||To begin, we know that all plants have different ways of adapting to the environment around them. We also know that seeds can disperse, or spread out, in many different ways, like water, wind, and animals. To continue, we know that plants need both sun and water to survive. Next, we discovered that scientists have germinated plants after 32,000 years. Also, we learned that imbibition is the first step of seed germination and occurs when a dry seed absorbs water and begin to swell. Two questions that we'd like to answer are how does temperature affect a seed, and why do certain plants grow faster than others?
||How much salt can Ryegrass and Alfalfa withstand?
||We predict ryegrass will die out first. This is because alfalfa lives in warmer climates, which usually results in saltier soils. This makes alfalfa more tolerant to salt.
||Research Question: How much salt can ryegrass and alfalfa withstand?
We predict ryegrass will die out first, this is because alfalfa lives in warmer climates which usually results in saltier soils. This makes alfalfa more tolerant to salt.
Salt 1 gram in two pots every other time we water
Salt 3 grams in two pots every other time we water
(Leave 2 without salt)
12 4’ Pots
1 cup Miracle Grow Potting Soil
Water 30 mL every two days
Ryegrass seeds 60
Alfalfa seeds 60
Plastic covers 12
1 Newspaper piece
Do not eat or taste any part of the plant or seeds used in the lab
Wash hands every time you handle any part of the plants
Place 1 cup of potting soil into each pot
Put the pots on the plastic covers
Add 10 ryegrass seeds into each of the 6 pots
Add 10 alfalfa seeds into each of the 6 pots
Plant the alfalfa seeds 1 inch into the soil
Plant the ryegrass seeds 1 inch into the soil
Label two alfalfa pots with 1 gram salt and label two ryegrass pots with 1 gram salt
Label two alfalfa pots with 3 grams salt and label two ryegrass pots with 3 grams salt
Label two alfalfa pots with no salt and label two ryegrass pots with no salt. We will water them with 30 mL every two days.
||We believed that when testing salt tolerance between ryegrass and alfalfa the alfalfa plants would be able to tolerate a larger amount of salt. This is because alfalfa plants tend to live in warmer areas, which we believed meant saltier soil, and we thought that would make them more tolerant to salt. In the end, we were unable to come to a complete conclusion. We only had growth in the one gram of salt ryegrass pots, and none of the other plants grew, including the no salt ryegrass and alfalfa pots. We planted twelve pots in total with ten seeds in each. We did one gram of salt ryegrass and alfalfa, three grams of salt ryegrass and alfalfa, and no salt ryegrass and alfalfa, with two pots for each category.
Our first planting was in March. However, the plants did not sprout, due to under watering, so we planted again on April 4, 2019. Our data showed the first pot, with one gram of salt ryegrass, sprouted six days after the second one gram of salt ryegrass plant sprouted, which was April 10, 2019. The first pot’s average for the first day was 2.3cm, and the second pot’s first-day average growth was 1.17cm. The second pot’s last day average was 8.33cm, and for the first pot, it was 2.51cm. This data is shown in my data table. We got these results because when we planted our seeds, we put them too far into the soil and most of the seeds weren’t able to grow. This happened because when we researched how far down to put our seeds it said 1 inch into the soil, which ended up preventing them from growing. These results mean we weren’t careful enough when we were researching and we should have asked our mentor for more details.
Overwatering our plants toward the beginning of the project may have affected the salt solution, which we used to water our plants every three days. This happened because we forgot to measure the correct amount of water. I could have improved on my accuracy skills and this would have helped me and my group come to a better conclusion on the amount of salt ryegrass and alfalfa can withstand. In the future, I would like to investigate more about the tolerance of plants to salt, because in many places in the world salt is a real problem for growing crops. If we were able to figure out how much salt plants can really withstand, that would help me to understand the conditions plants need for further experiments.
||Middle School Students (grades 6,7,8)