Effect Of SMC On The Growth Of Bean, Cherry Tomato And Roma Tomato Plant

(1) Adlai E Stevenson High School

With a growing demand for organic fruits and vegetables, backyard gardening is becoming increasingly popular. We performed this experiment to determine the effect of Spent Mushroom Compost (SMC) in varying proportions of the soil on optimizing plant growth. We selected bean, cherry tomato, and Roma tomato plants for this study due to their popularity in gardening. Five growth media were prepared with different combinations of soil and SMC such as 0% SMC, 30% SMC, 50% SMC, 70% SMC, and 100% SMC. We hypothesized that the growth media with 30% SMC would optimize plant growth based on evidence from past research showing that moderate amounts of SMC best support the health of the plants. We used the germination rate, plant height, number of leaves, and survival rate as a measurement. We found that SMC increased plant growth of cherry tomato, Roma tomato, and bean plants. We showed that the hypothesized growth media with 30% SMC optimizes seed germination, plant height, number of leaves, and survival rate compared to other combinations of growth media. Our research suggests that SMC is a useful alternative for conventional fertilizers.

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