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Jennings students finalizing reports on radish crop PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:00 AM

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Since the first week of school in August, the Fort Jennings eighth-grade science classes have been using the outdoor learning lab at the school to grow radishes. This project has been an example of types of science fair projects that each of the 7-9th grade students can do for the local, county, and district Science Fairs.

The question asked by the classes is, “Which fertilizer will grow the radishes best?” Students took each garden bed and divided it into three sections that were three feet by three feet. They were assigned one of the five variables or the control group with no fertilizer added. The fertilizers were either: compost, fresh cow manure, bagged cow manure, lawn fertilizer, or Miracle Grow brand dissolvable fertilizer. Each was worked into the soil and then five rows of radishes were planted with rows eight inches apart and seeds placed three inches apart in the row. The radishes were the small, red type.

Students logged their observations eight times, including germination rate, height, number of leaves, color and comparisons to the other beds of radishes with the other variables. After eight weeks, the radishes were pulled and the total mass of the entire plant was taken. This was a measure of the total biomass that was created by the plant.

Faith Neidert and Vanessa Wallenhorst mass their radishes. (Photo submitted)Overall, the fresh cow manure and the compost grew the most radish mass in one class with the Miracle Grow brand fertilizer the top in the other class. The lawn fertilizer was actually detrimental to the plants as many didn’t even germinate, even after a second planting.

When the conversions to pounds were made in each class, students found that 37 pounds of radish biomass was grown in the one class and 47 pounds in the other. That is 84 pounds of radish biomass grown from two beds that are four feet by 12 feet total. Once the tops and roots were cut off, approximately three five-gallon buckets of radishes were harvested.

The students are now finalizing their report on the project which includes a line graph of the days of the project versus the height of the radishes, a bar graph which shows the control and the five variables versus the amount of mass per radish grown and a report on the conclusions of the project.

 

 

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