The Q&A Archives: Germination Rates

Question: How does the depth of a radish seed effect the germination rate?

Answer: Well, if you think about it, the depth a seed is planted determines how tall the little shoot has to grow before it emerges from the soil. So, generally, the deeper something is planted, the longer it takes to emerge. If you plant a seed too deeply, (and what constitutes "too deeply" depends on the seed), then the emerging shoot will exhaust all of its food reserves (stored in the seed) before it can emerge, open its leaves, and begin photosynthesizing its own food. Sounds like a good topic for an experiment! Just how deep is "too deep" for a radish seed?

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