This is something my kids learned this week while watching Real Science on PBS. (I'm starting to like PBS LOL)
They said on the show it's works best in the fall, but can be done in the spring and summer also. So we can't wait for Spring!! We are going to try this all 3 seasons and compare the results.
For each time you want to do this experiment and/or per child you will need:
2 Socks (large enough to go OVER your shoes)
2 flower pots
potting soil (from any store)
dirt from your back yard
and woods to go hiking in
This is what you do.... put the socks on OVER your shoes and go hiking in the woods. When you are done hiking take the dirty socks off. Make sure that they are NOT inside out. Make sure the "dirty" part of the sock is facing out.
Fill the flower pots 1/2 full with dirt. Fill one 1/2 full with the dirt from your backyard and the other 1/2 full with the potting soil. Place one sock in each flower pot.
Now cover the sock with about an inch or 2 of dirt. (You don't want it to be buried to deep). Which dirt you finish covering the sock with will depend on the pot it is in. If the sock in the pot with the potting soil then finish covering it with the potting soil. If the sock is in the pot with the dirt from the backyard then finish covering it with the dirt from the backyard.
Place the pots in a sunny spot and keep them watered for several weeks. Over time you should start to see plants growing!!! And the plants in the potting soil should be growing better then the plants in the dirt from the yard. Why is that??
This works best in the fall because that is when most plants loose their seeds etc, but it can work in the spring and summer.
Anyway I just wanted to share this will all of you, it's simple enough to do (and the cost is fairly low too). We can't wait till spring to give this a try. (Of course summer and fall too)
Oh and not only is it "science" but the hike in the woods could be counted as PE too. It 2 subjects in one!!!! Got to love that!!!
UPDATE: Our results can be seen here: Planting Socks The Results.