Ask a Question forum: Caretaking of Sunflowers

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Overland Park, KS
tjohnson2022
Jan 18, 2018 2:05 PM CST
Dear NGA,
Hello! I'm a 8th grade student that is doing a science fair experiment for our science class. I'm planting sunflower seeds in a plant tray with different amounts of soil that contains sand. I'm not sure how big each of the individual cells are so I can give you the exact name to look up the trays on Amazon (since this website won't let me post links): (Jiffy 5043 Windowsill Greenhouse 20-Plant Starter Kit With Peat Strips). My question is how much water should I give to each of the plants each day. If it's possible for you to give an exact measurement that would be great, since I have to record all my data, which means how much water I give to the plants each day. If you could get back to me ASAP, that would be great because I need to start the experiment soon.

Thank you,
T. Johnson
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jan 18, 2018 2:45 PM CST
I checked your tray.
looks about the size of an ice tray.
definitely nowhere near large enough for sunflowers... suggest radish, or lettuce.

If you must grow sunflowers, I would not use anything smaller than a gallon nursery pot for each seed.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 18, 2018 2:48 PM CST
Hi tjohnson , Welcome! to NGA

That sounds like great Science Fair Project.

I really can't answer that question but, I can tell you how to figure it out. I assume you have a control group. If you don't, you better plan for one or you won't have anything to judge your results by. Measure the amount of water it takes so the water comes out the bottom of the control group cells. That is the amount of water you have to give every cell.

Keep us posted.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Wyoming (Zone 4a)
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Ape_Goblin
Jan 18, 2018 5:21 PM CST
You're going to want either a moisture meter, or enough room to stick your finger in the dirt. If you don't let your soil dry out to at least 2 inches deep, you will most likely get fungus gnats, little tiny flies that bring mold spores down into the soil around the roots of your plants, and sometimes go up your nose. I have seen people grow larger varieties of plant in very small containers, but they usually have to pull them out and trim the roots with clean scissors so they will keep growing. Also, if you leave a growing plant in the sun in a small container, it can dry out and die very very quickly. Solo cups might be a better option, and they're pretty cheap. Or plant milk cartons with the tops cut off, like the peanuts in my profile picture. Reduce, reuse, and recycle, recycle comes last.
[Last edited by Ape_Goblin - Jan 18, 2018 5:28 PM (+)]
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Wyoming (Zone 4a)
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Ape_Goblin
Jan 18, 2018 5:45 PM CST
In that greenhouse box with paper pots, the plants are going to share any excess water, exchanging it through the air as humidity, through the paper via wicking, and anything that leaks out the bottom could be absorbed by neighboring pots. Sand is generally added to improve drainage, so water exchange would definitely skew your results. Unless you have one tray for each level of sand
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 18, 2018 6:02 PM CST
Tjohnson designed this science experiment and part of the fun of the whole project is seeing what happens. Regardless the outcome, it will be a learning experience.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Wyoming (Zone 4a)
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Ape_Goblin
Jan 20, 2018 10:03 PM CST
True, sorry. Just trying help t get meaning from the results, and make data collection easier. What if you were to cut the bottom off of 20 cups, so each pot in the greenhouse will have its own water catch? That might even give you another line of data to record, while making sure you can thoroughly water each pot in a controlled manner.

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