Topsoil Experiment

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Abstract: The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether the amount of topsoil would influence the growth of radish plants. It was hypothesized that if the amount of topsoil increased by 50% would increase because topsoil contains the essential nutrients which are required for proper plant growth. The principle findings indicated that a medium amount of topsoil is ideal for plant growth as the radish plant potted in 50 ml of topsoil experienced the most growth in comparison to the radish plants potted either in 25 ml or 200 ml of topsoil.

Introduction: A healthy layer of topsoil comprises of a mixture of clay, sand, silt, and humus that supply the plants with vital nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other necessary
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Five styrofoam cups were filled with commercial potting soil up to the first line from the bottom.
2. Holes were poked on the bottom of all five cups to ensure proper drainage.
3. Five cups were labeled as: control, 25 ml topsoil, 50 ml topsoil, 100 ml topsoil and 200 ml topsoil respectively, and fall four cups were filled with their designated amount of topsoil using a beaker.
4. Five radish plant seeds per cup were planted to maximize germination rates little underneath the surface to allow space for the plants and 30 ml of water was added to each cup using a graduated cylinder.
5. Plant growth was measured with a ruler each day, and the amount of water added to the plants periodically varied (shown in data table) depending on the visible soil moisture.
6. Plant heights were recorded for two weeks, and at last, the plant root growths were measured using a ruler after the plants were uprooted from the soil. Data and Observations:
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The plants with 200 ml topsoil were projected to have the highest average height according to the original hypothesis of increased plant growth due to an increase on the amount of topsoil added. Moreover, the original hypothesis was refuted as the plants with no topsoil in the control had a higher average height than the plants with 25 ml topsoil. The mixed red and green color on the leaves of the plants with 25 ml topsoil indicated possible deficiencies in phosphorus which might have slowed their growth. Moreover, the mixed red and green color on the leaves of the plants in both 100 ml and 200 ml topsoil also indicated a possible phosphorus deficiency which may have resulted in the slower growth of the plants despite having greater amounts of topsoil. The experimental results might have skewed due to the over fertilization of the radish seeds which might have led to excess nutrient levels which are unsuitable for radish plants as they require little to no fertilization for growth (Chase, 2018). Also, the poor drainage of water could have slowed growth as a seed had germinated in the control after the bottom hole was made bigger on the 7th day, therefore radishes could be planted by farmers in mainly sandy loam soil as it ensures proper drainage of water and promotes plant growth. Overall, the commercial

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