How Low Can You Go?: Planting Depth

1217 words - 5 pages

When planting a seed, many factors permit the seed to grow and become a plant. To sprout from the ground and survive, seeds require water, air, and a specific temperature. Seeds can get water, oxygen, and sun by being placed at the proper planting depth. Planting depth is the depth at which a seed is placed in the soil. If a seed is exposed to these vital needs, it goes through a process called germination. According to the Wise Geek article, “What is Germination?”, “Germination is a process in which a seed or spore awakens from dormancy and starts to sprout.” (“What is Germination?”). The writer of Botany Projects for Young Scientists says, “The seed usually goes through a dormant, or resting period after it has left the parent plant. During this time, it can endure cold or dry conditions.” they later go on to say, “When warmth and moisture become available, the seed germinates and forms a new plant.” (Bleifeld 60).
In laboratory settings, germination tests are conducted to see how long it takes seeds to germinate. After the seed has grown for the allotted days, they also test for abnormal seedlings. In some cases, abnormal seedlings can be caused by damage to the seeds before or during planting, insects, disease, chemicals, and exposure to cold temperatures. All the factors are controlled. (Colbry et al. 434-437). Some of the seeds used in my experiment may not sprout because they may have had prior damage. Seeds sometimes have tough seed coats. This may stunt germination because it takes longer for water to enter the seed. With water not entering the seed, but staying around it, the seed may be exposed to some frost. Soybean is a seed that I intend to use for my experiment. These seeds are often prone to damage. (Colbry et al. 435-436). These are items that I should take into account if some of my seeds do not sprout.

The germination process begins when water and oxygen are pulled into the seed by the seed’s coating. The embryo’s cells grow bigger as water and air enter the seed. After this step, a root sprouts from the seed. Next, a stem and leaves shoot through the dirt. Poor germination can be caused by improper planting depth, over watering, or dry conditions. Improper planting depth can cause the seed to use all of its resources before it breaks through the surface. Over watering blocks the intake of oxygen. Last but not least, dry conditions do not allow a seed to take in water. Then, cells will not enlarge, and no roots or stems will appear. cells to enlarge and the root and stem to sprout. (The Great Plant Escape).
The development of a seed into a plant starts with a primary root coming from the seed. The root grows down and stations the plant. The seed moves up, and a stem moves toward the surface. Followed by the stem are the cotyledons.(Zerega). In the article “Cotyledon” the author states, “Cotyledon, is the leafy portion of a plant's embryo. The embryo is the part of the seed from which a mature plant develops.” (Armstrong)....

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