Dirty Beans Analysis of Soil Quality and Bean Growth Bryan Glosik, Nick Delphia
Experiment • Original plan • Four soil types: Clay, Sand, Topsoil, Metro • 24 plants per soil type, half fertilized, half unfertilized • Hypothesis: the plants in the topsoil would fair better than the other soils. • We would offer the same amount of water to all the plants.
Predictions • We thought the plants would have a hard time actually growing in the clay • The sand would support the beans for a while, but that in the end the beans from the sand would not be as healthy as the beans from the other soils • Fertilized soils would yield more successful plants than unfertilized soils.
How did we measure “success” or “health” in plants. • Agriculturally speaking, success is determined by overall yield of the plant. • We recorded what we felt were good indicators of a healthy and productive bean plant. • Height, Leaf-count, stem-count, bud-count, final dry biomass (roots not included).
A Second Experiment • Our original setup did not yield as many plants as we expected. • The clay didn’t even yield one plant. • We started a new experiment after about three weeks or so. • Experiment B was same as A but no fertilizer, greenhouse watered for us, soils were metro, organic topsoil, and composted cow manure
Experiment B Hypothesis • We thought the composted cow manure would yield more successful bean plants due to natural fertilizer qualities.
Results for Experiment A Nothing grew in the clay
Results for Experiment B • Nothing grew in the composted cow manure
Metro-Mix plants yielded significantly more buds and more leaves than the organic topsoil
Conclusions • Don’t grow beans in clay or manure • When given the choice, a farmer should opt for topsoil over sand • Fertilizer increases the number of leaves, but not necessarily the number of beans on the plant • Potting soil yield the more beans than organic topsoil, but realistically, farmers can’t actually have a field full of metro-mix.