There are many kinds of fruits grown in the garden. Some fruits are soft, such as acorns and walnuts. Even though, little hawthorn berries and sycamore wings are fruits. Fruits all have seeds protected inside a container. The container may be the soft flesh of a plum or the hard shell of a hazelnut. You can discover the seeds inside different fruits. Some examples are given here. If you want to try others, use fruits bought from your local grocery store since some wild berries are poisonous.
YOU WILL NEED
- Looking at apple seeds:
Apple, chopping board, sharp knife, tweezers, magnifying glass.
- Looking inside a nut:
Hazelnuts, nutcracker, scissors, magnifying glass.
- How a seed grows:
Blotting paper or newspaper, glass jar, board bean or runner bean seed, water.
- Tropical seeds:
Avocado pit, three toothpicks, jar, water, gloves, pot, trowel, soil mix.
LOOKING AT APPLE SEEDS
Cut open an apple with a sharp knife. Inside you will find several brown seeds in the middle. Use the tweezers to remove as many of the seeds as you want.
Use the tweezers to carefully remove the soft outer skin of a seed. Underneath the skin, you will find the slippery white seed. Treat it carefully – it is very delicate.
Look under a magnifier to see the embryo (at the tip). The rest of the seed is the cotyledon, which provides food so the embryo will grow into a new root and shoot.
LOOKING INSIDE A NUT
Nuts are fruits that have their seeds inside a hard shell. Carefully crack open a hazelnut with a pair of nutcrackers, and look for the nut kernel (seed) inside.
Use scissors to scrape off the dark outer skin from the kernel. You should then be able to separate the white hazelnut into two halves. Look at these with a magnifying glass.
Inside the nut is a tiny embryo. This part grows into roots and a stem. The two larger parts are the cotyledons, which supply energy for the sprouting seed to grow.
HOW A SEED GROWS
Curl blotting paper inside a jar. Push a bean seed halfway down between the paper and the glass. Add water to a depth of ¾in and stand the jar in a light, warm place.
When the seed germinates, you will see the root growing downward. Turn the jar so that the root points to the right. What do you think will happen?
An avocado pit is the seed of the avocado plant. Clean off any flesh left on the stone, and then carefully push three toothpicks into the pit, as shown above.
Fill a jar with water and suspend the pit, so that it just touches the waterline. Keep the jar in a warm, shady place, and top up the water regularly.
When roots begin to grow downward, plant the pit in a pot filled with soil mix. Place the pot where the air is warm and humid, and wait for your seedling to grow.
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