Effect of Fertilizer on the Wisconsin Fast Plants

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For years farmers have been adding natural fertilizers to their crops. It is a big risk though. Over fertilizing is very dangerous. It puts high concentrations of salt into the soil. It can also affect the water resources nearby. Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potassium are the basics of fertilizer. If a certain nutrient is short in supply the fertilizer might not work as well. Calcium, iron, manganese are also nutrients that might be needed. So don’t just trust the fertilizer bag that says it has all the nutrients, test it out. (Miller and Levine 717)

Wisconsin fast plants come from the Cruciferae plant family. They tend to have shorter life cycles. It took years of Dr. Williams breeding these plants to get it right, but now the 6 month life cycle is down to a 5 week life cycle. Wisconsin fast plants, also known as Brasica rapa plants, were bred as research tools. (H. Lauffer, D. Lauffer, Williams)

The fertilizer pellets used are made out of N.P.K. (Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potassium). When used properly there is no risk of over fertilizing or “burning” the plants (H. Lauffer, D. Lauffer, and Williams). The pellets are balanced proportionally and are very safe to use.

My group, fertilizer group 3, is testing the variables of plant color and number of leaves. Fertilizer can affect that drastically! Those two variables are basically what determine a healthy plant. Fertilizer can help to boost the minerals in the soil and give the plant what it needs to survive and be healthy.

The Brassica rapa plants were bred to live in the colder states of America, such as Michigan and Wisconsin. Up there they have very few times it is actually warm enough for plant growth. So to take advantage of those few short moments, Dr. Williams bred a ...

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...his experiment is to let the groups take home the plants on the weekends so they can record the details of what happens in those few days.

Works Cited

Hershey, D. (2003, March 3). MadSciNet: The 24-hour exploding laboratory. Retrieved April 8, 2014, from http://www.madsci.org

Colorado State Gardening Program (2011). Colorado State University Extension. Retrieved April3, 2014, from http://www.ext.colostate.edu

Lauffer, H. B., Williams, P., & Lauffer, D. (2012). Wisconsin Fast Plants® Program. Retrieved February 26, 2014, from http://www.fastplants.org

Miller, K. R., & Levine, J. S. (2010). Miller & Levine biology. Boston, Mass: Pearson

Cummins, Dorsey, Myers, & Wagner (2001, October 12). Final 3 Organic vs. Chemical Fertilizers. Retrieved April 3, 2014, from http://jrscience.wcp.muohio.edu/nsfall01/FinalArticles/Final3Organicvs.ChemicalF.html

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