One of the best lessons for young children is showing them that they will produce the positive fruits of their labor with hard work and diligence. Choosing fast-growing seeds for classroom science projects is the perfect way to get kids involved in learning and to teach them organizational skills! Lessons that involve growing seeds in life are methodical, literal, and metaphorical in nature.
13 Best Fast Growing Seeds for Classroom Gardens
Whether you want to plant a vegetable garden or teach children about annual flowers, kids love seeing something grow that they planted. There is simply something magical about when you plant a seed and watch it take root and form into something beautiful or tasty! Plus, kids love to watch their seeds growing faster than others in the classroom.
Here are the three best seeds for natural pest control and recipes. Scroll down for many more!
Best Seeds for Repelling
Best Seeds to Put in a Recipe
Germination time: 7-10 days
Growth: Does well indoors in a pot with morning sun
Germination time: About 1-2 weeks
Growth: Same as Basil, does well indoors with morning sun.
Germination time: About 1-2 weeks
Growth: Must be kept wet all the time. Does well in shady areas
Items Needed for Planting Fast-Growing Seeds
No matter what type of seed you choose to grow with your class full of kids, there are a few things that you need to make sure that you have before getting started!
You will be so surprised to see how super fast any seed will germinate in a Ziploc bag with a damp paper towel! These are super inexpensive, and you can use whatever brand. I remember using these when I was a little kid, and it has stuck with me in gardening as an adult.
Who knew something as easy as these seed starter peat pots would be the perfect solution to germinate seedlings in the classroom? These items are easy for children to handle and are perfect for starting and transferring a sprout.
Red Clay Pots
This seems like it would be a no-brainer, but if you are new to gardening, it is important to know that some plants will do fine in a red solo cup, and others need a bigger pot to grow in! When it comes to science projects like this, if I can swing it in my budget, I like to get the red clay pots and let the kids decorate them for our seed projects.
Empty Egg Shells
While not as easy to preserve, empty eggshells are nutrient-rich and help little seeds to sprout quickly. Growing plants in eggshells instead of pots make for fun science experiments, and kids will learn something valuable about gardening and enriching soil.
Typically, you want to get potting soil for your classroom garden or these types of projects. However, I have found that cheap topsoil also does a great job at providing the right nutrients to promote fast-growing flowers and vegetables. If you are transferring plants to an outdoor area, make sure you prepare your soil outside by breaking up the ground. It is important to recognize which plants need enriched soil (like potting soil) and which would do better in the dirt that has not been enriched (such as topsoil).
Fast Growing Plant Seeds
Many of these fast-growing plant seeds listed all have a germination time of two weeks or less. Gardening with a short time frame in mind is great for those with classes of smaller kids, or if you only have your kids for a few weeks out of the school year before they move onto a different elective.
Teaching children how to plant and start growing their own vegetables is an invaluable skill! These lessons that involve growing seeds remind me of the old saying, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish, and he will eat for life.” Except, in this case, we are planting seeds instead of finding fish.
These radishes are super healthy and tasty food that is fun to watch grow. In fact, radishes germinate quickly and can produce an edible plant in about 30 days! Radishes need a lot of sunlight for germination and growth and may be transferred to bigger pots. Your children will love watching their radishes grow, and they will love making something tasty even more. Even better, radishes are nutrient-rich and educate children about eating healthy while doing their science projects.
You will want to make sure you have a larger area to transfer the plant to once the seeds start to sprout for pumpkin seeds. These are easy seeds to plant because you can put them in little plastic cups with some soil or even in a Ziploc bag with a damp paper towel. These seeds will sprout quickly, so make sure you can a place ready to plant them outside.
Kids LOVE decorating pumpkins. However, to have a full pumpkin garden for your kids, these need to be planted in late May or early June. This could be a fun “pay it forward” project for the kids exiting your class to the new ones coming in.
Planting these pea seeds can be done either in a cup with soil or with the plastic bag method. Peas grow best in an area with lots of sunlight and take a little over a couple of months to mature entirely. Unlike some of our other plants, you will need a trellis as these fast-growing seeds mature. Keep your soil moist and prepare a great recipe for all the peas you will get from these plants.
Beans are one of the easiest and ideal types of seeds to grow for an in-class experiment. Lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, and black beans are easy to grow in a Ziploc bag with a wet paper towel. These plants sprout super fast, and children love watching their food grow! One great experiment is to place each one of these bean seeds in a bag and see the growing seeds race to the biggest size, the quickest.
Watercress is super easy to grow and does really well growing in an empty and cleaned eggshell vehicle. This plant can stay indoors and doesn’t have to be transplanted to a different outdoor location. Also, this plant can be grown at any time of the year! Kids will love harvesting this yummy plant. You can make so many different things with watercress, and this vegetable has lots of nutrients.
Lettuce is one of those super versatile vegetables and great for planting in pots in the classroom. With grow light or adequate sunlight, children can plant these seeds in the spring or the winter. Just about any lettuce can be grown indoors, but certain ones sometimes do better than others. For example, Tom Thumb, Romain, and Crisp Head are some good types that grow well indoors. These vegetable seeds need to be kept nice and cool within your indoor gardens.
Because growing herbs indoors has become so popular, there are many great tips and tricks available for those wanting to try their hand at indoor gardening. Growing herbs is a fun activity for children because they can be added to any dish to make them tasty. Get small pots and plant herbs such as Basil, Oregano, Thyme, and Mint. Herbs are fast-growing seeds and begin to spout within two to four weeks.
Who doesn’t love a garden full of flowers? This science project is a great one to allow students to enjoy their work and gift someone something beautiful at the same time. Even if this was not a science project, this could be a wonderful community service project for your classroom.
Sunflowers are so pretty and so much fun to watch grow! These flower seeds do well within little plastic cups with some soil. Be sure to put some holes in the bottom of the cup for proper drainage. One great thing about sunflower seeds, as opposed to other seeds, is that once these plants grow, you can harvest the seeds for other science projects or feed the birds. Lastly, make sure your students do not eat these seeds meant for planting as the outer coat has been treated with pesticides.
These beautiful flowers are known to grow quickly and are beautiful once fully bloomed. To increase the chance of these seeds growing faster, you should actually choose basic topsoil that hasn’t been highly enriched. Marigold seeds tend to do better in this kind of soil. These super fast-growing seeds germinate in as little as 4 days and are the perfect flowers for your next science project.
Above all else, do not let your students eat these! Little kids like to put things in their mouths…so keep watch because these seeds can be toxic.
Sweet Alyssum plants are lovely and are classified as perennials, which means you do not have to plant them every year. Germination time for these fast-growing seeds is as little as eight days! Kids will love seeing the seeds they planted sprout at your school over and over again in the garden.
Sweet William and Sweet Alyssum kind of sound like a lovely couple, don’t they? These flowers are biennial, meaning that they take two full years to bloom. While these fast-growing seeds only take about a week to sprout, they require a lot of patience for a full bloom. To plant these flowers, place them in a cup or a pot in a place that has full sun. Place some warm water on your seeds and soil and watch them sprout.
If you want to teach your students about plants that are easy to grow and have an element of natural pest control, this Mint does the trick! Primarily, mint keeps away pesky mosquitos and their larva that like to make their presence known in the summer month. Plus, because mint is edible, kids will love picking it from the classroom garden and tasting it. Lastly, these fast-growing plants sprout in about two weeks.
Who doesn’t love the relaxing smells of lavender? Growing seeds of this kind ensure something that smells good and something that looks beautiful. Lavender is extremely versatile and is used in everything from baking to being pressed into oils to body lotions and sprays. Like Mint plants, these fast-growing seeds also take about two weeks to germinate and, in full bloom, are known for their pretty purple flowers.
Basics Tips for Growing Plants in the Classroom
- Sanitize your containers first! You can easily do this with diluted bleach water to ensure no contaminants that would keep your planting process from being unsuccessful.
- The process in which you lightly scratch away the outer layer of a seed is called scarification. This can help with the germination process of plants.
- Scarification helps with water absorption! Sometimes, certain plants are better and sprout better with warm water vs. cold. Doing some research on water temperature would be beneficial for whatever seed you want to plant.
Final Thoughts on Fast-Growing Seeds for Classroom
One of the best things about this particular project is that kids love watching stuff grow! Kids literally love seeing themselves, flowers, grass, animals, everything grow. There truly is something miraculous and humbling about learning a work ethic and seeing what you can produce with nature with just a little hard work and persistence.