We are just starting to lay our veggie patch and Ishaan, our four-year-old has a ton of questions.
Mamma, why are you so careful with plants?
Plants are living things. They breathe, eat and grow. They give us flowers, vegetables and fruits and when not looked after well they die.
But mamma, how do they eat? Plants do not have a mouth. Do they?
Plants have something called roots and they usually grow under the soil. When we water the plants, the nutrients (good stuff) in the soil, mixes with the water and this “healthy water”. Roots are like straws, they suck the water in and it goes into plant’s ‘body’.
And so conversation headed towards how plants are “born”.
Where do plants come from?
What are seedlings?
So I figured that I will take a shot at explaining the germination process for our little gardeners. We did the following biology experiment together to understand this process more practically.
1. Fenugreek seeds. If you do not have fenugreek seeds you can use any kind of bean seeds too.
2. Some water
3. A small bowl to hold the seeds
1. Take one teaspoon full of fenugreek seeds and place them in bowl.
2. Add about 10 teaspoons of water to the seeds.
3. Leave the bowl with the seeds and water on your kitchen table for 3 days. Place it in a corner where there is a little bit of sun light.
Voila! Your Fenugreek seeds have taken in the water air and the light and have germinated into tiny seedlings.
Plants grow from seeds. Tiny little new plants, called the seedlings, grow from the seeds. This process is called germination. These seedlings eventually grow to become cute little plants.
But what makes the seeds germinate?
Just as the humans need food, water, air and light to grow, seeds need water, air, light or darkness and warmth to germinate and grow into seedlings. Seeds store heaps of energy in them. They are also covered with a coat called ‘seed coat’.
When the water, air, light or darkness and warmth is all in the correct proportions, seeds absorb water and air using the seed coat. Then they slowly use the energy that is stored in them to grow tiny roots and a little stem. Eventually, little leaves grow and the plant is now ready to be planted in the soil.
How do seedlings grow further into plants and then into trees?
Roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil, the leaves absorb the light from the sun and make its own food by photosynthesis.
What is photosynthesis, you ask? That is for another day 🙂
I do hope that our little readers and curious gardeners understand the process of germination and how important plants are and develop gardening as new habit.
Before I sign off, here is a thought-provoking question for our little gardeners. Put your answers in the comments below.
Can plants grow in space? Why or why not?