Effects of Fertilizer on Soil

What type of fertilizer can most influence the growth of different plants?

Intern(s):

Hamza Alamgir, Elsa Sam

Mentor(s):

Briana Gipson, Robert Frawley

Project Period:

2021-2022

Team:

Harlem

In our experiment we tested how different types of fertilizer impact soil health. The intention of this experiment was to determine which readily available nutrients had the largest positive impact on soil health. This should be studied because levels of certain nutrients in fertilizer can negatively affect surrounding environments due to runoff and other chemical, physical, or biological factors.
In the experiment, we looked at chemical soil quality indicators such as pH, phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. Healthy soil supports its environment by containing appropriate levels of each of these chemicals to support the growth of plant and microbial life. A well-balanced soil ecosystem has the elements present to support robust plant growth without favoring microbial growth in adjacent bodies of water through runoff.
This experiment consists of assessing soil health by growing Wisconsin Fast Plants in varying fertilizer conditions: compost, lawn fertilizer, and carbonated water. Carbonated water was selected as a fertilizer because they contain macronutrients that mimic other liquid fertilizers. Compost was selected because of its known benefits to plant health. A control group without fertilizer was included as well.

This page was created by BioBus Summer 2021 Jr. Scientist William Rhee.