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The purpose of this experiment is to test the influence of the three major nutrients:

Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium upon plant growth. After different types and quantities of

fertilizers are applied some of the parts of the plants that can be measured are stem height,

foliage size, root size, quantity and size of seeds can be measured to determine the effects of

fertilization. When plants receive inadequate types and quantities of fertilizers plants may show

signs of distortions of plant parts and discolorations (Treshow, M., 1970). The independent

variables are the plant nutrients. Nutrients have the ability to help plants grow or to make them

stunted (Penn State University). Plants that receive the proper nutrient requirements can grow

better with healthier foliage, stems, roots, and reproductive structures. Plants may grow stunted if

they do not have the nutrients they require. If the plant receives too much fertilizer the plant may

not grow very well and its leaves may turn different colors and be deformed (Uchida, R., 2007).

The wrong types of nutrients can also stunt growth in plants and allow more weeds that will

compete with the plant to grow. Excessive nitrogen invites fungi and bacterial growth (Graham,

S., 2001). Plants need a balance between the types and quantities of the types of fertilizers for

optimum growth. Nutrients that are poorly timed and put in the soil may be a problem.


Fertilizers: Dyna-Gro Grow Liquid Plant Food balanced 7-9-5, plus nutrients; Espoma

Urea (CH4N2) (45-0-0); Espoma Triple Phosphate (P2O5) 0-45-0; Espoma Potash ( (0-0-60).

Distilled water

Styrofoam cups (inert)

Styrofoam balls (inert)

Clear glass beads (inert)

Cotton/polyester wick (inert)

Plastic trays (inert)

Quart Glass jars (inert)

Quart Squirt Bottles (inert)


1. First use a knife to make a slit in a bottom of a cup.

2. Afterwards put the cotton/polyester wick in to the cup (in order to allow the fertilizer

solution be drawn up the wick from the trays to supply the plants with water and nutrients)

3. Place 10 glass marbles in the bottom of each cup to provide stability.

4. Then add the Styrofoam balls (to act like soil and hold the plants in place).

5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have the correct quantity of cups required.

6. Measure out one quart of distilled water.

7. Pour the distilled water into a quart sized glass jar.

8. Add of a teaspoon of the balanced fertilizer (recommended amount) to the glass jar.

9. Repeat steps 6-8 until 10 jars all have the same treatment of fertilizer.

10. Add Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium separately in 1X, 2X, and 10X of the

recommended amounts to separate jars, which contain the balanced fertilizer prepared above.

11. Place the right type of fertilizer into the jars that are labeled with the type of fertilizer.

12. Then place the cups into the trays (8 cups per tray).

13. Plant the seeds inch down in the Styrofoam balls and on top of the wick.

14. Pour the liquid fertilizer solutions into the cups and trays.

15. Add the liquid fertilizer solution to the plants as needed (as the solutions evaporate and are
used up by the plants) .

16. Put in the seeds

17. Put sand on top of the seed

18. Then measure plants height and leaves and record plant health.

19. Analyze the data obtained.