Soil chemistry with household organic matter
I think that the various substances will vary in their pH and chemical content. See logbook pages below for exact hypotheses.
All plants need the correct pH (acidity/alkalinity) to survive. Every plant has its own pH preference, meaning that certain plants are difficult to grow together because they have different pH preferences.
Nitrogen is what makes leaves grow. Too little nitrogen makes for small, yellow leaves and stunted growth. Too much causes too many leaves and less flowers and fruit.
Phosphorus aids plant growth and seed quality. A plant with too little phosphorus will have less fruit and may also have sterile seeds. Phosphorus also increases a plant’s resistance to disease.
Potassium makes plants strong and fruit tasty. Too little potassium causes stunted growth and weak root systems. Potassium also aids the plant in making carbohydrates and protein. It is also sometimes called potash.
If you want to see my citations, see citations section.
- Amount of soil
- Amount of distilled water
- Amount of organic matter (measured by volume)
- Types of organic matter used
- pH of mixture
- Nitrogen content of mixture
- Phosphorus content of mixture
- Potassium content of mixture
N, P, and K tests:
Best organic matter for various pH levels with a balance of nutrients
Note that bread+tomato and kiwi+tomato are combinations of materials, not individual materials. See presentation for more info.
In the future, I could test various types/mixtures of organic matter as fertilizer and see which plants grow fastest. I could also test other types of organic matter or even inorganic matter. I hope that this work helps the world create better fertilizer and compost and make healthier and more sustainable gardens everywhere.
It is important to know about this because people could use this data to create better fertilizers and compost, like the ones I suggested in my analysis. Knowing what makes up your soil could spell the difference between life and death for your plants, so knowing what’s in your compost might save your garden. The data could also be used to create fertilizers from waste.
Sources Of Error
- Maren Aukerman (mother) provided assistance with photography, performing the tests, and my presentation. All ideas, however, are my own.