In this activity, students build a biodegradable pot and plant seeds inside.
By making a seedling pot out of an empty paper egg carton, or newspapers, you can reuse materials and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with landfills.
The biodegradable pot helps protect a seedling's root system before it is transplanted. Seedlings can then be transplanted outside once they are stronger. The pot, along with its seedling, can be placed in the ground. Biodegradable materials are capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms, so they will naturally break down in your garden soil after the seedling are planted, the plant grows.
All living things respire i.e. convert food into energy. Both plants and seedlings need nutrition, warmth, oxygen, and water to do this. A seed is a combination of a embryonic plant and a food store (nutrition) so it only needs warmth, oxygen, and water to start growing.
A plant must makes it's own food, it does so through photosynthesis. Photosynthesis requires sunlight and occurs in the leaves of a plant. The process converts carbon dioxide and water into food and oxygen. So plants need sunlight (not just warmth), carbon dioxide (they will make their own oxygen) and water.
Many students will say that both plants and seedlings need soil. The truth is neither really do. A seed has all it's nutrition built in and requires only water, warmth, and oxygen. Plants produce most of their own nutrition through photosynthesis. However, plants can't create the vitamins and minerals they need for growth on top of food they make for energy. The root system of a plant absorbs water, oxygen, vitamins, and minerals from the soil, these are all vital to the plants survival but the 'soil' itself is not.