Garden Science

Some of our science studies this year revolved around a set of simple experiments to show what plants needed to grow and how they used those things. All these projects came from commonly available books or simply ideas that are familiar to most of us from our own school days. However, they were a lot of fun and coupled with an unusual summer of hot weather combined with torrential rain, which put paid to our normal gardening efforts, they gave us lots to talk about.

Growing an Avocado from its pip.

Apparently, an Avocado is a berry. Ours took a very long time to get started. We put it in warm water, in the airing cupboard for 24 hours and then left it propped on bubble wrap in a hyacynth vase for several weeks. Eventually after several top ups of water, it split but appeared to have no shoot, then just as we were about to throw it out, it grew!!! It stayed in our nice bright window until the root had reached the bottom and once it got as large as the picture on the right, it was planted out into a really big pot with lots of rich compost. its growing beautifully and looks most attractive and was a lesson in patience if nothing else!

Growing Beans in Different Environments

This was an excellent experiment, although i never took a final photo to show how good it got. The bean on the left had no light or water, the middle one had no water and the one on the right had water and light.

The one under cover grew but the shoot was quite white and didn’t know which way was up, the middle one didn’t grow at all and the one on the right did really well, with a tall, green, straight shoot. The girls were very interested in this and able to come up with excellent reasons for why it happened as it did. A great exercise in deduction and thought!

How Plants Drink

This was a very visual experiment and it happened so slowly that we were able to really watch what was happening over a period of days. I’ve done this before with less success so my hints for getting a good result are:

Use white carnations.

Cut stems really short.

Use about half a bottle of food colour to a small jar of water. The colour needs to be inky concentration rather than “lightly coloured water.”

Blue and green turned out to be excellent colours for this. The blue showed the colour moving clearly through the veins of the plant and the green separated a lot of yellow colouring from it, so the tips of the flowers were a different colour to the green in the veins. We loved this!

Growing Cress

Undoubtedly a real old favourite but fabulous for showing a child just what a seed can do when you add water and light to the food it has stored in its seed.