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Hobbies of People of All Ages

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 936
  • Category: Gardening

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Gardening is a very common hobby for people of all ages to part take in. Many communities, schools, office buildings, and libraries create public gardens for locals to have free access to. Gardening is a hobby many people find enjoyable to do. Due to gardening’s popularity many organizations and clubs have been formed to help the environment. This experiment focuses on pH and different types of soil. This study was carried out to observe and test for the best soils and their pH, to grow a common plant. A survey done in 2017 by the National Gardening Association collected that, “35 percent of families in the US produce their own food by gardening at home or in local community gardens” (Lissy, 2017). The information derived from this experiment can help inform gardeners and households that produce their own foods about how pH in soil affects plant growth. Also, what pH level is the most ideal for plants and what store-bought soil helps produce the best plants the fastest.

Merriam Webster defines pH as, “The measure of acidity and alkalinity of a solution that is a number on a scale on which a value of 7 represents neutrality and lower numbers indicate increasing acidity and higher numbers increasing alkalinity.” PH is the measuring of the hydrogen ions found in a solution. A study done on vegetable crop pH tolerances mentioned solutions with a high concentration of hydrogen ions have a low pH which indicates it is more acidic(Albert, 2002). Also solutions with a low concentration of H+ ions have a high pH which indicates a more basic solution(Albert, 2002). Scientists use a pH number to show the strength of an acid or base. The pH of solutions is measured on a scale using the numbers (0-14). On the pH scale acids can be found from (0-6.9) and basics are found from (7.1-14). On the pH scale seven is its own category because it represents neutral solutions. For example, pure water is neutral, it’s neither very acidic or very basic.

PH levels are vital to the study of living plants. The pH is very important to living botany because every living thing has a certain acidity level or alkaline level it needs to maintain in order to survive. Plants receive their pH levels from the soil they are planted in. Plants gather all the necessary nutrients to develop healthily from their soil. According to the University of Miami pH influences the degree of vital nutrients found in the soil (Bower, 2005). Soil contains the essential minerals nitrogen(N), phosphorus(P), and potassium(K). Most plants prefer soil in the pH range of (5.5-6.5). The measurement of (5.5) being slightly acidic and (6.5) being more basic. A study done by University of Vermont stated, “Aluminum may become toxic to plant growth in certain soils with a pH below 5.0, but some plants will grow in more acid soil or may require a more alkaline level”(Perry, 2003). This reflects how the specific pH of soils are vital for the healthy growth of plants. If the pH of the soil is not at the correct level for the given plant, then this can affect the growth of the organism in harmful way. A study conducted by the American Society for Microbiology stated in an experiment that not all plants need the exact same pH to grow and develop healthily(Lauber, 2009). Certain living plants need a slightly more acidic soil compared to others that prefer more basic soils.

Merriam Webster Dictionary defined soil as, “the upper layer of earth that may be dug or plowed and in which plants grow.” Most plants grow on the upper layer of the ground. Soil is a dark brown or black mixture of different substances containing organic remains, clay, and different sizes of rock particles. Soil is most vital during the beginning growth of plants. An investigation done by Oxford Academic Journal of Experimental Botany mentioned that Soil is the habitat at which a seed first grows and develops(Petra, 2001). The soil helps protect plants roots and hold the water supply. When groups of plants and organism come to the same area this creates the beginning of an ecosystem. For plants to grow sufficiently and in a healthy manner strongly depends on the soil its being grown in. These specific nutrients contribute to the healthy growth of plants. There are different types of store bought soil that specialize in different nutrients and aspects to help plant growth. For example, fertilized soil contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, and zinc.

The purpose of this experiment was to observe how different types of common soil and their pH levels affect plant growth. The independent variables in this experiment are the different types of soil. All the soils used for this experiment had a slightly different pH level. Having slightly different pH levels will affect the growth of the parsley which is the dependent variable of this experiment. Whichever parsley plant grows the tallest will determine which soil is the best to plant in. The control for this experiment is natural soil from outdoors. The reason for this being the control is because it’s not store-bought soil like the other three. The hypothesis for this experiment is if the soil with the pH level between (6.0-7.0) the parsley will then, grow the most because the acidity level is at its optimal level for most plants. As stated in an investigation done by the University of California on changing pH in soil, recited that the best pH soil levels for plants are (6.0-7.0)(Vossen, 2005).

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