This week I wrote a very long email to a friend who is starting a garden - in Namibia! She and her villagers are beginning gardeners. At one point she wrote "the swiss chard seeds had little germination root thingys in the package." Those little thingys are radicles, or embryonic roots, and I have been looking at a lot of them recently. If they were in soil, and not on petri dishes, they would grow down.
|Root hairs also collect water. Cotyledons are embryonic leaves I'll write about them next.|
|The wires and box are the temperature monitor.|
The seeds go in petri dishes with wet filter paper. Every day I look at each one to see how many seeds have sprouted. It sounds labor intensive, but isn't. Yesterday I had everything counted in 15 minutes! Partly because most of the seeds have sprouted and partly because a huge storm descended on southern New Hampshire and I had left all the windows in my apartment wide open. I expected a flood when I got home and was relieved at a broken flower pot.
|Seed, radicle and beginning cotyledons under the seed shell on the left.|