seeds and window plant

Virginia Berg Virginia.Berg at
Mon Jul 31 13:51:48 EST 2000

Stokes in Buffalo, NY, USA had the scarlet runner bean seeds I need.
Thanks, Chuck (and others).

On the window plant:  I have a lecture-only class do a little exercise
involving a week of growing corn and bean seeds in clear plastic film
containers (two seeds on opposite sides of one container or one in each of
two containers).  The really clear plastic containers come from Magic Color,
a widely distributed (in the U.S.) fast photo processor.  The best soil has
been fake soil, premoistened.  The students are urged to place the cap a
little off center to retard soil drying, and not add water  until the plants
have emerged from the soil.  There is no way for the students to water dry
soil without rotting most of the seeds (much experience here). If they use a
pencil to create a "hole" in the soil right next to the plastic wall of the
film container, they can plant the seed there, and watch the whole show.
Many students (if they put the seeds in warm places) can see changes the day
following planting.  I give them a sheet to write down their observations;
there is a cm ruler xeroxed on the bottom of the sheet to encourage
numerical observations.  The students (non-biology majors) love it, and we
have a high rate of live plants.  They are amazed to see the fast root
growth. Some students save their plants in the spring and put them out in
the garden.  The cost is only a few cents per student.  Of course I give
credit, and sometimes a small prize for the biggest plant, etc. 

--Gini Berg

Something hidden.  Go and find it.  Go and look behind the Ranges --
Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you.  Go!

Virginia Berg  (bergv at
Biology Department 0421
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
(319) 273-2770 (phone), 273-2893 (fax)


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