Sprouting Seeds

Want to find out if you have green thumbs? Plant some seeds you've collected from flowers, like poppies and marigolds, from trees like maple and pine, from vegetables, like beans and peas, and from fruit, like apples, oranges and grapes. Most seeds are easy to sprout as long as you give them enough light, air and water, just like the plants they grow into. Some seeds need a cooling off period to imitate winter, for example, apple, apricot, grape, peach, pear, almonds, and walnuts. If the fruit or nut comes from a deciduous tree, it will need to be chilled for a few months before germination.

Here's What You'll Need:

Pips and seeds, plant labels, eggshell halves, cotton wool, cress seeds, blotting paper, scissors, pencil, knife (get permission and help from a grown up with your knife), mixing bowl, jam jar, small plant pots, paints or markers, watering can with water and a bowl.

Here's Three Really Fun Sprouting Projects:

Draw or paint a face on each of your eggshell halves. It's good to keep an egg carton handy to hold them steady.Dip balls of cotton wool in a bowl of water so they're really soaked, and then stick them in the egg shells.Sprinkle cress seeds over the cotton wool, and put the eggs in a sunny window for a few days. Make sure you keep the cotton wool moist.

Soon, your little egg heads will grow green hair! The cress will take about ten days to completely grow, and when your egg is ready for a haircut, add the clippings to your salad!

Shooting Beans:

  1. Cut out a piece of blotting paper tall enough to fill your jam jar from top to bottom, and also long enough to go all the way around it. A grown up can help you with this if it's a bit tricky.
  2. Roll the blotting paper into a tube and slide it into your jar. Once inside, the paper will open up to fill the jar.
  3. Push a few beans down between the paper and the jar. Pour a little water into the jar, and put it on your sunny windowsill.

Now, you can watch to see how a bean grows from the start. The bean will swell, then split, and next, a tiny root will appear. The root will grow downwards, and the next thing you know, a plant shoot will appear. It will grow upwards, and start to grow leaves. Now, you can stick your bean plant in a pot, or out in the garden.

Planting Seeds and Pips

  1. Put some potting soil in a bowl and add some water to make it nice and moist, (not soaked, thought!) fill some small plant pots with the soil.
  2. Plant different pips and seeds in each pot, pushing them in about one centimeter. Label each pot so you know what it is. (Wonder what a "pip" is? That's what we usually call seeds from fruit like apples, oranges and grapes).
  3. Place a clear plastic bag, tightened at the rim with an elastic, over the top of each pot to make a mini greenhouse for your see, then put the pots in a warm place. Now you have to wait for the seeds to sprout. It may take a while! Different seeds sprout at different times.