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GIVING ROOTS AN OBSTACLE COURSE

It will be fun to play tricks on some roots! We have glass
jars with a layer of gravel in the bottom, and some potting
soil. We'll put some rocks and some small pieces of wood
into the jars, then a little bit of potting soil on top of
them. Then, we want to lay some seeds on the soil right
above the rocks and pieces of wood, and next to the glass,
then put about one-half inch of wet potting soil on top of
the seeds.

What do you think will happen when the seeds germinate and
roots start to grow? Will the roots grow right into the
rocks or the pieces of wood?

Make sure the soil is kept moist, so they will germinate and
grow well. Let's check on them each day, and make notes
about the way the roots grow.

At the same time, let's germinate some seeds on a blotter and
put obstacles onto the blotter to see what that makes their
roots do. We can even change the places of the rocks after
the seeds have little roots, to see if the roots turn the
corner to go around the rocks.

Do you think that the reason plants don't grow well in rocky
soil is because the rocks get in the way of root growth?


 
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