1. Choose a plant species you would like to cultivate. Ideally choose species according to the current season i.e., species that can be grown in autumn/winter in Melbourne. Examples include plants from the pea family (garden pea, chickpea, beans, snowpea, etc), coriander, fenugreek, spinach. Seeds of some of this may be present in your pantry. If using seeds from pantry, sow more seeds as germination rate may be low. 2. Prepare a garden bed or fill 5 pots (10 litre) or ice cream containers or like with garden soil (soil in your backyard will do). If Bunnings is still open and you can visit, please bring fertiliser (water soluble powder or liquid concentrate) and fungicide (copper based or eco-friendly). If you cannot purchase these due to current situation, it is okay to complete the experiment without them. Note the warnings on these chemicals and use appropriately. You will only need a tiny bit for this experiment. So if you will not use later, it is not advisable to purchase. 3. Germinate the seeds ‘in the soil’ or ‘on soil surface’ according to the seed type. Germinate 2-3 seeds per pot. If cultivating on a garden bed, sow 2-3 seeds at 5 locations (at least 0.25 m apart). Record this day as ‘Day 0’. 4. Water the seeds twice a day till they emerge. Record the day of emergence. Record Germination %. You can take photos throughout the experiment to paste in your report and if growing indoors, take time lapse videos to show your friends. Three days after germination, keep one healthy plant in each pot or location and discard the remaining. 5. Watch the plant grow everyday and make weekly observations: plant height, number of leaves, number of nodes, number of internodes, length of internodes (Internode 1 is the bottom most). Make these observations for 4 weeks starting 3 days after germination. If the plant produces tillers (multiple stems or leaves like a grass, consider each stem or leaf as individual node). Fill this information in Table 1. 6. Once, the plant emerges, only water to keep the soil moist (usually alternate days). Don’t over water or else the plants will rot. Check the weather forecast before watering if growing outdoors. You may not need to water if it is going to rain heavily. 7. Record the amount of water provided to each plant. You can use a 200 or 250 ml glass or cup to water. 8. If you purchased a fertiliser, please fertilise the plants in week 2 according to recommended dose on the packet. Wear protection as per manufacturer’s instructions. 9. Record the growth habit of the plant including root type, leaf type, etc to fill out information in Table 2. Take photos to support your results. 10. In week 4, don’t water the plants for 1 week and check the effect on plant leaves. Take photos on alternate days. 11. After week 4, you can discard the plants or keep them to harvest fresh home produce ??
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