Will Salt Water and Sugared Water Affect the Growth of Seeds?

   As I was thinking of an experiment where I can apply the scientific method, I had a question in mind. And it was…

Will salt water and sugared water affect the growth of seeds? 

That just gave me a brilliant beyond brilliant idea!

Hypothesis: They will affect the growth of seeds. 

  – 3 seeds (for example: mongo seeds)
  – 3 plastic containers (Please label so that they won’t get mixed up.) 
  – 3 sponges 
  – 1 tablespoon sugar 
  – 1 tablespoon fine salt 
  – three 1/2 cups of water (one with sugar, one with salt, one with nothing in it) 

  1. Put a sponge in each of the containers and place 6 seeds on top of each sponge. 
  2. Mix the sugar in 1/2 cup of water until dissolved and do the same with salt. 
  3. Pour one of the three 1/2 cups of water in one container and do the same with the other two. 
  4. Place the containers outside where the sun is. 
  5. Water the seeds whenever the sponge is dry already. 
  6. Observe and record what you see. Draw (optional). 

Day 1; July 23, 2012: Setting up of the experiment 

Day 2; July 24, 2012: The seeds are quite swollen now. They have absorbed water. 

Day 3; July 25, 2012: Two of the seeds in the Water Container are sprouting. 
The other seeds are not yet sprouting. The seeds on both the Water and Sugared Water containers are quite bloated. The seeds in the Salt Water container are still about in their original size. 

Day 4; July 26, 2012: There is a seed sprouting in the Sugared Water container! 

Day 5; July 27, 2012: All of the seeds are sprouting in the Water container! One seed is sprouting in the Sugared Water container while none are sprouting yet in the Salt Water container. 

(On July 27, 28, 29, we were out. July 27-30 were stormy days. We had to move them place to place.) 

Day 6; July 30, 2012: In the Water container, almost all the seeds are sprouting! Although, two seeds are covered in mold. In the Sugared Water container, two seeds are sprouting. One seed is covered in mold. In the Salt Water container, zero seeds are sprouting. They look puffier now, though. 

Day 7; July 31, 2012: The seeds on the Water and Sugared Water containers are growing. They grow bigger and healthier each day. In the Salt Water container, the seeds look a little puffier. 

Day 8; August 1, 2012: The seeds in the Water and Sugared Water containers are bigger and healthier. In the SalW container, they look the same.

Day 9; August 2, 2012: In the Water container, the plants have been growing bigger and faster everyday! Even in the Sugared Water container!

August 8, 2012: From August 2, 2012, the plants have been growing bigger and bigger everyday! Most of the seeds have mold all over it though. 🙁 

   During the process of the experiment,  there were experimental variables that we should have reduced or eliminated, but we really couldn’t. 


1. Weather; The day we set up the experiment, it was sunny. As days passed, the weather changed from sunny to stormy. We couldn’t control weather so we had to just deal with it.

2. Places where the containers were placed/stored; We put the containers in a spot where there was sun. Since there were weather changes, we had to move them somewhere else where the rain couldn’t reach the containers. If it did, that could be another experimental variable that would affect the results of the experiment. 

3. Amount of Water; The amount of water that I was supposed to use to water the seeds was 1/2 cup. Whenever I watered the seeds, the amount of water could be a little over the 1/2 mark on the measuring cup and I just didn’t notice it. 

4. The cover for the containers; I had to put clear cling wrap over the containers so that birds won’t peck the seeds. After a few days, I removed the cling wrap since the seeds look big enough and would need space to grow. 

5. The holes on the cling wrap; Although I made sure that each cling wrap had 16 holes on it, the size of the holes could be different. 

   As a conclusion, it looks like ordinary water makes the seeds grow the fastest! Sugared water slows down the growth of seeds and salt water does something to make them not grow at all!  

    I wonder why there was mold on some of the seeds… How did they grow there? Now, that could mean another experiment to do!

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