Giant Plants! Do Plants Need Commercial Food?

3.2 based on 6 ratings

Updated on Apr 16, 2013

Many products on the market are supposed to enhance the growth of plants. Naturally, each of them claims to be the best. This project might provide the additional insight needed to make wise choices regarding the plants in your garden.


Which commercial plant growth products work best?


  • 4 large plastic containers (at least ten inches in diameter and ten inches deep)
  • Screwdriver
  • Gardening gloves
  • Shovel
  • Potting soil
  • Watering can
  • Assorted flower and/or vegetable seeds
  • Three (3) different brands of commercial plant growth products.
  • Digital camera
  • Computer with internet access
  • Typical office/craft supplies (such as paper, pens & posterboard)


  1. Read related materials (see bibliography below)
  2. Select three (3) different commercial plant growth products.
  3. Using the screwdriver, poke 3 holes in the bottom of each container.
  4. Fill each container with the same type of soil.
  5. Plant same type(s) of seeds in all containers.
  6. Use a different growth product in each of 3 containers, as directed on the product labels.
  7. Do NOT add any plant food to the fourth container.
  8. Clearly label all containers.
  9. Care for plants as indicated on seed packets and product labels
  10. After appropriate growth period, analyze results.
  11. Interpret results in a detailed report.
  12. Show results visually using photos taken throughout the course of the experiment.
  13. Include the actual plant specimens in your science fair display.
Judee Shipman is a Bay Area Educational Consultant and professional writer of quality educational materials.  Her recent writing credits include (a popular and entertaining website about states), and a book called The Portable Chess Coach (Cardoza, 2006), currently available in stores.

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