You can start growing your plants any time.
Sooner is better, because then you will have
plenty of time to get your data.
If you are growing your plants from seeds,
you will want to plant at least 24 to 30 seeds,
because some of the seeds might not sprout. I'm
thinking of corn or pea or squash seeds, but I
don't know much about how well they grow in the
winter. If it's not too expensive, you might
want to buy little plants at a nursery or garden
center. Someone who works there can help you
pick plants that will grow well - and they can
probably give you good advice about seeds,
One interesting experiment might be to start
with seeds, and start with water and pesticide-
water, already for the seeds. Then you could
get an answer to the question, Do seeds
germinate differently with water vs. pesticide
water? You could do that experiment indoors, so
there wouldn't be a problem with winter. You
could just have 2 pots with the same number of
seeds and different water. You could put the
same volume of water on the 2 pots, when you
Keep asking questions!
a) Will chemical insecticide affect plant
growth? (affect as in stunt)
I'm not sure - but this is what you are trying
to figure out right? Let your own observations
lead you to your conclusions! It doesn't matter
if you know an answer already - this project is
about you understanding the scientific method,
and finding conclusions from your own
experiments. Let your curiosity guide you!
b) What kind of plant will grow fast in the
You are in luck - living here in southern
California, you really have anything to choose
from. If you are growing from seed, I'd suggest
marigold flowers or another flower. The other
classic plant would be a pea plant.
c) How will I know when to start experimenting?
(I am going to be collecting data every two days
and I am growing 12 plants and I'm going to
water half with insecticide and the other half
Think about what exactly you want to know - do
you want to know about one chemical insecticide,
or multiple chemical insecticides? Are you
starting with a plant or a seed? Should you
start day 1 with insecticide, or wait a few days
by watering? How are you going to
measure "stunted growth"? Really, this is up to
you - you can start experimenting when you would
like, but I would expect this to take a month to
get full results.
If you want more help, feel free to e-mail
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