GOLD

Do the Different Types of Soil Affect the Plant's Growth?

This Experiment is about finding if the different types of soil affect the growth in plant's height and health in a positive or negative way by growing 3 plants for 12 days, giving them 3 different types of soil and finding which one is the better soil.
Japp Gill Surpreet Doad
Grade 6

Hypothesis

We think that our plants will grow more successfully in fertile soil (Cup A, Loam).

Research

What do plants need to grow?

  1. Water
  2. Soil
  3. Sunlight/Artificial light
  4. Fertilizer
  5. NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium) (Getting from the Soil)

We have learned that plants need the right type of soil, if not given the right type of soil it may not grow well or not even grow at all.

 

 

Important Vocabulary

1. Soil: Soil is a mixture of minerals and organic materials that covers much of the Earth’s surface.

2. Minerals: Minerals are bits of rock and organic materials.

3. Nutrients: The elements that help the plants grow.

4.  Fertile: Able to produce crops and plants in a field.

5.  Sand: It is the largest soil particle. 

6.  Clay: It is the smallest soil particle which is retaining water much more than other particles.

7.  Loam: It is a mixture of multiple soil particles.

8. Main Macronutrients of Soil NPK: Nitrogen, Phosphorous,  Potassium.

9. Main Micronutrients of Soil: Copper, Chlorine, Iron, Magnesium.

 

What is the Growth of Plants?

Plant growth is the process in which the plant grows to be a matured plant with a strong stern stem and healthy leaves. The growth process is enhanced by the nutrients and light energy that is used during the process of Photosynthesis.

 

What is Photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis is a process in which green plants and other certain organisms use the energy of light to convert carbon dioxide and water into simple sugar glucose.

 

What is the pH value of Soil?

Soil pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. 

Soil can be classified into its own pH value:

  • Soil is neutral if pH is 6.5-7.5 
  • Soil is alkaline if pH is over 7.5
  • Soil is acidic if pH is less than 6.5 and if soil pH is less than 5.5 is considered strongly acidic

 

The 3 Types of Soil and Its Components

Types of Soil

Components

 Loam 

Sand (40%), clay (20%), and silt (40%).

         Clay 

Mica, iron, silicates, and aluminum hydrous-oxide are the most common minerals that are found in clay soil.  There are other minerals like quartz and carbonate that are also found in clay soils.

         Sand

Silica (Silicon dioxide) in the form of quartz, mica, and feldspar. 

 

 

 

 

Variables

Variables

Controlled Variable

*Amount of Water (100mL)

*Amount of Temperature (about 20 degrees Celsius) 

*Amount of Sunlight/Artificial Light

*Soil Quantity (70g)

Amount of Seeds in each cup (5g)

 

 

Independent Variable (Manipulated Variable)

*Type of Soil 

Cup A: Loam 

Cup B: Sand

Cup C: Clay

 

Responding Variable (Dependent Variable)

*Height of the Plant

 

 

 

Procedure

Procedure

  1. First, we soaked 15 grams of wheat seeds overnight.
  2. Then we poured 70 grams of soil into each cup (Loam, Sand, Clay). Next, we labelled each cup as A, B, and C respectively.  
  3. After that, we poured 100mL of water into each cup.
  4. Next, we placed the 3 cups on the kitchen counter where the temperature is about 20 degrees celsius.
  5. Lastly, we observed the plant’s growth daily and recorded the following readings.

Observations

Observations

Cup A having Loam has more growth than Cup B (Sand) and Cup C (Clay). We also observed that Cup A (Loam) has a more green pigment and a greater number of leaves as compared to Cup B (Sand) and Cup C (Clay). As you can see the following Daily Log and Pictures...

 

 

Number of Readings

 

Date

Cup A

(Loam)

(Length in cm)

Cup B

(Sand)

(Length in cm)

Cup C

(Clay)

(Length in cm)

  1.  

Dec 30, 2020

0

0

0

  1.  

Dec 31, 2020

0

0

0

  1.  

Jan 1, 2021

0.3

0

0.5

  1.  

Jan 2, 2021

1

0.5

0.7

  1.  

Jan 3, 2021

4

1.3

2.5

  1.  

Jan 4, 2021

6

2.5

4

  1.  

Jan 5, 2021

11

3.4

5.1

  1.  

Jan 6, 2021

14

3.6

6.9

  1.  

Jan 7, 2021

16.5

3.9

9.1

  1.  

Jan 8, 2021

18.5

4

10

  1.  

Jan 9, 2021

19.5

5

12

  1.  

Jan 10, 2021

20.5

5.3

14.5

 

 

 

Analysis

Based on the Graph, Tables, and Pictures, the best soil for growth is Loam (Cup A) because it contains more spaces between soil particles, which allows more oxygen to the roots and drains well. On the other hand, the soil particle in Clay (Cup C) holds onto the water which makes them take more time to get warm in the Spring. Sand (Cup B) particles are the largest which makes them dry out quickly and are often low in nutrients and acidity, which affects the pH value. Hence, the soil with the best growth is Loam (Cup A).

 

Types of Soil

Components

 Loam 

   Sand (40%), clay (20%), and silt (40%).

         Clay 

Mica, iron, silicates, and aluminum hydrous-oxide are the most common minerals that are found in clay soil.  There are other minerals like quartz and carbonate that are also found in clay soils.

         Sand

Silica (Silicon dioxide) in the form of quartz, mica, and feldspar. 

Conclusion

Conclusion

In conclusion, all plants need the proper soil to grow. In our experiment, we found out that soil with the proper nutrients and controlled pH makes the plant grow better but if the soil does not have the proper nutrients and controlled pH value it might not grow well or not grow at all. 

 

Application

This Experiment will help with research for plants because just finding one basic need of a plant (soil) can change our way of thinking in future experiments and be an impact on the world especially in the discovery of Botany or more specifically soil.

Sources Of Error

How can we Improve our Experiment?

To improve our experiment, we can take a bigger container and better quality sand and clay soil for better growth in our plants. We can also fill the cup with soil to the top rather than weighing the amount of soil. Lastly, we can place the plants in an area with more presence of sunlight which can lead to better growth for the plants.

Citations

 

1. URL: https://kids.britannica.com/kids/search/articles?query=soil&includeLevelOne=1&page=1

  • Website Title: Encyclopædia Britannica
  • Access Day: 10
  • Access Month: March
  • Access Year: 2021

2. Iowaagliteracy - https://www.iowaagliteracy.org/Article/Plant-Growth-in-Different-Soil-Types

3. Soil Ph

c=AU; Queensland; - https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/management/soil/soil-properties/ph-levels#:~:text=Most%20soils%20have%20pH%20values,6.5%20to%207.5%E2%80%94neutral

 

 

 

Acknowledgement

1. Mrs. Kahlon's (Teacher) Teachings

2. Mrs. Aulakh (Science Teacher) Help

3. Parampreet Kaur / Mother's Help