On our first attempt we tried growing Echinacea (Coneflower) seeds. The children picked seeds off some dead Coneflower plants from my yard. We planted them in cell pots, put them in the Green House, and waited and waited and waited. When they didn't sprout, we did some investigative work and discovered that what we thought were seeds were only the seed coat. Nothing was inside the covering.
Next, we tried pumpkin seeds. The pumpkins are part of a "Literature Garden". The inspiration for our garden is a story in which a town is inundated with pumpkins. We hope the same thing will happen for us.
The children picked from a variety of pumpkin seeds, planted them in cell pots, labeled what type they planted, and then waited and waited and waited. This time we had an idea of how long it would take since the packets said 5-10 days.
This time, the seeds started to sprout. It was very exciting but there was some confusion and questions.
Why was the seed stuck to some of the leaves?
Why hadn't all of the seed sprouted?
To try to find some answers, a pumpkin seed was put in a plastic bag with a wet paper towel so we could watch what happened to the seed under the ground. The children discover that the "seed" that was attached to some of the leaves was empty. It was just the seed coat or covering. In the bag, the leaves pushed up and roots branched down and pushed off the seed coat.
After waiting at least 15 days, we considered digging up the seeds that hadn't sprouted to see if we could discover why they didn't grow. But after the long weekend, most of the seeds had sprouted. They were just a bit slower at getting started.
This week, we planted some of the pumpkins in the raised bed outside our classroom. The rest will be planted once a fence has been constructed around the front garden so the groundhog won't eat our small tender plants.
In the raised bed, we also transplanted larkspur that was growing where it shouldn't have been in my yard. Hopefully we will have flowers blooming before school is out.