Growing Pumpkin and Tomato Plants

AP Bio Summer Project

By: Lindsay Lesha, Rachel Mourad, Steven Levick, Mackenzie Simon, and Trent LaCroix

HYPOTHESIS

MiracleGrow will allow the plants to grow at a faster rate than the plants with Grass Seed and without any type of fertilizer or substance added (control plant). The plants that are apart of the control group will grow at the slowest rate.

PROBLEM A:

1. DETERMINE THE EFFECT OF SEED SIZE ON GERMINATION RATE:

Larger seeds germinate faster than smaller/medium sized seeds because they have bigger root development so they push out of the seed quicker.

PROBLEM B:

  1. DOES FERTILIZER (TYPE, AMOUNT, FREQUENCY) AFFECT GROWTH AND PRODUCTIVITY?

    Organic fertilizers contain specific nutrients that are essential to the improvement of a soils health and productivity, it also encourages plant growth. Organic nutrients allow a greater number of soil organisms to live in the soil. These organisms can aid plants in absorbing nutrients. Organic fertilizers are naturally made by natural processes; whereas inorganic fertilizers are made through chemical processes, using natural ingredients but chemically altering them. Overall, organic fertilizers are much better aids to the growth of plants.

GETTING STARTED W/ GERMINATION

We took our pumpkin and tomato seeds and placed 3 of each between a damp, wet paper towel inside of a plastic bag. After, we took the bags and taped them up on the window so they could soak in the sunlight. We kept them on the window for 2 weeks until the plant started to sprout and the long roots emerged.

Placing the Germinated Seeds in the Pots

Once the seeds were ready to leave the plastic bags and the germination was complete, we placed the seeds into little starter pots with starter soil. We tried different methods to see how the plants growth would be impacted. We had 4 control plants with starter soil, 2 plants with MiracleGrow, and 2 plants with grass seed to eliminate things such as weeds growing in the pot. The pumpkin and tomato plants both had the same number of plants affected by each method. Our goal was to figure out which method would speed up the growth time the best.

Moving to Bigger Pots

6 out of the 8 Pumpkin plants made it into the bigger pots. The other two never ended up growing and did not germinate either. On the other hand, only 1 out of the 8 tomato plants grew and was placed in a bigger pot. We are not sure why the other 7 did not grow, however, some of the seven did not complete germination. We placed two tomato seeds in each pot and both of the seeds grew in the one plant thats growth progressed. This happened to be the tomato plant with grass seed in it.

MIRACLEGROW KILLS THE PLANTS :(

The plants were watered with MiracleGrow every other week. However, all the plants affected by MiracleGrow were killed and we are not sure why. We think the plants were too tiny compared to the strength of the fertilizer. The two tomato plants never grew that were watered with the fertilizer. The two pumpkin plants that were affected grew to 7.9cm and 9.2cm before wilting and turning brown. Below are pictures of what the plants looked like when they were dying.

TRANSFERRING TO EVEN LARGER POTS

3 of the pumpkin plants were ready to be transferred into bigger pots to aid in the continuation of their growth. 1 Constant and 2 Grass seed plants were moved. We added more grass seed into the 2 Grass Seed pots in order to make sure our results would be accurate.

PROGRESS IN GROWTH

Quantitative and Qualitative Data

Quantitative:

We made two graphs to distinguish the two different plants growth speeds and which method proved to aid in the fastest growth process on a Word document.

Qualitative:

week 1- stems started to sprout out of seed (germination)

week 2- stems begin to grow and roots become a lot longer

week 3- stems peak out of soil in starter pot

week 4-stems grow taller and tiny leaves begin to form

week 5- stems and leaves continue to grow

week 6- the plant developed prickles and a texture to the stem and leaves

week 7- yellow/orange flowers begin to form on pumpkin plant

week 8- pumpkin plant starts turning into a vine instead of growing upwards; tomato plant remains upright

week 9- pumpkin vine continues to spread and grow and needs to be planted in the ground with lots of space for the vines to continue to grow; the tomato also gets planted in the ground and it is a very tall,lean plant, it is kept in place unlike the pumpkin

CONCLUSION:

Our hypothesis stating miraclegrow would be the best aid to the growth of our plants turned out to be incorrect. As previously stated, the miraclegrow ended up killing our plants because of its strong effect. The grass seed was the best aid because the seed stimulates the growth of grass and plants, it betters the soils, and it terminates the weeds. If we did more previous research on the grass seed these statistics may have changed our hypothesis but we were very set on miraclegrow being the best aid because it was a fertilizer.


Through this experiment we learned a lot about growing plants. None of us knew how to grow plants prior to this experiment, but now we know all the details and steps on how to. We learned how to germinate, what materials were needed to grow plants, and the necessary amount of attention and careful observation to make sure the plants do not die. Our group agreed that this summer project was a lot of fun and a great life learning experience!


PLANTS AT THE END OF THE SUMMER

pumpkin:

tomato: