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How deep should seeds be planted? Does it make any
difference at all? Let's find out, by planting seeds in jars
with potting soil. We'll use pint-sized jars, because they
are just tall enough to do what we need to do.

In each jar of moist potting soil, we will plant two seeds.
Jar number 1 will have seeds planted 1/2 inch deep, into jar
number 2, we'll plant them 1 inch deep. Into jar number 3,
we'll plant them 2 inches deep. Jar number 4 will have seeds
planted at 3 inches deep, and jar number 5 will have seeds at
4 inches deep. We will wrap black paper around the outside
of each jar, and put the jar number onto a white sticker,
which will go onto the black paper.

Why do you think we are putting black paper over the outside
of the jars? When plants grow in nature, do the roots get
light? Can we see them? Soil is dark, and the roots grow
best in the dark. Since we can't watch plant roots grow
outside in the ground, we learn the secret by making the
embryos think they are in the ground. If we want to see the
roots while the plants are growing, we need to be able to
take off the "darkness."

Remember to keep the soil moist, because if they dry out, the
seeds will die. Each day, let's check to see if the seeds
have germinated, and how they are growing. As usual, we'll
make a list of the jar numbers and the dates when we can tell
that the seeds have germinated. When green shows at the top
of the soil, we will make a note of that, and we'll measure
the green growth each day.

How do embryos know which way is up? Why does it matter?

If carrots could grow with the stems and leaves under the
soil, and the part we eat sticking up above the soil, they
could be picked instead of dug out of the soil. Why do you
think they grow with the good part under the ground?

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