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I have a science fair project due sometime in January. The question is: Will chemical insecticide affect plant growth? (affect as in stunt) I Also want to know a few things: -What kind of plant will grow fast in the winter? -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 without) Thank You so very much!
Answer 1:

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, too.

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 water them.

Keep asking questions! Best wishes,


Answer 2:

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 winter?
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 without)
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 me.



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