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|| GROWING FERNS IN SOIL
We are going to grow ferns in potting soil, in four pots.
Get one long stem of a fern plant. The long stem and leaves
that grow from it is called a frond. Let it dry for a week
Get some fine sand, and put the sand into a bowl of water and
sswish it around with your hands. Pour off the water, being
careful that the sand doesn't pour out, too, and put in some
clean water so that you can do it again. Take out as much
water as possible the last time you wash the sand.
Put potting soil into four little pots, and put one-half inch
of your clean sand on top of the potting soil. The soil and
sand should not reach the very top of the pot.
Ask an adult to pour boiling water over the sand and the pots
so that there won't be any germs or mold on the pots or in
Look at the fern frond. Turn it over and look on the bottom
sides of its leaves. The tiny black spots are fern seeds,
called "spores." Hold the frond over the pot and shake the
frond. Some of the spores will fall off the frond onto the
sand in your pots.
Put the pots into a tray with a little water in it, or into
four saucers with a little water in them. When the saucers
are dry, pour a little more water into them. If you keep
water in the saucers, or tray, you should not need to put
water onto the sand. The soil will carry the water to the
sand, so the spores will have all the water they need. (The
water should not be deep, because too much water can make
mold grow in the soil.)
Put a piece of glass onto the pots, or cover each pot with
plastic wrap (or a plastic sandwich bag), and stretch a
rubber band around them so the plastic stays on the pots.
Take them to a place inside where the there isn't very much
light; not near a window. If the weather is warm, they could
be outside in a shady place.
If you put the pots into saucers, you could put some outside,
in a shady place, and some inside, and watch to see if they
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