Sunflower Seed Germination
The purpose of this experiment is to apply investigative principles in designing an experiment comparing the germination success of sunflower seeds. I will take sunflower seeds sold as bird food and sunflower seeds sold at a nursery and compare the germination and growth process of the seeds. Because sunflower seeds from a nursery are more expensive than those from a pet store, this experiment will show if the price of the seeds are equivalent to the quality of the seeds. I think the sunflower seeds from the nursery will prove to be of better quality and thus have more germination success. However, in a control environment, all the sunflower seeds should germinate and grow at the same rate.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This experiment required 10 sunflower seeds sold as bird food and 10 sold at a nursery. I purchased a large bag of sunflower seeds sold as bird food (from WalMart) and a small pouch of garden sunflower seeds from a nursery. I planted 10 seeds of each type in separate cups (5 seeds per cup, 4 cups total). I kept the cups in my house at room temperature. I put 1/3 cup of water in each cup 3 times a week and observed the germination process over the course of two weeks.
The results of the experiment did not surprise me. The garden sunflower seeds had a 90% success rate with 9 out of 10 germinating. The bird food sunflower seeds had a 50% success rate with 5 out of 10 germinating.
This experiment confirmed my hypothesis that garden sunflower seeds would have a higher success rate of germination than the sunflower seeds sold as bird food. There were a few interesting things I noticed in this experiment.
I was surprised to find the sunflower seeds sold as bird food to be about twice the size of the gardening sunflower seeds. This had me question my hypothesis because it’s typical to believe the bigger something is, the better it is. Obviously, that was not the case.