Science Project:

Do Packaged Seeds Expire?

3.7 based on 15 ratings

Research Questions:

  • What are the parts of a plant seed?
  • What causes a seed to germinate?

Seed packages have expiration dates--but does that mean they'll no longer grow if planted? In this experiment, we'll find out.

Materials:

  • Packages of old, expired seeds: You'll need to ask friends and family, or ask your local gardening supply store
  • Packages of new seeds that are the same kind/variety as the expired seeds
  • Soil with fertilizer
  • Water
  • Sunlight
  • Ruler
  • Patience

Experimental Procedure

  1. Pick a location rich in equal amounts of sunlight to plant your seeds.
  2. Separate two spots for your two groups of seeds, at least six inches apart.
  3. Dig holes for your seeds- insert your expired seeds in one section and the new seeds in the other. Cover the hole(s) up.
  4. Give the seeds their first taste of water- you should water it a bit everyday or when it looks dry and the soil feels dry. You don't need to water them when it rains.
  5. Observe the seeds daily and see which one germinates first.
  6. If growth is spotted, measure the height with your ruler and record the measurement.
  7. Compare the heights when several weeks have passed and note any significant differences.

Suggested Chart

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Old Seeds

New Seeds

Terms/Concepts: Plant growth process; germination; Photosynthesis; Seeds; Water

References:

Rabinowitch E, Govindjee (1969). Photosynthesis. London: J. Wiley. ISBN0-471-70424-5.

Author: Sofia PC
Disclaimer and Safety Precautions

Education.com provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. Education.com does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against Education.com that arise thereof. In addition, your access to Education.com's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by Education.com's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on Education.com's liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

How likely are you to recommend Education.com to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely