Never Give Up Hope

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Germination and Early Growth of Three Angiosperms Instructor: Peter Introduction:         In this experiment, we will observe and record the growing patterns of three different species of angiosperms (corn, bean, mustards) for 11 weeks. At the beginning of the experiment we plant numerous seeds from each species in the same pot. In hopes that at least two of each species would germinate. After germination, if more than two of each species grew we then picked the best two and pulled up the remaining ones so they wouldn't strip the nutrients from the others ones. My general knowledge of the biology of seedlings told me that they have very tiny root systems and no 2° cell walls. They also are very vulnerable to drought, grazing, and to over watering, which produces at great atmosphere for fungal growth. Because this experiment was controlled the drought and grazing weren't a problem. Being rasied on a farm I knew that the corn would grow the tallest compared with the beans and mustards.

I was undecided as to which one, the beans or mustards would grow first. If I had to guess I would say that the beans would most likely grow first because it needs to store nutrients for the upcoming seed production. But most likely the mustards will grow first and germinate the fastest because they are the smallest seedling. No matter which one grows first or last I do know that these species will not grow as good in the pot as they would in the ground because in the pot they have limited resources.

Methods:         Day one of the experiment I filled a 6 ½" diameter pot seven-eighths full with Premix Premium peat-based potting soil. Then I compacted the soil to the bottom of the pot. Next I proceeded to plant three species of seeds, Phaselous vulgaris, or Bush beans, Zea mays, or sweet corn, and Brassica juncea, or Indian mustard, in three different places in the same pot. After planting about four seeds of each species I then covered the seeds with a handful of soil spread evenly over the pot and pressed down. Every pot in this experiment was labeled with a stick that had their name, lab section, and course number on it to keep the green house organized. The green house is a 16' by 24' fiberglass house with shading that cuts 50% of the sunlight out, and ventilation was held constant by a electric fence. The lights are UV "gro-lux" that were on from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the air humidity was constantly about 70%.

The soil in which we planted the seeds in has enough nutrients for about three weeks of growing. So the germination process occurred rapidly. One week after planting, the pot was observed for growth. The seedlings were then measured from the base of the plant to the tip of the leaves. The leaves were counted and measurements recorded. The same measurement method was used for the next ten weeks. Excluding the brown or dead leaves when taking measurements. In the second week I then picked the best of each species and marked them with different colored toothpicks. Removing the rest of each species so the nutrients would go to the best two seedlings. During the weeks if the plants needed watering the lab instructors took care of that on an as-needed basis. The rest of the experiment was strictly left up to mother nature. I placed my pot on the table in the green house an waited till the next week. The weeks that followed the measurements were made, with respect to leaf#, height, temp and observations of anything else.

After the eleven weeks were finished I took my plants out of their pot and rinsed off all the dirt from their roots. I then used these plants to measure root area and numerous other data. The pots were cleaned and place back in the green house for the next experiment.

Results:         At first in the experiment my plants weren't growing as fast as everyone else's. My plants started catching up with everyone's about the third week though. The mustards growth was very steady. It didn't do anything un-normal until the eighth week. They shot up to thirteen inches in height, that was a 9 inch growth spurt in one week. The mustard grew ten leaves total during the experiment but lost three so only ended up with seven leaves at the end of my experiment. Another amazing event happened in the growing of my mustards. In the ninth week they started having blooms. This was very exciting because everyone's plants did not bloom.