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 Level of Nitrogen vs. Plant Growth Researched by Morgen A. 1999-2000

PURPOSE

The purpose of my experiment was to determine the effects of water solutions that contain different levels of nitrogen on bean growth.

I became interested in this idea when I noticed my dad putting lawn clippings on our vegetable garden and I wondered if it would help the garden to be healthier and produce more vegetables.  I wondered if adding different fertilizer solutions would make a more productive garden.

The information gained from my experiment will help gardeners and farmers grow healthier gardens and more abundant crops.

HYPOTHESIS

My hypothesis is that the plants receiving a 4% nitrogen solution will be affected the most by growing the tallest.

I base my hypothesis on information that I gathered from Doug Anyan, an employee at G.S. Long.  He told me, "A plant receiving a 4% nitrogen solution would grow better than plants receiving levels of nitrogen other then 4%."

EXPERIMENT DESIGN

The constants in this study were:
* the amount of water
* the amount of light
* the temperature
* the kind of bean
* the size of the  bean
* the size and type of container
* the location of the plants

The manipulated variable was the amount of nitrogen in the solution.

The responding variable was the bean height in centimeters and the weight of the green matter in grams.

To measure the responding variable I took a ruler and measured the plants in centimeters after two weeks of growth.  I then found the average of the two plant’s growth and the weight in grams of the green matter on a scale.

MATERIALS

 QUANTITY ITEM DESCRIPTION 20 clear containers 2 holding containers 20 bean seeds 3 jugs of distilled water 1 ruler (centimeters) 1 bag of nitrogen fertilizer 21-0-0 1 scale 7 200ml beakers 1 bag of Pearl Light 1 permanent marker (black) 7 stick on labels

PROCEDURES

1. Gather materials
2. Fill 20 clear containers about 2/3 full of Pearl Light
3. Plant one bean seed in each container about half way down
4. Using a distilled water jug (make sure there are holes in the cap) water the beans in each container so the top is moist, but there’s no water visible on the bottom
5. Water the beans each day until 14 seeds germinate.  The other 6 are back ups
6. After 14 seeds have germinated, separate them into seven groups  of 2 each
7. Label 2 containers 1/2% nitrogen
8. Repeat step #7 with the other containers, except label each group of two 1%, 2%, 4%, 6%, and 10%
9. Pour 200 ml of distilled water into each of the seven beakers
10. Us a balance scale to weigh the nitrogen from the bag.  Add the nitrogen to the scale until it balances at 0.  Set the scale to 1 gram for 1/2%, 2 grams for 1%, 4 grams for 2%, 8 grams for 4%, 12 grams for 6%, and 20 grams for 10%.
11. Pour the nitrogen into the beaker labeled 1/2% nitrogen.
12. Repeat steps 10 and 11 five more times, except set the scale so that it will balance for the different levels of nitrogen.
13. Shake each container vigorously until the nitrogen dissolves
14. Using a 1 ounce measuring cup, fill it with the 1/2% nitrogen solution about 2/3 of an ounce full
15. Pour the solution into one of the containers labeled 1/2%
16. Repeat step #15 with the other solutions.  Have one beaker contain just distilled water.  That is the water for the "Control Group."
17. Let the containers sit on a windowsill or under a grow light.
18. Water the beans every other day during a two-week growing period.  If you need to make more of one of the nitrogen solutions, follow steps #9-#13
19.  After the two weeks are up, carefully remove the plants from the Pearl Light but measure the plants before taking them out.
20. Record the height (in centimeters) and the weight (in grams) of the plants and find the average for each group.

RESULTS

The original purpose of this experiment was to determine if the level of nitrogen would affect a plants growth.

The results of the experiment were the control group grew the best (20cm), the .5% and the 1% grew the second best (1.5cm), and the 2%, 4%, 6%, and the 10% died.  The control group also weighed the most (3.5g), the 1% was the second heaviest (3g), the 2%, 6%, and the 10% weighed 2g, and the .5% and the 4% weighed 1.5g.

CONCLUSION

My hypothesis was that the plants receiving a 4% nitrogen solution would grow the best.

The results indicate that this hypothesis should be rejected.  My results indicate that the plants that weren’t given any nitrogen (the control group) grew the best.

Because of the results of this experiment, I wonder if a plant receiving an amount of nitrogen larger then 2% will die and if I would get the same results if I used different plants?

The usefulness of my findings will benefit farmers so they know not to overdose their bean plants with nitrogen.

If I were to conduct this project again I would try harder to find more info before writing my procedures, I would start growing my plants in early November for better results, I would use more plants in each of my groups, and I would try to get better pictures to document by experiment.