The Q&A Archives: How Does Depth Of Planting Affect Germination?

Question: My son is doing a science project. He hopes to find out how depth of planting affects the germination process. He plans to plant beans, radishes, and marigolds. He will use 3 window box troughs, with a different species in each trough. He will plant the seeds at different depths.
Do you have any suggestions as to how to get good scientific results with this experiment?

Answer: Seeds are amazing little packages of potential. Inside the seed coat is an embryo, plus all the stored energy it needs to develop a root and a stem. Once the stem emerges from the soil, the new little plant develops two leaves which then capture energy from light and transport it down to the roots of the plants to continue the growth. (This is called the process of photosynthesis.)

If seeds are planted too deeply the new little plant will run out of energy before the stem can reach the soil surface. Without a constant source of energy (either stored or manufactured through the process of photosynthesis), the new little seedling will die.

Good luck to your son on his science project!

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