The Q&A Archives: Science Project with Tomatoes

Question: Will cooking tomato seeds at different temperatures before planting be a good science project idea? <br>

Answer: It's not a good idea to subject tomato seeds to heat before planting because you'll probably kill the embryo before it has a chance to germinate. In fact, many seeds die when they're exposed to regular indoor temperatures of 75 degrees. <br><br>How about planting tomato seeds and feeding the plants with different kinds of fertilizers? Or try growing tomato plants in different types of potting soils for a science project?<br><br>Another idea is to to experiment germinating the seeds fresh or dried. (Hint: the jelly-like substance that the seeds are encased in inside the tomato has germination-inhibiting qualities--otherwise, the seeds might germinate right inside the tomato!) You might try planting seeds directly from a ripe tomato, verses separating the seeds out and letting them dry, then planting. A third thing to try is to ferment the seeds in that gel--scrape the contents of the seed cavity into a jar and let it sit for two or three days, stirring each day. Fermentation breaks down the germination-inhibiting chemicals in the pulp. You might experiment with fermenting for different lengths of time, to see which has the highest germination.<br><br>You might also try germinating seeds from ripe vs. green tomatoes.

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