Abstract: Soil Manipulation to increase efficiency.
The objective of this plant growth experiment would be to distinguish if potting soil could be manipulated in any certain way, to maximize or increase its overall efficiency. Our goal would be to determine what optimum combination of ingredients would best increase efficiency in soil productivity to equal the result of hydroponics (Cultivation of plants in nutrient solution rather than in soil). Through research our group came to the conclusion that agar, pearlite and mulched grass could all greatly contribute to enriching the nutrient of the soil. We predict that one of the treatments, using the above listed ingredients, will have a greater growth rate than the controlled plant strictly using hydroponics.
Water is essential in all plant growth. The term hydroponics refers to an optimum method of growing plant material. Hydroponics essentially means "Water Work." There is no soil in a hydroponic garden. No organic matter is present so nourishment (Nutrient) is not available to the plants in the same was as it is in a soil garden. Instead, nutrients are added to the water. So, as plants are watered, they are also fed. There are many ways to feed and water plants. Carol Haggas states, "This method provides a perfect, balanced, nutritive environment for a wide variety of vegetable and floral crops. With the potential to yield large, healthy harvests in a controllable, pest- and weed-free atmosphere" (85). Our group experiment relies on the hydroponic method as the control. The objective is to mix select elements into regular potting soil to try and match the growth rate of the hydroponics controlled plant. Could potting soil mixed with agar, pearlite, and mulched grass, have the same optimal growth rate as a plant grown with the hydroponics nutrient method? The hydroponic method is an optimal way of generating healthy plant growth, but it may be an unrealistic option for the novice...
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