Lesson 3

Does the use of increased amounts of fertilizer accelerate seed germination?

Objective:
Students will be able to:
• determine the optimal amount of fertilizer to use to accelerate seed germination.
.Note: Safety goggles and aprons should be worn at all times during this lab activity.

Materials:
3 petri dishes with lids
Distilled Water
10% Fertilizer solution
20% Fertilizer solution
Radish seeds, Bean seeds or mustard seeds
Filter paper

Procedure:
Working with a partner:
1. Label three petri dishes as follows:

• Petri dish 1-Distilled water-this is the control
• Petri dish 2-10% fertilizer solution
• Petri dish 3-20% fertilizer solution
2. Cut 2 pieces of filter paper to fit inside each petri dish. Place five seeds in a row on top
the filter paper in each petri dish.
3. Moisten the seeds in petri dish 1 with distilled water only. This is the control. Cover the moistened seeds with the second piece of filter paper and moisten it with distilled water.
4. Moisten the seeds in petri dish 2 with 10% fertilizer solution. Cover the moistened seeds with the second piece of filter paper and moisten it with 10% fertilizer solution
5. Moisten the seeds in petri dish 3 with 20% fertilizer solution. Cover the moistened seeds with the second piece of filter paper and moisten it with 20% fertilizer solution.
6. Place all three petri dishes in a warm area where they will remain undisturbed for a five day period.
7. Check the seeds for the next five days and determine the number germinated in each petri dish. Moisten the seeds each day with the appropriate solution. Record your observations in the data table.

Develop a hypothesis which states which of the solutions, distilled water, 10% fertilizer solution or 20% fertilizer solution, will accelerate seed germination.

Hypothesis:

Data Table:

After the observations are complete, answer the following questions.

Conclusions:
1. Does the data collected support your hypothesis? Why or why not?

2. Describe the similarities and differences of the germination process in each of the three petri dishes.

3.  Based on your observations, do increased strengths of fertilizers accelerate seed germination?

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