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results of growing seeds in a bag

Results of growing seeds in a bag

An activity for the Foundation Years to KS2 in order to observe seed germination.

Materials Needed

  • a few seeds
  • paper towel [school ones are ideal]
  • stapler
  • plastic bag [the A4 sized kind which seals at the top works best]
  • ruler
  • water
  • label

Instructions

  1. First, label bag with child’s name, date and seed name.
  2. Next, fold a paper towel so that it just fits inside the bag.
  3. Take a ruler and measure 7 cm from the top of the bag and staple a row of staples from one edge to the other through the plastic bag and paper towel. If you are using very small seeds then make the staples closer together. You will have a mini-pocket, 7 cm deep. This is where the seeds are going to sit.
  4. Next carefully pour enough water into the bag so that it will soak up through the paper towel but leave a small reservoir of water at the bottom of the plastic bag [about 2-3 cm].
  5. Then, take the seeds and put them in the mini-pocket so they are sitting on top of the line of
    staples.
  6. Seal up the seed bag so no air can escape or get into it. Tape it to a window or peg to a washing
    line strung across the classroom.

Within a few days depending on the time of the year the seeds will begin to germinate. Children can
clearly see the growth of roots and then the shoot. As soon as the young plants reach the top of the
sealed bag they can be carefully removed and potted up.

An activity for the Foundation Years to KS2 in order to observe seed germination.

Growing Seeds In Plastic Bags: Learn About Starting Seeds In A Bag

We all want a jump start on the growing season and there are few better ways than germinating seeds in a bag. Seeds in plastic bags are in a mini greenhouse which keeps them moist and warm to speed sprouting. This method works great on most vegetables, especially legumes, and can also be used for annuals and other plants.

What Do You Need for Starting Seeds in a Bag?

In northern climates, seeds need to be started indoors for the best chance at germination. Other factors besides cold temperatures can affect sprouting, such as rain and wind, which may wash away seeds. To keep control of your future plants and get them ahead for the growing season, try the baggie seed starting method. It’s cheap, easy and effective.

You can use a clear plastic bag that has a zipper, or not. Even a bread bag will work, provided it doesn’t have holes. Remember, the two most crucial items for seed germination are moisture and heat. By starting seeds in a bag, you can easily provide both, plus light if the variety of seed is one which is photosensitive.

In addition to the bag, you will need some material that is moderately absorbent. This might be a bit of towel, coffee filter, paper towels or even moss. Ta-da, you now have a perfect seed incubator.

Tips on Plastic Bag Seed Starting

It is extremely helpful if starting several kinds of seed to mark the bags first with permanent marker. You should also consult seed packets to see if they need dark or light to germinate.

Next, moisten your absorbent material. Get it good and wet and then squeeze out excess water. Lay it out flat and place seeds on one side of the material and then fold over. Put the seeds in the plastic bag and seal it somehow.

If the seeds need light, place them by a bright window. If not, put them in a drawer or cupboard where it is warm. You can use a seed germination mat if you wish since they produce a fairly low temperature and shouldn’t melt the bags. If so, put a dish towel over the mat first before placing the bags on top.

Caring for Seeds in Plastic Bags

Germination times will vary when using the baggie seed starting method, but will generally be faster than soil planting. Every 5 to 7 days, open the bag to release excess condensation which can contribute to damping off.

Keep the absorbent material moderately wet when needed. Some pros recommend a mister bottle filled with a 1:20 water/hydrogen peroxide solution to spray on seeds and prevent mold. Another suggestion is chamomile tea to prevent mildew problems.

Once they have sprouted, use toothpicks as dibbles and carefully transplant seedlings to soil to grow on until time to plant out.

We all want a jump start on the growing season and there are few better ways than germinating seeds in a bag. Seeds in plastic bags are in a mini greenhouse which keeps them moist and warm to speed sprouting. Learn more about this planting method here.