Plant Supplements: Vitamins Versus Fertilizer MAURA DOUGHERTY GRADE NINE Problem Does the addition of vitamins or fertilizer help promote plant growth? Research Most fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium. Fertilizer is used to give plants the necessary vitamins and supplements a plant needs and receives from its regular environment. Those vitamins and nutrients induce plant growth. Calcium helps with development and growth of bones and teeth. Humans need magnesium and phosphorus for calcium to be used in the body. Vitamin A helps with growth and body repair. Vitamin D helps with bone development and growth. Lettuce seeds, dill seeds, peas, and calendula seeds are fast growing. Hypothesis If vitamins are used as plant feed, then the growth of plants will be stronger than without it. Materials 120 lettuce seeds Miracle-Gro fertilizer Vitamin A capsules Vitamin D capsules Mineral Oil Hot plate Water Tape Marker Twelve petri dishes Two beakers Pipette Twelve filters Procedure 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Each petri dish was labeled based on the type of supplement planned to use in each. The petri dishes were divided into three trial groups, and one filter and ten seeds were added to each dish. A one Molar solution was created for each vitamin. Each supplement (Vitamin A with mineral oil, Vitamin D with mineral oil, fertilizer, and water) was added to one petri dish in each of the three trial groups. Each day for eight days, the number of seeds that germinated was recorded, and water was given to each plant as necessary. Control: Plant with water Constants: Environment, time, type of Petri dish, temperature, and type of filter Independent variables: Vitamins and fertilizer Dependent variable: Number of germinated seeds Data Plant Supplements: Vitamins Versus Fertilizer 12 Number of Germinated Seeds 10 8 6 4 2 0 Vitamin A -2 Vitamin D Miracle-Gro Type of Supplement Added to the Seeds Water (Control) Conclusion Hypothesis: If vitamins are used as plant feed, then the growth of plants will be stronger than without it. The growth of the seeds in Miracle-Gro fertilizer was much more consistent in all of the trials than both vitamins. Miracle-Gro fertilizer is more helpful for plant growth than both vitamins. Water is actually the best supplement for plants. My hypothesis was not supported. If I were to redo the experiment, I would use liquid vitamins instead melting the capsules. If I were to continue the experiment, I could test the effects of other vitamins on plant growth. Thank you! “Fast Growing Seeds.” Buzzle.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/fast-growing-seeds.html>. “Vitamins.” Where in City Medical. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www.whereincity.com/medical/vitamins/>. “Vitamins in Plants.” Mini Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www.miniscience.com/projects/plantvitamin/index.html>. “What Is Fertilizer and Why Do Plants Need It?” How Stuff Works. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www.howstuffworks.com/question181.htm>. "What Is Miracle-Gro?" Wise Geek. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-miracle-gro.htm>. "Calcium." University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/calcium-000290.htm>. Thanks you for listening, and I hope you enjoyed my presentation.