Cook Seeds Before Planting? (page 3)

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Author: Muriel Gerhard

Experimental Procedure

This experiment will require some preparation the day before you actually start. You need to prepare your soaked seeds. The seeds should be soaked in warm water and left in the water for 24 hours. Take about 12 zinnia seeds and place them in a bowl of warm, not hot, water. Let them sit for use for tomorrow.  Now, on the next day, begin the experiment by going through the following steps:

  1. State the problem you are going to investigate.
  2. Create and review the data sheets you will use to record your observations.
  3. Gather all your materials.
  4. Put on your safety glasses, plastic gloves and apron.
  5. Make out your labels as follows: Cooked #1, Cooked 2, Cooked #3, Cooked#4 , Soaked #1, Soaked#2, Soaked#3 and Soaked #4, and Control #1and Control #2.
  6. You are now going to cook some of the zinnia seeds. In a pot on the stove, place about twelve zinnia seeds, cover with ½ a cup of water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and strain with the strainer which you lined with a piece of paper toweling to capture the cooked seeds.
  7. Make a mixture of peat moss and potting soil using ¾ soil and ¼ peat moss. Fill all your plant pots ¾ full with this mixture.
  8. Start with your control labeled pots and plant three regular seeds, not  the cooked or the soaked ones, 1/4 to1/2 inch deep. Cover them lightly with soil and one medicine dropper of water. They will germinate in approximately 5 days.
  9. Now plant your cooked seeds in the containers labeled cooked #1, 2, 3, and 4 and do the same with you soaked seeds planting them in pots labeled soaked #1, 2, 3, and 4. Water each one with one medicine dropper full of water.
  10. Put all of your plant containers in one a warm place watering them on a daily basis.
  11. For each of the six days, record your observations in your data chart. Analyze the data and formulate a conclusion. Did your conclusion match your hypothesis? Did the experiment work out the way you expected? Why of why not?
  12. Prepare your report and include all of the following: a clear statement of the problem, your hypothesis, namely what did you predict would occur. Provide a list of the materials used. Include the safety precautions taken. Describe the procedures used. Include all the data that were gathered. Include your chart.  Explain the purpose of the control.  Formulate your conclusions.   For dramatic value, you may include photos of the materials used or of you in the process of conducting this investigation. Include a bibliography of sources you used. You may wish to assess what you did and describe what you would do differently if you were to do this project again. You may wish to expand this research next year. What other materials might you investigate for this purpose?
  13. You may want to transplant your seedlings. Prepare the peat moss, soil mixture in new pots and plant the seedling 6 inches apart. Enjoy them. They are beautiful!


  1. Cork, Barbara. Mysteries and Marvels of Plant Life. London: Usborne- Hayes Publishing Ltd. 1983
  2. Leibowitz, Wanda. How to Soak Seeds Yourself at Home: A Guide to Soaking for Fast Germination, published on June 12, 2007
  3. Wexler, Jerome. Flowers, Fruits and Seeds. New York: Prentice Hall, 1988
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