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why do plants grow better with fertilizer

First, place potting soil in four small pots. Make sure that you have the same amount of soil in each pot. Place three bean seeds into each pot. Make sure that the soil in each pot is damp. Label the first pot control. This pot does not get any fertilizer. To create the fertilizer for the other three pots, put on your face mask and place a small stick of indoor plant fertilizer in an old pan. Place an old tea towel on top. Pound the stick with your hammer until it is a powder. Put the powder aside. Do the same thing with another stick of fertilizer. Put the powder into a small cup and mix this fertilizer with a tablespoon of water. Label the other three pots liquid, solid, and powdered. Place the liquid fertilizer in the first pot, place a solid stick of fertilizer into the second pot, and place the powdered fertilizer on top of the soil in the third pot. Now, watch your beans grow! After 4 days, carefully remove the seeds from the pots without losing track of which seeds came from which pots. Use a ruler to measure the length of each seed s sprout. What pot produced the seeds with the longest sprouts? If you wish, replace the seeds and continue your observation for several more days. Liquid fertilizer is the best fertilizer: the plants that receive the liquid fertilizer grow the best.

Why? Just like people, plants need nutrients to grow. In a typical fertilizer, you ll find lots of
nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These primary nutrients help plants grow new cells, and many enable different growth and food production processes to happen. If you choose a good quality fertilizer, it will also contain many other nutrients, including secondary nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Calcium helps plants grow roots and stand up straight. Magnesium helps plants make chlorophyll, which helps plants make food through photosynthesis. Sulfur is an important part of different proteins and plants enzymes. Plants also need very tiny amounts of trace elements like boron, copper, iron, chloride, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc as well. The liquid fertilizer has tiny pieces of fertilizer held in suspension in the water. Placing the fertilizer into a liquid base helps that fertilizer move through the soil to the bean seed. It also helps the plant move nutrients around. Think about it this way: the water in our bodies helps us move nutrients around, and same goes for plants.

Plants need water to move nutrients from the soil into the plant. Osmosis is a process in which nutrients move from areas of low concentration to areas of high concentration. This process allows nutrients to move from the soil into the center of a plant s roots where there are more nutrients. Once the water and nutrients are inside the xylem tissue of the plant, the xylem acts as a tube that sends the water and nutrients up into the stem. The water molecules connect to each other through a process called adhesion, and as molecules cling together, they move up through the plant. The water becomes a long, cohesive column, and as water moves out of the plant s leaves when the plant transpires, a new batch of nutrient-carrying water moves upwards. Water and nutrients go hand in hand. Allowing nutrients to move through the soil in suspension helps those nutrients move more easily, and it also helps the plant use those nutrients to grow. Are chemical ingredients harmful? What exactly defines the term organic? Plants need water and sunlight in order to grow. They can also be helped along by fertilizer, which is said to supply plants with necessary nutrients. However, there are different kinds of fertilizer, and some believe that fertilizer is simply uncessary.

In this experiment, we ll compare two different kinds of fertilizer to normal soil. Chemical fertilizer, such as Miracle-Gro Organic fertilizer (pelleted chicken manure, bone meal, etc. ) Seeds (of any kind, but keep it at the same type) Fill three pots with soil from the same source (in other words, don t get your soil from different places). Dig a small hole about 1- 1 inch deep into the soil of each pot and put a seed into each hole. Bury the seed inside and give it a pat. Label the pots with the type of fertilizer it is going to contain: chemical, organic, or none. Add chemical fertilizer to one pot and organic fertilizer to another. Do not put any fertilizer in pot number three. Water the plants and take it to a location with adequate sunlight. Monitor the seeds at their germination. Which one germinated first? Monitor the daily growth of the plant. Using a ruler, measure the height of the plant and also, check the overall condition of the plant until it reaches the desired height. Suggested Chart Terms/Concepts: References: Evans, L. T. (1998). Feeding the Ten Billion - Plants and Growth. Paperback, 247 pages.

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