. They require full sun and come in a variety of warm colors. These are a favorite with my children because of the huge, colorful blossoms.

The above fast-growing seeds will develop into large plants if given the right conditions. If one or more of your students don’t have a yard where they can transplant the plant, you may suggest to their parent or caregiver to buy a larger flower pot so the child can see the full results of their work over the summer.

What else to grow

Flower blossoms are gorgeous, especially for a child who has started it from a seed, but there are other fast-growing seeds they can plant as part of a classroom activity. These include:

Grass →

Source: “Grass” by Kamil Porembiński – Under Creative Commons license

Grass is fast-growing, and is a great plant for the classroom. As was mentioned in the first video, the pot can be painted to look like a person, animal, or cartoon character. When the grass grows, it resembles hair standing straight up. This is hilarious for most kids, and the added bonus is that they can trim it into funny hair styles with scissors, and it’ll grow back.

Black-Seeded Simpson Lettuce →

Source: “Lettuce” by Karen and Brad Emerson – Under Creative Commons license

Some kids may not be too excited about eating lettuce, but it’s very exciting to grow. The reason is that it produces a lot of foliage. Once the shoots start to sprout, it looks like you’ve planted a mini forest.

Beans →

Source: “Beans” by Alice Henneman – Under Creative Commons license

Beans and peas are a common choice for science activities. They germinate in seven to 10 days and grow to produce edible results. Bean shoots are sturdy and easier for children to handle than the more delicate pea shoots, but they’re both good options for this activity.

Some other seeds for classroom science activities are:

  • Pumpkins and squash: These large and easy to handle seeds germinate in six to 10 days.
  • Radishes: Radish seeds easily absorb water and push up a shoot relatively quickly. For some children, radish seeds are hard to handle because they’re very small. The shoots are also small and don’t produce very dramatic results, but the final, bright red radish is satisfying.
  • Watermelon: The seeds are large and easy to handle, and the shoot appears in five to 10 days. Honeydew and cantaloupe are also good melons to plant.

Helpful tip: If you’re concerned about time, but would like to let your kids grow some seeds, there’s one way to can speed up germination. Since the seed needs to soak up water before it starts germinating, you can scratch the seed gently on sandpaper. This is called scarification, and helps make water absorption quicker. Then, you soak the seed overnight in warm water. The next day, you give the seeds to your class.

What you need for planting seeds

To grow seeds, you also need some simple supplies. They include:

Plain plastic cups or pots

These crystal-clear PET plastic cups are safe for children. They have no sharp edges and are heavy duty. Children can handle them, drop them, and squeeze them. and they bounce back. These are also good for planting seeds in wet paper towels, so it’s easy to watch the seed germinate. You’ll need to poke a hole in the bottom for drainage. These strong plastic cups come in four colors which make it easy to identify the type of seed that was planted. For example, you can use one color for nasturtiums and a different color for beans. With four colors, you can have a good variety of plants, and it makes labeling easier. These cups are strong, so if you have some children that plan to transplant their plant into a pot or garden, you can ask them to bring back the cup and use it again the next year. You’ll need to poke a hole in the bottom for drainage.

Instead of plastic cups, you can also use plastic pots. Kids love these because they look like “real” pots. They’re designed for germinating seeds and are reusable. These are the pots I use for seed planting in my classroom. I like them because they’re ready to use with eight small drain holes.

These pots are the most durable and the most expensive. They’re ready to go off the shelf with pre-drilled drainage holes. The colors are useful for identification. Each child can have a particular color, or the colors can be used to identify the type of seed. They’re made of thick, reusable plastic that won’t crack when placed in direct sunlight for several seasons. One nice thing about these is that they’re attractive enough to be part of the presentation. If your children plan to grow flowers as a gift for their mothers, these pots look great. Each package contains eight pots, so you may need several packages for your class.

Trays

This is a professional-grade, recyclable plastic tray for seed starting. It’s very durable and BPA-free. The tray has no holes, so once the seed germinates, it’ll need to be transplanted into a cup or pot with drainage holes on the bottom. It’s useful for heat mats, microgreens, humidity domes, fodder, and wheatgrass. With a 10-pack, you can get two, five, or 10 with clear plastic domes that make a mini-greenhouse.

Soil

This is high-quality planting mix, but it’s worth the price because it virtually guarantees your seeds will grow. It’s suitable for containers and gardens. The coconut coir helps the mix retain moisture so the seedlings will last a day or two without being watered.

How to plant seeds in the classroom

Before starting on your journey from seed to blossom, it may help your students to see this video:

Here’s a step-by-step guide that will help make the activity fun and easy. The materials you’ll need are:

  • A pot for each child – You can choose from the ones I recommended above, or cut about four inches off the bottom of two-liter plastic water bottles and poke small holes in the bottom.
  • Soil – I recommend you use potting soil such as the high-quality one mentioned above. Bringing in soil from outside could bring some unwanted elements such as waste material, insects and worms.
  • Seeds – I recommend you give your students a choice of seeds. Some may love to grow flowers, but others may be more interested in growing food. If they’re happy about what they’re growing, they’ll pay closer attention to all aspects of the science lesson.
  • Craft sticks or ice cream sticks – These are used for labeling. The name of the plant is written on one side of the stick, and it’s pushed into the soil. The name of the child who planted the seed can be written on the other side if the children plan to keep track of their own plant. There’s just one problem with this method of labeling: the sticks can be switched, and there may be a jokester who loves to do it, or it could happen by accident. That’s why I label the pot.
  • Small trowel or large spoon – This is for scooping the soil into the pots.
  • Spray bottle with water – This lets the children water the seeds and shoots gently by simulating rain. Heavy watering can kill the seed or knock over a sprout.

The steps are:

  1. Start by labeling or decorating the pot. As mentioned above, for growing grass, we made the pots look like monster heads and the grass became the hair. Attractive colored pots or pots that look like ceramic garden pots may not need to be decorated. The child’s name and the type of plant can be written on the pot. Be sure to use a permanent marker so it doesn’t wash off.
  2. Before you open the seed packets, show the children the picture on the front. They can see how their plant will look and choose the one they like. After they open the packet, they can compare the seeds to see how different they look. A bean seed may be much larger than a flower seed.
  3. Empty the bag of soil into a bin with a wide mouth so the children can easily scoop it out. They shouldn’t fill their pots to the top because there needs to be room for water. One way is to count out loud the number of scoops needed for each pot. Put at least three seeds in each pot. This is to ensure that at least one will germinate.My children hold the seeds in one hand and plant them in the pot with the other. They can push the seeds down into the soil and cover them, or put a little more soil on top.
  4. After explaining that the seeds need water, as seen in the video they saw before, give them the spray bottle to water each plant. The trays with the pots can be taken to a window to get enough sunlight.

Some people love to garden, and know a lot about planting flowers and/or vegetables and caring for them. Others have no interest in digging in the soil, but still like to see beautiful bouquets of flowers and eat tasty veggies. Whether you have a good grasp of seed germination or not, you may want to use seed planting as a great science project for your class.

I recommend you read these instructions to learn about (or freshen up on) the different stages of plant growth and the rudiments of planting. Created by Purdue University, it’s a guide for home gardening for annual plants. The site tells you all about growing annual flowers, so you can give your students the information they need to understand the science of germination and what type of blossom to expect from the type of seed they’ve chosen.

Another website offers an extensive database created by Cornell University on different plants. There, you can learn more about the seeds you’ve selected. Each flower has a profile that gives a detailed description of the plant, plus growing instructions, including soil requirements and the types of areas where the plant will flourish. Here’s a sample of one of the flowers I recommended above.

The bottom line

Planting seeds, caring for them, and watching them grow is a fascinating activity for early primary children. Fast-growing seeds for the classroom are the best choice for this activity, because the kids don’t have to wait very long to see results. There are many factors that influence seed germination and growth, so it’s a real multidisciplinary activity. Meanwhile, they develop patience, get a connection to the Earth, feel a sense of responsibility, and learn the science of plants. I hope I’ve made it easier for you to find out whether or not you have a green thumb.

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Here are some great ideas for fast growing seeds – perfect for kids!

First: Get Your Supplies!

Preview Product Rating Price
Crystal Clear PET Plastic Cups $12.99 Buy on Amazon
5 Pack of Durable Black Plastic Growing Trays (Without Drain Holes) 21″ X 11″ X 2″ – Flowers,… $16.88 Buy on Amazon
Hoffman 30103 Seed Starter Soil, 10 Quarts $14.48 Buy on Amazon
X-Seed X-Pand Ultra Wildflower Combination Seed Mix, 1-Pound $8.73 Buy on Amazon

Next: Get to Work!

Whether you are introducing your kids to gardening, or making crafts or science projects that involve growing seeds – it can often be beneficial to use seeds that sprout quickly! I did some research and tried out various options. One of our favorite ways to plant seeds is in plastic cups. Cheap, transportable (great for classrooms!) but also you can actually see the roots forming!

Vegetables and Herbs:

Radishes, lettuce, basil and salad cress (more common in the UK than in the US!)

We planted radish and basil seeds and grew them inside. The radishes were SUPER fast, sprouting in just three days. This photo was taken after six days:

The basil took a little longer, this was after two weeks:

Annual flowers:

Sweet alyssum, celosia, cornflower or bachelor button, marigold, cosmos, zinnias, sunflowers, morning glories and nasturtiums.

We planted some sunflower seeds outside but they didn’t sprout for two weeks – although we did have a couple of unexpected cold days during that time that may have delayed them.

Perennial flowers:

Dianthus, black-eyed Susan, Sweet William, blackberry lily, blanket flower, rose campion and gaura.

We planted some Sweet William seeds in plastic cups and although not as fast as the radish, they were fairly speedy! This photo was after a week:

And don’t forget grass! We didn’t have any grass seed to try out but they are perfect for crafts like this Grass Head activity from Red Ted Art.

To increase the chance of any of these seeds growing faster – you can also try planting them in Seed Starter Mix! Or try this wildflower mix of annuals and perennials – everything you need in one bag!

Rad Radishes: Effects of Irradiation on Seed Germination

Introduction

Mutations are permanent changes in the DNA sequence of an organism, and can be inherited. If the organism is a single cell (like a bacterium), the “daughter cells” that formed when it divided, might each have the mutation, assuming that the mutation is not lethal. If the organism is multicellular, such as a human being, the mutation can be inherited only if it occurs in the cells that form the eggs and sperm. A mutation that occurs in one of the cells on your arm, for example, cannot be passed on to the next generation.

Mutations can be caused by a number of things. Chemicals found in tobacco smoke, for example, cause mutations. Mutations can also be caused by forms of electromagnetic radiation, including ultraviolet (UV) light, X-rays and gamma rays.

UV light from the Sun causes DNA damage to exposed skin. But UV light does not penetrate your skin very far. It stops after it travels a few cell-thicknesses into the skin. X-rays also cause DNA damage. X-rays are more energetic and more penetrating than ultraviolet rays. That is why they are so useful for getting a picture of your bones or teeth—they pass through the soft tissues and are absorbed by the hard tissue. On an X-ray film, the light regions form where lots of X-rays have struck the film (soft tissue). The dark regions form where fewer X-ray photons have passed through (bones). The X-ray you get at the dentist or when you have a chest X-ray is safe because the dose is so low.

In this plant biology science fair project, you will investigate how radish seeds are affected by gamma irradiation. Gamma rays are even more powerful than X-rays. For the purpose of irradiating food, the gamma rays are produced by a highly radioactive version of the element cobalt, called cobalt 60 (see the Bibliography for more about cobalt 60). It is important to understand that the seeds in this science fair project have been “irradiated,” which means they were treated with gamma rays. The seeds are not radioactive.

Because they are so energetic, gamma rays can penetrate deeply into tissue. Gamma rays are a form of ionizing radiation, which means that they can form ions, or charged particles, in irradiated tissue. When gamma rays cause DNA damage, most of the damage is due to the reaction of these ions with the DNA molecule. DNA damage caused by gamma rays can result in breakage of both strands of the DNA molecule. The higher the dose of gamma rays, the more damage there is to the DNA.

You will use gamma-irradiated WARD’s Rapid RadishTM seeds in the experimental procedure. The seeds have already been irradiated with several doses of gamma rays. The doses were not so high that the seeds were all killed, as in food sterilization, but the doses were high enough that the growth of some of the seeds could be affected. The unit used to measure the level of gamma irradiation is the mrad. An mrad is a measure of how much energy has been deposited in a material by the irradiation. A rad is equal to 1,000 mrads. The rad is the original unit developed for expressing absorbed dose, which is the amount of energy from any type of ionizing radiation deposited in any medium (e.g., water, tissue, air). A dose of one rad is equivalent to the absorption of 100 ergs (a small but measurable amount of energy) per gram of absorbing tissue. The rad has been replaced by the gray in the SI system of units (1 gray = 100 rad).

If the gamma rays have caused mutations in the DNA sequence of the plants that grow up from the seeds, then the plants have an altered genotype. The genotype of the plant consists of its DNA sequence. If the DNA damage causes a change in the observable appearance or behavior of the plant, then the plant is said to have an altered phenotype. The phenotype you will observe is seed germination, so you will observe the part of the plant that emerges from the seed first, the embryonic root, termed a radicle, or primary root. Let’s get started!

Terms and Concepts

  • Mutation
  • DNA sequence
  • Electromagnetic radiation
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light
  • X-ray
  • Gamma ray
  • Dose
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Ion
  • rad
  • mrad
  • Absorbed dose
  • Erg
  • Gray
  • Genotype
  • Phenotype
  • Germination
  • Radicle
  • Primary root
  • Photon
  • Radio wave
  • Visible light
  • Electromagnetic spectrum

Questions

  • What are the wavelengths of the different forms of electromagnetic radiation?
  • Based on your research, do gamma rays damage proteins? What effect will protein damage have on the irradiated seeds. Hint: consider the number of copies of a protein in a cell and the number of copies of a gene.
  • What is the definition of a dose-response curve?
  • Based on your research, what actually happens at the level of the DNA molecule when the cell is exposed to gamma rays?
  • How are gamma rays produced for the purpose of irradiating food, or seeds?
  • Are gamma rays found in nature? Hint: think “cosmic.”
  • What are some other types of ionizing radiation?
  • What is a gamma knife?

Bibliography

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Growing Plant Seeds With Kids – Easy Care And Fun Plants For Children To Grow

Watching plants grow is a fun and educational experience for children. Their enormous curiosity and excitement over anything new makes them naturals for gardening. Growing plant seeds with kids teaches them how nature works, responsibility in caring for something, an interest in environmental sustainability and pride in themselves for the results. Choose easy seeds for kids that are large enough to handle and germinate readily.

Growing Plant Seeds With Kids

Fun plants for children are fruit and vegetables, flowers and any uniquely shaped plant. Consider the weather and the zone you are in to ensure you choose good plants to grow from seed. Children will continue their interest in gardening if the first time is a fantastic success.

Easy seeds for children are larger for little fingers to handle and germinate fast so there is less waiting time. Children should be involved in all parts of the gardening process, including preparing the garden space or choosing containers.

Easy Seeds for Kids

To avoid children’s boredom, choose fast growing seeds for kids. The quicker they can see something happen, the more interested they will be in the process. Pumpkins are always fun and last well into the season with a Halloween or Thanksgiving payoff in the form of a Jack-o-lantern or pumpkin pie. Radishes sprout quickly and are found in a rainbow of colors. Fruits and vegetable seeds offer rewards after successful planting and care.

Flower seeds germinate readily and add obvious color and tone to baskets, beds and containers. Most wildflowers make excellent fast growing seeds for kids. Best of all, with flowers you can cut them and bring them indoors. Children can grow a posy for Grandma, which will charm her and delight them with their accomplishment.

Good Plants to Grow from Seed

Plants with large or small dimensions create a sense of wonder in children. Giant sunflowers and leggy pole beans are fascinating in their height. Baby carrots or miniature bok choy are kid-sized and comfortable. Sweet cherry or grape tomatoes are little and tasty snacks right from the vine.

For added fun in the garden, sow multi-colored carrots, orange cauliflower or purple potatoes. The options for fun vegetables are expanding every year. Bring some fun into the garden plot with the hybrid choices available at garden centers.

Fun Plants for Children

Plants with unique characteristics, such as lamb’s ears, or any of the carnivorous plants, such as Venus flytrap, allow children to experience the variety that nature offers. Hens and chicks have a cute name but the plants are equally adorable and captivate children’s imagination.

Try simple plants from common household items. Suspend an avocado pit in water and watch it grow roots. Cut off the top of a pineapple and put it in a shallow tray for a crazy spiky plant. Taking these familiar foods and returning them into their plant forms, is a great way to teach children about where their food comes from and what it takes to grow the good things they eat.

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They say gardening is the slowest of the performing arts, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In this post, we’ll talk about 5 fast sprouting seeds you can grow indoors – even right on your kitchen counter.

These veggies spring to life within just a couple of days of planting which makes them a great place to start for kids and beginners.

Fast Sprouting Seeds For Kids And Beginners

When it comes to starting seeds, there are a lot of places where errors can be made. Especially when it comes to growing tomatoes and peppers, you need to know a little more about seed starting.

But some seeds are so ready to sprout, you hardly have to do anything. This guide will show you the easiest seeds to grow indoors and how to get started at the (absolute) beginners level.

Beginner Tips For Starting Seeds Indoors

There are two very important factors in starting seeds:

Water and temperature.

We all know that water is vital for plants to grow, but where many beginners fail is that they don’t get their soil to the right temperature for germination.

As most of us do not keep our home heated to high temperatures just for gardening, the way to get around the temperature issue is choosing the right seeds for sprouting.

So if you want to start your own garden seeds, start by choosing something that sprouts quickly and at normal room temperature. While starting things like tomatoes and peppers is not hard, they require warm soil to sprout. So if you don’t have a heat mat, you won’t get the best results.

The five seeds I recommend in this post are so easy that most of them can actually continue to grow on your kitchen counter! Some will need to be transplanted out in the garden, but others can be grown right in the container you start them in.

To get started growing indoors you need only need two things:

Seeds and either seed starting mix or potting soil.

If you’re using potting mix, open up the bag and sift or pick out as many of the sticks and clumps as you can. You will not need to do this if you use seed-starting mix, as it is a finer grain mix that makes it easier for seeds to sprout.

You’ll need to prepare a container for seeds to grow in. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy..it can be something you already own like a pie tin or take-out container…even an egg carton. Poke a few – not too many – holes in the bottom for drainage. Then use a second container as a tray to catch the water that leaks through.

Seeds can be easily found at your favorite online retailer or garden center.

Fast Sprouting Seeds to Grow Indoors

While many vegetables are easy to grow outdoors, these five seeds are perhaps the easiest to grow indoors. They are normally very inexpensive and easy to find and will allow you to enjoy your own bounty of home-grown food with little effort.

Lettuce

Lettuce is first on my list because it’s so quick and easy to sprout. It doesn’t require any special considerations and it will easily grow right on your kitchen counter.

Because lettuce seeds are so small, it’s very hard to seed them individually. So I like to take a pinch of seeds and sprinkle them in a line across the container. You could also grow lettuce microgreens in which case you would just cover the top of the soil with the seeds.

Lettuce can survive in as little as 4 hours of light, and will actually taste better when protected from the hottest sun. They prefer cooler weather, and many varieties will tolerate some frost.

Once they have sprouted up a bit, you can decide if you want to transition them and plant outside or continue to grow lettuce indoors. Transition them from indoors to outdoors gradually over 1-2 weeks if you’re planning to plant them outdoors.

That said, lettuce would also be quite happy to grow right on your kitchen counter. If you have a sunny window, that’s all you’ll need. If not, try a bright white bulb in a desk lamp or a countertop LED grow light.

Turnips and Radishes

Turnips and radishes are super easy to sprout and very low maintenance. I like turnips better because we like to eat the greens, but both are quite easy and fast to grow.

Like lettuce, turnip seeds are quite tiny so sprinkle them in rows or blocks as you prefer. Thin them as needed as they begin to grow. Both turnips and radishes are root crops, so be very very gentle if you’re transplanting into the garden.

In an appropriately sized larger container, you could easily grow these vegetables indoors. They’ll need a bit more light than lettuce, but a sunny window should do just fine. Feel free to snip and eat the greens or harvest the bulb.

Both lettuce and turnips are great plants to grow for microgreens, too.

Chives

Chives are a great herb to grow on your kitchen counter! They come up very quickly—it’ll only take 2-3 days for chives to sprout.

Additionally, they are quite happy at room temperature, just place it near a sunny window. Plus, as a bonus, you can eat the leaves as they grow. Just remember never to take more than 50% of the leaves.

If you decide to move the chives outdoors, you can use them as a decorative (edible!) border in the garden. Just wait until they are at least 2″ tall to move them outdoors.

Beans

Beans are so easy to sprout! In fact, your kids have probably brought some sprouted beans home from school, and if they haven’t, this is the perfect science experiment to do with a young child!

If you want to get started growing your own plants from seed, planting beans is a definite yes on the list of the easiest ones to grow. Move them outdoors after the last chance of frost.

Bush beans will grow just fine in a container, but pole beans need vertical space to sprawl and climb.

Brassicas: Bok choy, Broccoli, Kale

Brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are one of my favorite types of vegetables. They’re beautiful and impressive plants that are quite easy to grow.

These seeds will sprout readily but the plants are usually too big to grow entirely indoors unless you have a nice indoor growing space. Some of the brassicas like bok choy are especially fast sprouting and simple.

In fact, there is a mini bok choy that is so cute and fast, it’s almost ready to harvest before you have time to transplant it! But if you choose to grow regular size brassicas, move them outdoors when they are a few inches tall to allow them to properly grow.

Ready to try growing your plants from seed?

Getting started can be a little intimidating, but these five plants are super easy to plant, grow, harvest and enjoy—from seed to plate. Just remember to keep them watered and give them light.

If you want more direction, consider this seed starting guide. Either way, have fun and enjoy the magic of gardening!

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Watching seeds grow is an amazing science lesson for kids. Our seed germination experiment gives kids the opportunity to see up close how a seed grows what would actually be happening under the ground! Our awesome seed growing activity turned out amazingly well, and we loved checking on the progress each day! Simple science activities are great for young learners!

SEED GERMINATION EXPERIMENT FOR KIDS!

HOW A SEED GROWS

This simple to set up seed jar was one of our favorite spring science projects that you can do inside! We had an awesome time examining and observing the growth of our seed germination experiment.

Preschool science can be a wonderful experience that introduces young kids to the world around them! Spring is full of new beginnings in nature that can be explored.

Share an inside look at how seeds grow below the ground with our seed jar. Plus, you can even get it started when there’s is still snow on the ground. Especially if you are itching for spring to come early!

It all starts with a single seed.

It’s truly amazing to watch how a seed grows and using a mason jar gives you a front row seat for observing it all! Sprouting seeds is perfect for a SPRING STEM Activity.

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SEED GERMINATION

I first saw this awesome seed germination activity done by How Wee Learn. Looking around my kitchen, I had everything I needed to set it up immediately! It looked like an awesome way to see how a seed grows, so got it started right away!

SEED JAR SUPPLIES:

  • Paper Towels
  • Water
  • Seeds (Pea and bean seeds grow quickly)
  • Large jar

We also enjoyed the book, How A Seed Grows by Helene Jordan which inspired another seed activity with eggshells!

HOW TO SET UP YOUR SEED EXPERIMENT:

Our mason jar includes sunflowers, peas, and green beans!

STEP 1: Fill the jar with paper towels. Kids can fold them and push them down into the jar. This is also great work for little hands.

STEP 2: Gently water your seed jar to wet the paper towels. DO NOT FLOOD IT!

STEP 3: Carefully push seeds down into the paper towels around the edge of the jar so they can still be seen. Make sure they are firmly held in place.

BEAN SEED GERMINATION

This type of activity makes a great plant science fair project for multiple ages. Get your magnifying glass out and check out all the angles of the seeds. Can you find the different parts of the seed growth listed below?

What do you see in your seed jar?

  • You are looking for a root to pop out of the side.
  • Next, you are looking for root to push down into the soil.
  • Then, you are looking for root hairs.
  • Next, you are looking for the seed to push up while the root hairs push down.
  • Lastly, you are looking for the shoots to come up!

The mason jar gives a stunning view of this seed experiment! My son loved being able to see the changes so easily. Do you know you can also grow crystals in mason jars for a fun science activity!

SEED GERMINATION IN THE CLASSROOM OR AT HOME

Setting this up as a science experiment is a great way to share the activity with multiple ages or developmental levels. Older kids can use a science experiment worksheet to journal about how the seeds are growing while younger kids can draw or simply observe the changes!

Read more about the scientific method for young kids here.

SEED EXPERIMENT VARIATIONS

You can also explore how fast different seeds germinate by comparing different kinds of seeds under the same conditions. We tried sunflower seeds, peas, and beans in our seed jar.

Or keep the type of seed the same and set up two mason jars to explore whether seeds need light to germinate. Place one jar where it will get natural light and one in a dark cupboard.

Another idea to investigate is whether seeds need water to germinate and how much. Set up three jars, and measure out how much water goes into each so that one is fully wet, half wet and one has no water.

HOW TO GERMINATE SEEDS FASTER

One easy way to get your seeds to germinate faster is to presoak them in a shallow container of warm water for up to 24 hours. That will soften the hard outer shell of the seed. Don’t soak for longer as they may go moldy.

We started this experiment on April 8th and within a few days started to see some exciting things. It was also interesting to talk about what was happening with the different seeds and how they changed over the duration of the experiment.

Sunflower seeds were the fastest to pop a root but never made it out of the jar.

Bean seeds took the longest to pop a root but finally did and made it out of the jar.

Pea seeds grew rapidly once the root popped out and grew the tallest.

Simple beginnings with the sunflower seeds! Then the pea and lastly the bean! It took about three days to see some action with the seeds!

Amazing to see the pea take off in the seed jar once the root popped out!

My son enjoyed telling me about the root hairs he could see every day! So fun to see it flourish and check out the results! It’s a perfect spring science activity at home or in the classroom.

EASY SEED EXPERIMENT FOR SPRING SCIENCE LEARNING!

Click here or on the image below for more awesome spring activities for the young scientist!

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Fastest Growing Flower Seeds for Science Project

Finding the fastest growing flower seeds for science project is necessary because you need flowers that not only germinate quickly but also flower early. Some of the common flower seeds that grow rapidly include zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, dianthus, and nasturtiums.

When working in a science project, using fast-growing seeds is necessary because the children can see results fast. The hardest part is waiting for the seeds to germinate and it can really test the patience of the children. Impatient kids are often tempted to unearth the seeds to see if they are okay which can possibly ruin the whole project.

Fastest growing flower seeds for science project

The following list should help you pick some of the quick-growing flowers for your project and avoid the stress and patience test.

  • Marigold

The marigold is one of the easiest and fastest flowers to grow from seeds. There are different varieties of marigolds including the Africa marigold, Mexican marigold, and French marigold. The fastest growing is the French marigold while the African produces the largest plant.

Choosing this flower for a science project will allow kids to see results fast because the flower seeds sprout within five to seven days in optimum conditions. The best conditions include soil temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and about a quarter of an inch depth during planting.

The marigold flowers are also a good choice because they are available in different colors including red, white, gold, and yellow. It also blooms in approximately six-eight weeks from planting depending on the variety chosen. The plant is also hardy making it ideal for a science project, it can do well in poor soils and doesn’t require fertilization.

  • Zinnias

Zinnias are also some of the fastest growing flower seeds for science project. The flowers are available in different colors including purple, white, yellow, orange, red, gold, and pink. They are good for a kid’s project because they provide a showy display.

They are also ideal for a science project because they are available in different sizes including large, standard, and dwarf and the participant can choose depending on the size of pot or area they intend to establish them.

The flower seeds usually sprout within five-seven days and the first blooms appear after four-seven weeks. These early results are recorded in flowers that receive optimal conditions of soil temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit needed for quick germination and one-quarter inch deep seed establishment.

  • Zinnia
  • Marigold
  • Cosmos

Cosmos is the third type of fastest growing flower seeds for science project. There are different varieties of cosmos including the seashells, cosmic orange, and bright lights mix that can be found in a variety of colors such as red, pink, brown, orange, and yellow.

The flower seeds sprout through the soil in about five-seven days. They should have a consistent soil temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit and be planted at a one-quarter inch deep. The flowers also grow to about 3-4 feet high and produce blooms at approximately four to seven weeks which range in size between 1 ½ – 4 inches wide.

  • Nasturtiums

These fast-growing flower seeds are also ideal for a science project. They are versatile, attractive and fragrant. The flowers bloom in different colors including white, yellow, pink, and red. The blooms are about 2 inches wide in size.

Nasturtiums are perfect for science projects because they grow so easily and rapidly. They bloom at approximately eight weeks from planting.

  • Dianthus

The last of the fastest growing flower seeds for science project is the dianthus. The flower seeds normally sprout within five to seven days after planting when provided with a consistent soil temperature of between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. They should also be planted at a depth of about one-eighth inch in the soil.

The dianthus blooms are typically made up of five petals and are two-toned with colors including white, pink, and maroon.

It is important to note that amongst all the types of flowers mentioned above, the dianthus grows at a slower rate after germination has taken place.

  • Nasturtiums
  • Cosmos

Conclusion

Science projects provide children with an opportunity to have hands-on experience. Helping the kids choose the flower seeds to use is important so that they enjoy the process and not get frustrated waiting for their plants to germinate. I hope this list fastest growing flower seeds for science projects was helpful and you found some useful information that will help narrow down your choices.

In Which Liquids Do Seeds Grow Best?

Normally, when we think about planting seeds, we think of planting them in the earth, or in soil that’s been put into containers. A healthy seed placed into soil and given the proper amounts of water, light, and heat will sprout, or germinate, and grow into a plant.

But did you know that seeds also can be germinated in liquid? It’s true. In fact, many plants can be grown into maturity without any soil at all. Growing plants in water instead of soil is called hydroponics, and it’s a fascinating type of horticulture. Horticulture, as you might know, is simply the science of cultivating plants. Some people refer to horticulture as an art, particularly when it pertains to decorative plants.

For this science project, however, we’re interested in seeing which liquids are best for sprouting seeds. You won’t be using hydroponics to grow plants to maturity, but that’s something you might want to explore on your own.

Let’s get started now and find out which liquids seeds grow best in.

So What Seems to Be the Problem?

The problem, or question that you’ll answer in the course of this project, is “In Which Liquid Do Seeds Grow Best?” Following clearly defined steps and procedures, you’ll solve the problem during the course of your experiment.

By the time you’ve finished your experiment, you’ll know what type of liquid the seeds you’ve planted like the best-and the worst. Some seeds may grow quickly, and others may not grow at all. You will have answered whether seeds prefer milk, iced tea, vinegar, orange juice, club soda, or plain old tap water.

Basic Elements

Hydroponics is a fancy-sounding word, but it’s nothing more than the practice of growing plants in a water solution to which nutrients have been added. The difference from the regular method of growing plants, of course, is that no soil is used.

The problem you’ve stated happens to also be the suggested title of your science fair project. While your problem must always be a question that you’re attempting to answer, your science fair title does not necessarily have to be in question form. You also could use one of the following names as the title for this project:

  • What’s the Best Liquid for Germinating Seeds?
  • Testing Variables When Sprouting Seeds

Once you’ve identified and stated your problem, you should take a few minutes to think about the point, or purpose of your project.

What’s the Point?

So why should you, or anybody else for that matter, give the slightest thought to sprouting seeds in different liquids? What’s the point?

Until now, you’ve probably assumed that seeds sprout better in water than in any other liquids. Right? Well, maybe they do. In this project, water is the control, or the substance with which we’ll be comparing all the other liquids. The other liquids are the variables.

But, unless you’ve already experimented to find out, you can’t be sure that water is the best liquid for sprouting seeds, can you? How do you know that a seed placed in orange juice won’t grow into a beanstalk to rival the one Jack climbed in that famous fairy tale?

The point of this project is to use the scientific method to solve the problem stated above and find out in which liquids seeds grow the best.

What Do You Think Will Happen?

Before you state your hypothesis, take a few minutes to think about the liquids in which you’ll be trying to sprout bean seeds. We chose bean seeds because they’re fairly large and easy to work with, and they sprout quickly, usually in about a week.

Again, the liquids you’ll be using are:

  • Milk
  • Iced tea
  • Vinegar
  • Orange juice
  • Club soda
  • Water

You’ve probably seen, smelled, and tasted nearly all of these substances. If not, you might want to do so before you come up with your hypothesis.

Once you’ve examined the liquids you’ll be using, try to think of some ways in which they might affect the seeds. Are some of the liquids more nourishing than others? Do you think any of them might actually harm the seeds? Once you’ve given the matter some thought, you can make and record your hypothesis.

Materials You’ll Need for This Project

Everything you need for this project should be easy to find. In fact, you probably already have most of the materials in your house. If your science fair is in the middle of winter and you live in a cold climate, you might have a little trouble finding bean seeds in a store near your home. Everything else, however, should be readily available. You need:

  • 8 ounces (240 ml) each of tap water, milk, iced tea, vinegar (either white or cider), orange juice, and club soda
  • One package of bean seeds
  • Six (10- or 12-ounce) (300 to 350 ml) glass or plastic cups, all the same color and size
  • Permanent marker
  • Tray or shallow pan
  • Metric ruler
  • Paper towels

Be sure that you’ve cleared a space and have everything you’ll need for your experiment before you get ready to start. And always be sure to check with a parent before you use household items such as glasses or markers.

Conducting Your Experiment

Remember to work carefully and in a logical manner. Try not to knock over any of the glasses, and be sure that you write the correct names of the liquids on the glasses. Water, club soda, and white vinegar all look pretty much the same, but they may have very different effects on bean seeds.

The stages of seed germination.

  1. Using the permanent marker, label each of the six cups with the name of the liquid it will contain.
  2. Place the cups on the tray or shallow pan.
  3. Pour 8 fluid ounces (240 ml) of water (your control liquid) into the cup labeled water.
  4. Pour 8 fluid ounces (240 ml) of each of the other liquids into its proper cup.
  5. Open the package of seeds and divide them evenly into six piles. You might have a few seeds left over that you won’t use.
  6. Slowly add the seeds from the first pile into the cup labeled water.
  7. Continue putting the other piles of seeds into each of the five remaining cups.
  8. Place the tray with the cups where you can easily observe the seeds. You’ll want to keep the temperature as constant as possible, so make sure the seeds are in an area where there are no drafts. And, make sure the seeds won’t get bumped or knocked over.
  9. Keep a daily record of your observations. To do so, write down how many seeds are in each cup, and how many seeds break their shells and begin growing, or germinating, every day. Use the first chart shown in the next section, “Keeping Track of Your Experiment,” to help you to record your observations.
  10. A week after you placed the seeds in the various liquids, measure each sprout in centimeters. If your seeds haven’t sprouted yet, sit tight and begin measuring them at two weeks. You’ll need to record the length (in centimeters) of each sprout in every cup. You can make it easier to measure the sprouts by removing each one, placing it on a paper towel, and measuring its length with a metric ruler. Once you’ve measured every sprout, you’ll need to figure out the average length of the sprouts in each liquid.

Use the second chart found in the next section to record the average length of sprouts in each cup after one or two weeks of growth. The average length of the sprouts in each cup is another indicator of which liquid the bean seeds like the most.

Follow these steps to calculate the average length of all the sprouts in each of the liquids:

  • Add the lengths of all the sprouts from one cup. If you had four beans in one cup and each of the sprouts was 1/2-inch long, for instance, your total would be 2 inches.
  • Divide the total length by the number of sprouts you measured.
  • The average length equals the total length divided by the number of sprouts measured.

Keeping Track of Your Experiment

Once you’ve observed and recorded everything that occurred during the course of your experiment, it’s time to present this information clearly.

Use this chart to record your daily observations of the seeds. Use this chart to record the length of each sprout, in centimeters.

To do this, you’ll need to present all of the measurements you’ve taken. These measurements should include the following:

  • The number of seeds you placed in each liquid
  • The number of seeds in each liquid that began germinating on a daily basis
  • The average length of seedlings in each liquid after a one- or two-week period

All of these measurements should be neatly presented on the following charts. The number of seeds placed in each liquid and the number of seeds that germinated in each liquid should be recorded on the first chart. The average length of the seedlings should be recorded on the second chart.

Putting It All Together

Once you’ve analyzed your data, you’ll be able to summarize what you’ve learned, and you’ll see whether your hypothesis was correct. You will have reached a conclusion, which is the last step of the scientific method. You will have answered the question posed in your problem, and know if you were right in making your hypothesis.

Remember that if your hypothesis turned out to be incorrect, it doesn’t mean that your experiment was a failure. It just means that the results you got were not the ones you thought you would.

The experiment part of your project has ended.

Further Investigation

Standard Procedure

Nearly every scientific experiment can be adapted or modified in order to solve a similar, but not entirely the same, problem. Don’t be afraid to use your scientific curiosity and think of other questions for which you want to discover answers.


If you enjoyed doing this project and would like to take it a step or two further, consider what would happen if you grew the seeds in regular potting soil, but watered them with the different liquids you used for this experiment.

Maybe something in the potting soil would react favorably with orange juice, for instance, and cause the beans to shoot up in record time. Perhaps if you watered the seeds with Hawaiian Punch, your bean plants would produce red beans.

If you’re interested in investigating this idea, just adapt the steps you used when sprouting beans in the liquids. And have fun!

7 Houseplants That Are Super Easy To Grow Yourself

I often think back to all of the really useless things we learned back in school, but one of my favourite memories, one that I’m sure we all look back on fondly, has to be learning to grow cress. And before you roll your eyes at the humble herb that yes, is less houseplant and more the sideshow to an uninspired egg sandwich, think back to how insanely rewarding it was to watch an actual green thing grow before your unassuming little KS1 eyes! Retrospectively, it was probably the most satisfying biology lesson I’ve ever had…

These days, of course, growing a handful of cress simply won’t get you very far in the ‘decorating your house like a grown up’ game. That said, though, if you’ve never quite satisfied that green thumbed fascination with growing your own plants, maybe it’s time to revisit it.

WATCH NOW: Nik From Grace & Thorne Answers All Of Our Houseplant Questions, And Shows Us How To Make Our Very Own Terrariums

Now, houseplants are hard. We know this. Most (but not all) are easy to kill and require way more attention than many of us are capable of giving another living thing. But there are a few nice ones that are pretty straight-forward to grow and won’t take over your entire life.

Tempted? Great. Get over to your nearest garden center and pick up some seeds for these bad boys. Or, in some instances, make a trip to your mate’s house and nick some leaf cuttings from them to recreate whatever pretty plant situation they’ve got going on over there. Everyone wins.

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Debrief Grow Your Own Houseplants

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If you couldn’t guess from the name, these guys are tough as hell. Forget to water it? NBD. Zero light in your flat? That’s fine. It takes a while to grow but they get pretty big (about 90cms) and doesn’t need any special soil or anything. Grow from an existing leaf if you want to speed the process up a bit though.

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Don’t wait for life to give you lemons, mate. Grow your own! The main thing to be aware of is the fact that these plants need a lot of good light so pop ’em in a nice and bright room for good results. Lemons are the best place to start in the UK, and you’ll want to start these guys outside in the summer and bring them in for winter. If you’re nervous about the pressure of growing something edible from scratch for the first time, locate a nursery and buy a one or two year old dwarf tree to grow lemons at home.

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Peace Lilies aren’t just pretty plants, they also help get rid of some of the airs toxins and pollutants. If you fancy growing your own, you’ll want to sow a seed in a good soil mix that you can get from any and every garden center, and water little and often. We’re talking about a year or so wait to see something of substantial flower and size, but if they don’t seem to be producing any flowers at all they’re probably not getting enough light. Keep a close eye on them too, because they’ll probably outgrow their containers pretty quickly so you’ll need to repot them.

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The key with these nice and resilient plants is to make sure you put it in some well draining soil. It deals really well with rubbish light, dry air and little water, so maintenance wise you’re golden. You might be hard pressed to find seeds if you want to start this plant’s journey from the very beginning but if you get a small one that you want to occupy some major space, just make sure you keep them away from pesky drafts because it’ll make the leaves sad.

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Spider plants grow pretty quickly so if you buy one and find yourself with loads of little plantlets, you can just pot those up to grow yourself a little spider plant family. Just make sure the baby spider plants have got roots and pop them in a soil-based potting mix and water just regularly enough to keep the soil moist.

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As beautiful as African Violets are, before you task yourself with growing your own you’ll want to make sure you’ve picked up the appropriate soil before hand. You’ll be able to find special pre-made mixes around, and then it’s just a matter of making sure you fertilise them (not while they’re in bloom though) to help them grow and avoid getting the leaves wet when you water it.

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Yep, it’s our buddies the succulents again. Growing them yourself means popping them in a potted container with drainage holes before confining them to a fancy glass terrarium, okay? Their seeds are teeny tiny so you need to make sure they’re well covered with soil so that they aren’t moved by over watering or drafts around the house. They grow best in humid environments of course, so you might want to try covering them with something like a shower cap (on The Greedy Vegan’s recommendation) until they start sprouting.

Follow Jazmin on Instagram @JazKopotsha

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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