Sprouting Sun Worshippers: Biology 101

My penchant for warm weather is so strong that it must be infectious.  Turns out the trait is running in my small family of tomato seedlings that sprouted from my windowsill as their stems stretch toward the sun.

No movement from the basil side.   A bit concerning since I planted and posted over a week ago and the seed packet ensures me 5-10 days to germination.

Channeling my inner-science nerd, I found this video of a pea seed germinating absolutely captivating, providing the ‘insider’s view’ to what was really going on in the corner of my condo.

I feel like I’m back in science class.  So here’s what I’m (re)learning in my gardening toils (biologists and seasoned gardeners may stop reading here):

  • In order for a seed to germinate, temperature, water, oxygen and light are important considerations.  Seeds store their own energy and these factors need to be just right for them to release this energy and germinate.
  • The seed contains the embryo, an immature plant with all the parts of the adult plant.  The embryo’s leaves are called the cotyledons and the endosperm is the food that will nourish the embryo during its early stages of development.
  • During germination, a tiny seedling emerges from the seed.  The absorption of water activates an enzyme, and oxygen is drawn from the soil spaces to increase respiration and plant cell duplication.  As the embryo grows, it breaks the seed coat and the seedling emerges.  The root anchors the seed in place and the embryo absorbs water and nutrients from the surrounding soil.
  • As the root continues to grow, a bud will appear between the seed leave(s).  From this, the first true leaves grow and the small plant produces its energy from light through photosynthesis.

How’s that for a quick Biology class refresher?  All this said, perhaps the embryo of the basil seed is still growing, absorbing and breathing.  The seedling sits tight until conditions are perfect to rear its green stem.  So I will sit tight, too; clearly impatience is not contagious.  Stay tuned.

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One response to “Sprouting Sun Worshippers: Biology 101

  1. Pingback: Sprouting Sun Worshippers: Biology 101 | Farm to Table

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