Science project

Do Plants Grow Best In Chemical Fertilizer, Organic Fertilizer, Or No Fertilizer?

Research Questions:

  • Are chemical ingredients harmful?
  • What exactly defines the term “organic”?

Plants need water and sunlight in order to grow. They can also be helped along by fertilizer, which is said to supply plants with  necessary nutrients. However, there are different kinds of fertilizer, and some believe that fertilizer is simply uncessary. In this experiment, we'll compare two different kinds of fertilizer to normal soil.


  • Chemical fertilizer, such as Miracle-Gro
  • Organic fertilizer (pelleted chicken manure, bone meal, etc.)
  • Seeds (of any kind, but keep it at the same type)
  • Soil
  • Plant pots
  • Water
  • Sunlight
  • Ruler
  • Pen and paper for notes

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Fill three pots with soil from the same source (in other words, don't get your soil from different places).
  2. Dig a small hole about 1- 1 ½ inch deep into the soil of each pot and put a seed into each hole. Bury the seed inside and give it a pat.
  3. Label the pots with the type of fertilizer it is going to contain: chemical, organic, or none.
  4. Add chemical fertilizer to one pot and organic fertilizer to another. Do not put any fertilizer in pot number three.
  5. Water the plants and take it to a location with adequate sunlight.
  6. Monitor the seeds at their germination. Which one germinated first?
  7. Monitor the daily growth of the plant. Using a ruler, measure the height of the plant and also, check the overall condition of the plant until it reaches the desired height.

Suggested Chart


Day 1

Day 2
Day 3
Chemical Fertilizer




Organic Fertilizer




No Fertilizer





Terms/Concepts: Plant fertilizer; Botany; Plant growth; Plant nutrients; Photosynthesis; Benefits of organic compounds over chemical compounds


Evans, L. T. (1998). Feeding the Ten Billion - Plants and Population GrowthCambridge University Press. Paperback, 247 pages. ISBN 0-521-64685-5.

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