Substrates exhibit varying effects on plant growth and seed germination. The primary purpose of conducting this experiment was to test the effects that substrates have on plant growth and seed germination. To achieve this, three different substrates were to stimulate the seed germination and plant growth. The substrates used include peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. Wisconsin Fast Plants were chosen as the specimen for this lab due to their rapid life cycle.
Peat moss will cause the highest rate of growth, but potting mix and vermiculite will also experience some growth but not as much. Pearlite will not grow.
According to Wise, Ranker & Linhart (2002), a plant which is treated with vermiculite and properly maintained will have the greatest plant growth of all.
Wisconsin fast plants are also known as the Brassica rapa refers to the plants that were developed at the University of Wisconsin by Dr. Paul William and which, for over 30 years, have been bred by him (Driblette, 2017). The fast plants, which Wisconsin belong to, are a rapid-cycling member of the cabbage and mustard family known as Cruciferae (Driblette, 2017). This plant has a rapid life cycle fewer than 40 days (Wise, Ranker & Linhart, 2002). Besides providing quick results, the plants have a wide variety of recognized phenotypes (Driblette, 2017).
Whereas the dependent variable was growth and the control variables being temperature, water, light, and fertilizer, the independent variables were Peat Moss, Vermiculite, and Perlite. Peat moss refers to a large absorbent moss which grows on the boggy ground but in dense masses whereby they form peat deposits due to the slow decay of the lower parts (Wise, Ranker & Linhart, 2002). On the other hand, Perlite refers to an amorphous volcanic glass, typically formed by the dehydration of obsidian that has a relatively high content (Wise, Ranker & Linhart, 2002). Lastly, Vermiculite is a brown or yellow mineral which is found as an alteration product of many minerals such as mica (Wise, Ranker & Linhart, 2002). Vermiculite is used as a moisture-retentive or insulation medium for growing plants (Wise, Ranker & Linhart, 2002). The three substrates have been used jointly in many experiments. For instance, vermiculite and perlite have been used for decades in amending professional potting soils that are made from peat moss (Wise, Ranker & Linhart, 2002).
The experiment is of great assistance, particularly in the exploration of the environmental effects on a population of plants. The plant allows scientists to carry out speedy experiments due to its fast maturation and reproduction tendency.