Does Salt-Water or Sugar-Water Have an Effect on the Growth of Radishes?

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One of the easiest plants to grow year-round are radishes. Although they are, like all plants, meant to be grown outside, it is possible to grow radishes inside with similar results. Radishes tend to grow quickly, granted that they are planted and cared for correctly.

The number one step in growing any plant is watering. Plants should be watered frequently, depending on the plants growing habits and needs. It is always best to learn how much water a plant needs before beginning to care for it. In the case of radishes, they should be watered plenty when the seeds are first being buried and then watered everyday while they are growing (“Growing Radishes”).

Another essential part of growing a plant is giving the plant the sunlight it needs. Some plants are normally grown and harvested in winter, while others in the sunny months of summer. Depending on their normal growing times, plants prefer certain amounts of sunlight. For instance, radishes are usually grown in cool weather when the sun isn’t out as much. In this case, a gently shaded place with some sunlight would be best for radishes. (“Growing Radishes”)

The last part in growing successful radishes is to keep them in good containers. Plant containers can range from tiny flower pots to huge pots intended for trees. Radishes can grow alone in their own pot or with other radishes. The only recommendation is to leave plenty of room for them to grow if planning to grow multiple radishes in one container (“Growing Radishes”).

Since watering is so important to growing plants, changing the water that is given to plants can have an effect on a plants growth. In general, watering with different liquids has been bad for plants and has damaged their growth. For instance, adding salt or sugar to plants can change the growth of a plant.

In general, salt usually hurts a plant. According to djrice69, a poster on Flowerhorn USA, an online forum, there is already a concentration of salt in the soil. When more salt is added, it kills plant cells and occasionally the plant. Some plants can fare better with salt water, because their cells already have a high concentration of salt. As well as killing cells, salt deprives the plant from the water it needs, causing it to become brown and die (djrice69).

Like salt, sugar will usually harm plants as well. Sugar blocks the water in the soils’s path to get to the plant and the plant has to go without water, a task that is impossible for any plant. The plant’s roots are used to normal, rain or tap water, not water infected with sugar and the roots can’t adapt quickly enough to the sugar water. Sugar water will generally harm plants as well (Hershey).

There have been several experiments done over the years concerning different types of water and a plant’s growth. They all contain different plants being tested, but most come out with similar findings. LeeAnne F, a 13 year old girl, is an example of this experiment. LeeAnne found that plain water has the most successful growth. She also found that the plant she watered with sugar-water grew healthily until the end of the experiment when it started going downhill. The salt-water plants started off as sickly seeds and had difficulties. This could have been from bad seeds or the salt-water (LeeAnne F.).

To do her experiment, LeeAnne used radishes. She used two radishes per test group and one radish per container. Her control group was plain water. LeeAnne watered all three of her test groups with plain water while the radishes were sprouting. Once sprouted, however, LeeAnne watered the plants with added salt or sugar, depending on the radish group. After nine days of growing, LeeAnne ended the experiment and recorded her findings and conclusion (LeeAnne F.).

Another experiment done on the subject was by Mary M. Karcher for a science fair. Her results were different than LeeAnne’s, partly due to the fact that Karcher only tested sugar-water unlike LeeAnne who incorporated sugar-water...
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