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Science Project 2005

What Material Affects the Growth of a Pinto Bean the Most?

Researched by Morgan M.


The purpose of this experiment was to see how different soils affect the growth of a pinto bean.

I became interested in this idea when Don Jordan, my grandfather, was describing different types of soils and how they affect the growth of a plant.

The information gained from this experiment will help produce more trees and plants faster, so they can clean the polluted air around the plant's area. Also knowing this information will help farmers produce more vegetable


My hypothesis is that the cotton would increase the growth of a pinto bean the most.

I base my hypothesis on Don Jordan, my grandfather, who did this experiment before me and discovered that cotton was the best material to grow pinto beans.

Experimental Design

The constants in this study were:
  • The amount of water and light
  • Same type of plant
  • Same amount of bedding material
  • Same seed depth
  • Same planting cups
  • Same temperature
The responding variable was how tall my plant grows.

To measure my responding variable I will use a metric ruler. Growth will be checked weekly.


QuantityItem Description
12Western Family foam cups 473ml
12Western Family pinto beans 100% 907.2g
240 mlNursery mix (potting soil) (composted forest bark, pine needles, leaves, and fertilizer)
240 mlMoxee dirt (regular soil from Long Sing Hop Yard)
240 mlBlended soil (mix of 30 year aged bark mulched, top soil and sand)
24Cotton balls (100%cotton) jumbo size
1"Sharpie" permanent marker
3240 ml measuring cups
 Tap water


  1. Label 3 cups with the words "cotton"
  2. Label 3 cups with the words "nursery"
  3. Label 3 cups with the words "blended"
  4. Label 3 cups with the words "moxee"
  5. Take a measuring cup and measure 240 ml of Nursery Mix.
  6. Fill one cup with the words "nursery" on them with this soil.
  7. Repeat this with the other two cups with the words "nursery" on them.
  8. Repeat steps 5 - 7 with the cups labeled "Blended" and "Moxee", but use the appropriate soil for each labeled cup.
  9. Spread 4 cotton balls at the bottom of each of the 3 cups marked "cotton".
  10. Take your pinky finger and push it down into the dirt about 2 cm.
  11. Do this in all the cups labeled "nursery", "blended", and "moxee".
  12. Put one pinto bean in every hole. Make sure that the curve in the bean is faced upward.
  13. Next cover the beans that are in the soils with the soil that are in the cup, do this to all the beans that are in the cups full of soil.
  14. Put one bean on top of the cotton in the cups labeled cotton.
  15. For each cup labeled cotton spread 4 more cotton balls over each bean.
  16. Take 24 ml of water with the syringe and squirt the water into one cup.
  17. Do step 16 for each seed that you planted.
  18. Repeat steps 16 - 17 every other day for 6 weeks.
  19. Set all plants side-by-side under 1 light source.
  20. Rotate plants 90 degrees to the right every day.
  21. Measure each plant at the end of each week for 6 weeks.


The original purpose of this experiment was to see how different materials affect the growth of a pinto bean.

The results of this experiment were that a pinto bean grows best in cotton.

See my table and graph


My hypothesis was that the cotton would be the best material for the pinto bean to grow in.

The results indicate that this hypothesis should be accepted. The pinto bean grew best in the cotton.

If I were to do this experiment again I would start with many more cups of each type, so that more would grow. I would also use some soils that were not as powdery as the Moxee or the Blended soils. They compacted too much and kept the plants from growing. I would also repeat my experiment another time or two from the very beginning to make sure my results were reliable.

Because of my results I wonder how wheat or corn would compare to beans if grown in different soils.

Research Report

Plants depend on soil to survive in the world. This is because soil is a direct source of food and water for the plant. The plant gets its food from the soil by planting its roots in the soil. After the plants roots have grown in the soil the plant can obtain nutrients from the soil.

Soil has certain microbes in it that cause dead organisms to decay, and helps return the nutrients into the plant so that it can grow. Soils contain many minerals and organic particles. The soil's contents changes constantly in every soil. All these soils all have their own characteristics. There are three kinds of characteristics in soil. They are color, texture, and chemical conditions.

Soil has a wide range of colors that go from yellow to red, and dark brown to black. The color of the topsoil (the soil's top) helps penologists (a person who studies soil) predict how much air, water, and organic matters that the soil has in it .For example if the topsoil is red then this indicates that iron compounds are present in the soil.

The texture of the soil depends on how many mineral particles that exist in the soil. The largest partial is grains of sand. There is also silt and clay. Penologists divide soil according to the amount of sand, silt, and clay. An example of this would be the mineral proportion in the soil also known as loam contains 7to27% clay that is 52% less than sand. In soil that has a mixture of silt and clay contain more than 40%of the minerals and partials that exist are clay.

The chemical conditions in soil are acid, alkaline, or neutral. For my project I'm growing the type of plant that is called a dicotyle- dons. One example of a dicotyledon is a pinto bean. Dicotyledons are plants that have grown into many different habitats. If covered by a permeant covering of ice, snow, or any other cold substance this acts as a total deterrent to the many species of dicotyledons.

There are two different kinds of this species. They are perennials, and annuals. Unlike other plants in harsh environments annuals can grow, bloom, and die, but they do this all in a matter of weeks. Also perennials can be herbaceous-dying down to the ground level each year. They can also have a permanent growth structure above the loam level. So as you can see plants depend on soil to live.


Forsee, Lance. Personal interview. February 7,2005

"Dicotyledons" The Plant World 1997

Dietl, Ulla. The Plant And Grow Project Book . New York: Sterling Publishing Company.

Johnson, Taylor. "Soil." World Book Online November 19, 2004\wb\Article?id=ar518620&st=soil

Johnson, Taylor. "Characteristics of soil." World Book Online. November 22, 2004

"Plant Nutrients." November 19, 2004

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