Macroscopic Nutrient's Effects on Tomato Plants

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  • Topic: Concentration, Nutrient, Chlorophyll
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Chemistry Hydroponics EEI
Cody Yakimoff
Year 11 – Mrs Bev Gallus
Chemistry Hydroponics EEI
Cody Yakimoff
Year 11 – Mrs Bev Gallus
08
Fall
08
Fall

“Gardening is not a rational act”
~ Margaret Atwood (Canadian poet, essayist, environmental activist)

“Gardening is not a rational act”
~ Margaret Atwood (Canadian poet, essayist, environmental activist)

INTRODUCTION4
RESEARCH5
AIM6
HYPOTHESIS6
RESEARCH INTO RELEVANT CHEMICALS9
CONTROLLED VARIABLES10
INDEPENDENT VARIABLE10
DEPENDENT VARIABLE10
MATERIALS11
METHOD12
RESULTS13
QUANTITATIVE VERIFICATION MEASUREMENTS20
DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS21
INTERPRETATION OF DATA21
WEAKNESSES OF INVESTIGATION23
IMPROVEMENTS OR FUTURE INVESTIGATIONS23
CONCLUSION25

INTRODUCTION

Hydroponics is a technique of growing plants without basing them in soil. Hydroponic systems have been used since ancient times; it is believed that the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon employed a technique of ‘flowing water’ to keep plants alive. Chinese and South American cultures appear to have used hydroponics in cultivating crops since around 1300AD (Turner. B. n.d.).

There are many advantages to growing crops hydroponically as opposed to traditional methods. Hydroponics allows for high-density farming and efficient use of water and nutrients without the need for a soil substrate. By removing the necessity of soil, farmers can continuously control the temperature and environment of plants through indoor agriculture (permitting year-round crop yield, not limited by seasons).

Soil-borne diseases and pests are no longer a factor with hydroponically grown plants (Anon. n.d.). Hydroponics is successful because it provides the plant with the exact nutrients that it needs, delivering it straight to the root system. This allows the plant to grow in absolutely ideal conditions, something that is difficult to achieve in soil (Simply Hydro, 2008).

There are countless ways in which plants are grown hydroponically, but they are all variations of six basic system types (Simply Hydro 2008):

* Wick system
* Water Culture
* Flood and Drain
* Drip Systems
* Aeroponic
* Nutrient Film Technique

Because of the constraints of available resources, the Nutrient Film Technique will be employed in this Experimental Investigation. Nutrient Film Technique involves plants being suspended above a nutrient solution, with the roots of the plant dangling in the fluid. This method of hydroponics is one of the simplest (Manatee n.d.).

RESEARCH

What nutrients do plants need and how do chemists make this in the lab? It is generally accepted that plants require approximately 16 essential nutrients in order to thrive (Anon. n.d.). These essential nutrients can be categorized as Primary and Secondary nutrients, Macro and Micronutrients. Primary macronutrients are nitrogen (which is involved in photosynthesis, cell division and energy reactions), phosphorus (vital for seed formation, photosynthesis and energy storage and transfer) and potassium (essential for protein synthesis, increases disease resistance and water use efficiency). Secondary nutrients are still very important for plant health although the quantities required are reduced compared to primary nutrients. Secondary nutrients include calcium, magnesium and sulfur (Anon. n.d.).

The most important of these essential nutrients for most plant life are nitrogen, phorphorus and potassium. Nitrogen is required for fast growth and healthy crop yield. It is also a catalyst for other minerals. Phosphorus is needed to store energy and the formation of nucleic acids (RNA and DNA). “Potassium is required to activate enzymes, form sugars and oils.” (Brenda, 2008).

Difference between macro and micronutrients
Macronutrients and micronutrients are both essential to any living organism. Macronutrients include...
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