I did an expirement in which i tested a fertilizer to see
if various levels fertilizer could reverse the effects of poor soil on
the early germination of marigold seeds. I was wonder what specificully
in Miracle grow causes speeds up the germination process. I hope you get
this message because it would really help. Thanks.
Thanks for your question.
I think this is a good area for further experimentation.
My own experimentation would be designed to disprove a claim of "speeding up
the germination process" in "early germination". My understanding always
has been that stored food in seeds, rather than surrounding chemicals, play
the important role in supporting early germination. In a bean seed, for
example, the cotyledons supply the fuel for the great spurt of activity in
the early germination process. The whole thing, however, begins with water
and acceptable temperature levels.
As an experiment I would decide on some measure of speed or amount of
germination. I would then plant seeds from the same mixed batch in soil I
considered "poor", "average" and "good", with perhaps a separate batch in a
lab setting. Each site should have the same aspect (ie facing south or
southwest, etc.) and similar availability or provision of water. Seeds
planted of equal depth could be withdrawn in 1-day or 2-day intervals to
measure germination speed, perhaps by root development, or whether the plant
had broken through the soil. Attempting to control each of the variable
parameters could demonstrate enhanced or delayed germination in good vs.
poor soil. My own suspicion would be in the early stages each soil would
produce similar results...that is, the seed germination in early stages
would be mostly independent of soil condition. I would agree that
subsequent development and growth of the plant would quickly switch gears
and be enhanced in soils whose structure and/or nutrient availability would
be optimal for the particular plant being discussed. Further
experimentation could try to establish, again using controlled similar
conditions, any enhancement of the early germination process using miracle
grow or some other plant nutrient, vs. no added chemical. You might then,
taking all the above measurements, establish at what point you believe the
chemical additive begins to promote further plant growth, apart from the
early germination process.
A good experiment for the springtime...and the winter is a good time for
planning spring projects!
Thanks for using NEWTON!
Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.
Click here to return to the Botany Archives
Update: June 2012