Effect of Miracle-Gro on Plant Growth

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1 7 th Grade Science Fair Effect of Miracle-Gro on Plant Growth A Science Report Presented to Miss Sprockel By: Miss Sprockel May 2,

2 Acknowledgement I appreciate the help of [list the names of people who have helped you with your project. You can include details about how they helped you, provide supplies for you, or provide you with emotional support.] 2

3 Tables of Contents Abstract...4 Statement of the Problem 5 Review of Literature 6 Hypothesis..7 Variables.8 Procedure 9 Material..10 Data Sheet..11 Chart/Graph 12 Conclusion..13 Future Study

4 1. Abstract The purpose of this experiment is to determine if the effect of Miracle-Gro on a plant s growth is worth the price of purchasing the product. It is hypothesized that adding Miracle-Gro to a plant s water will increase the height of the plant s stem. A brief procedures of the experiment involves planting 9 basil seedlings into three planter pots and splitting the plants into three groups. Once the seedlings are planted, the Miracle-Gro mixture was created. A jug was filled with.75 gallons of water with 5 scoops of Miracle-Gro added. Twice a day the first group of seedlings were watered with water that had no Miracle-Gro added. The second group was watered twice a day with 1 tablespoon of the Miracle-Gro mixture and the third group was watered twice a day with 2 tablespoons of the Miracle-Gro mixture. The results of my data show that adding Miracle-Gro to water does increase the growth of the plant s stem by about 1 centimeter. In conclusion, the hypothesis was correct and adding Miracle-Gro to a plant s water does increase the plant growth. 4

5 2. Statement of the Problem The experiment that will be completed for the Ewing Marion Kauffman School 6 th /7 th grade science fair is the effect of Miracle-Gro on plant growth. The researcher has started a garden at her house since it has started to get warmer in Kansas City. The previous winter, the vegetables and plants that she grew did not grow as tall as she wanted. A fellow scientist suggested using a supplement to help the plans grow. Miracle- Gro is a powder which can be mixed with water before the plants are watered. The researcher would like to conduct an experiment to see the effect of Miracle- Gro on the plants growing in her garden. The question that is going to be tested in this experiment is will different amounts of Miracle-Gro affect the overall growth of the plant? This experiment will be done over multiple weeks to determine overall effectiveness of the product. This experiment will be conducted to conclude if it is cost effective to purchase Miracle-Gro, or if plants will grow just as much with anything added. 5

6 3. Review of Literature Plants are the backbone of all life on Earth and an essential resource for human wellbeing according to the first source reviewed, Plants and Society (Levetin & McMahon, 2003). Plants impact human life every day, as well as support the infinite habitats where most organisms live. Efforts to feed the growing populations in developing nations make plant growth an important topic of study in the 21 st Century. Studying plants allows scientists to help meet the needs of the billions of people on Earth that need to eat. A previous study on plant fertilizers found that fertilizers are used on almost every industrial farm that produces food according to Complete Nutrition (Ohio State University Extension of the Harvest, 2008). In this study, the researcher states that plants require sixteen essential nutrients to grow. They tested the impact that Miracle Gro, distilled water, and a Complete Nutrition mix had on the growth of two different types of plants. They found that Miracle Gro did best with soybeans and the Complete Nutrition mix did best with lettuce. The type of fertilizer can have different impacts on different plants. Plants have one basic behavior: they grow. Plant growth depends on several different factors according to Requirements for Plant Growth (Butler and Oebker, 1998). Plants need the correct temperature range, lighting, water, gases, and nutrients in order to grow. Nutrients are especially important to help a plant grow. Green plants must absorb certain nutrients through their roots to survive. The essential elements needed in large quantities are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. With enough nutrients, plants grow rapidly in height, produce more leaves, and produce flowers for reproduction. A plant s behavior depends on the factors around it. Frequently Discussed Vocabulary: Essential absolutely necessary; extremely important Nutrient a substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life Growth Rate the rate of increase in size per unit time 6

7 4. Hypothesis If amount of Miracle-Gro added to water is increased, then the stem height of the plant will also increase. Miracle-Gro is a fertilizer that can be added to water. The purpose of Miracle-Gro is to enhance the growth of plants. Therefore, if more Miracle-Gro is added to the water before a plant is watered, the plant should grow taller. 7

8 5. Variables The independent variable, which will be changed and tested is the amount of Miracle-Gro that is added to the plants. The dependent variable will measure the change by adding different amounts of Miracle-Gro is the height of the plants. The constant variables for all of the tests are the same: The type of plants being used, the location of the plants, the source of the water, the source of the soil, the amount of sunlight the plants receive, the container holding the plants 8

9 6. Procedure To set up the experiment, 1. Gather 9 small planter pots with 3 drainage holes for seedling plants. (All planter pots must be the same.) 2. Get one 5-pound bag of Green Choice potting soil. 3. Purchase 9 basil seedling plants at a height between 4-6 cm tall from the same source. 4. Purchase one 16-oz. package of Ready-Mix Miracle-Gro Plant Food. 5. Get an empty, clean, one-gallon milk jug (for mixing Miracle-Gro Plant Food with water). 6. Determine the best location for experimental set-up with stable sunlight and temperature. 7. Place all gathered materials in this designated location. To perform the experiment on the independent variable 1. Measure 20-grams of Green Choice potting soil into each planter pot. 2. Remove seedling from original planter and transfer seedling with all original soil to the planter pot. 3. Top seedling with 10-grams of Green Choice potting soil. 4. Gently press on the soil to hold seedling in place. 5. Repeat for all remaining seedlings (9 total). 6. To create the Miracle-Gro mixture, follow the directions on the side of the box: a. Fill one-gallon jug with.75 gallons of water. b. Add 5 scoops of Ready-Mix Miracle-Gro Plant Food. c. Shake well until all plant food dissolves and there is no residue on the bottom. d. Plant Food mixture will last for at least one month. 7. Arrange planters in the following way and label: Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 8. Group 1: Receives a. 2 Tablespoons of water at 6:00AM b. 2 Tablespoons of water at 6:00PM. 9. Group 2: Receives a. 1 Tablespoons of water and 1 Tablespoon of prepared Ready-Mix Miracle-Gro Plant Food at 6:00AM 9

10 b. 1 Tablespoon of water and 1 Tablespoon of prepared Ready-Mix Miracle-Gro Plant Food at 6:00PM 10. Group 3: Receives a. 2 Tablespoons of prepared Ready-Mix Miracle-Gro Plant Food at 6:00AM b. 2 Tablespoons of prepared Ready-Mix Miracle-Gro Plant Food at 6:00PM 11. Measure plant height one time daily in morning and record. Calculate and record the average of the change in plant height from Day 1 to the end of the experiment. 10

11 7. Materials 9 small planter pots 5-pound bag of Green Choice potting soil 9 basil seedling plants 16-oz. package of Ready-Mix Miracle-Gro Plant Food Empty, clean, one-gallon milk jug 11

12 8. Data Sheet Amount of Miracle-Gro added in AM/PM Effect of Miracle-Gro on Plant Height Change in Height after 1 week (Trial 2) Change in Height after 1 week (Trial 1) Change in Height after 1 week (Trial 3) Average Change in Height after 1 week 0 Tablespoons 0.7 cm 1.1 cm 1.4 cm 1.1 cm 1 Tablespoon 2.4 cm 1.7 cm 2.0 cm 2.0 cm 2 Tablespoons 2.1 cm 1.9 cm 2.0 cm 2.0 cm 12

13 9. Chart Effect of Miracle-Gro on Plant Height Height of Plant (cm) Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial Amount of Miracle-Gro 0 0 Tbsp 1 Tbsp 2 Tbsp 13

14 10. Results The experiment was done over three trials. Each Miracle-Gro and water solution was used on three plants. A total of 9 plants were used to collect data for this experiment. The results showed that adding Miracle-Gro to a plant s water increased their average growth by about 1 centimeter. When no Miracle-Gro was added to the water, the plants grew 0.7cm, 1.1cm, and 1.4 cm for an average growth of 1.1cm. When 1cm of Miracle-Gro was added to the plant s water, the plants grew 2.4cm, 1.7cm, and 2.0cm for an average growth of 2.0cm. When 2 tablespoons of Miracle-Gro was added to the plant s water the plant grew 2.1cm, 1.9cm, and 2.0cm for an average growth of 2.0cm. **This page is not mandatory should only be completed if you have extra time 14

15 12. Conclusion The hypothesis stated if the amount of Miracle-Gro added to water is increased, then the stem height of the plant will also increase. The results showed that adding Miracle-Gro to a plant s water increased their average growth by about 1 centimeter. When no Miracle-Gro was added to the water, the plants grew 0.7cm, 1.1cm, and 1.4 cm for an average growth of 1.1cm. When 1cm of Miracle-Gro was added to the plant s water, the plants grew 2.4cm, 1.7cm, and 2.0cm for an average growth of 2.0cm. When 2 tablespoons of Miracle-Gro was added to the plant s water the plant grew 2.1cm, 1.9cm, and 2.0cm for an average growth of 2.0cm. Adding Miracle-Gro to the plant s water did increase the growth of the plant. However, the amount of Miracle-Gro that was added did not seem to effect the growth of the plant. The average height of the plant when 1 and 2 tablespoons of Miracle-Gro was added to the water was the same. Therefore, the hypothesis is supported because adding Miracle-Gro increases the height of the stem of the plant. However, the experiment does not support the hypothesis that adding more Miracle-Gro causes the plant to grow taller. 15

16 13. Future Study The experimental procedure was challenging when trying to keep all of the other elements of the plant s growth the same. The plants needed to be watered every day at the same time, however there were times when the plants were not watered at exactly 6:00am and 6:00pm. Additionally, the weather also played a part in the plant growth. The amount of sunlight the plants got was not consistent on a daily basis, which might have also effected plant growth. In the future, this researcher suggests testing to see if there is an optimal amount of Miracle-Gro to add to the plant s water to get the tallest plant. This current experiment does not show a difference between adding 1 tablespoon or 2 tablespoons of Miracle-Gro on plant s growth. Future studies should also see if the effects of Miracle-Gro would change depending on the plant being used. This experiment used basil plants. A future study could use a flowering plant to determine if there is a different effect. 16

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