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Plant Productivity of Various Plants Grown in Coffee Grounds

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Over the last century, society has begun to acknowledge and observe how human actions are negatively impacting the environment. Sustainable living is becoming more adopted into daily lives, including a

Over the last century, society has begun to acknowledge and observe how human actions are negatively impacting the environment. Sustainable living is becoming more adopted into daily lives, including a focus on waste management and recycling. Previous informal studies have proposed that coffee grounds can be recycled and added to the soil to increase plant productivity. The objective of this experiment was to test how different concentrations of roasted coffee grounds would affect the overall plant productivity when introduced in the soil of various plant types and environmental atmospheres. Three treatments were selected (100% potting mix, 50% potting mix/50% coffee grounds, and 25% potting mix/75% coffee grounds) and applied to 3 acid-tolerating plants (radish, basil, and parsley). Each of these treatments were grown in 2 different environments, where one was planted in a Tempe, AZ backyard while the other group was planted in a lab environment, locating at Arizona State University's Tempe Campus. Each plant with its respective treatments (plant type, coffee ground treatment, and environment) had 10 identical plants for statistical accuracy, resulting in a total of 180 plants grown, observed, and analyzed for this 3-month long experiment. The plant development, plant height, length of roots, quantity of leaves, and environmental observations were recorded and used to define plant productivity in this investigation. The experiment demonstrated low survival rates in all groups including the control group, suggesting a flaw in the experimental design. Nonetheless, the experiment showed that among the surviving plants, the 75% treatment had the largest negative impact on plant productivity. The measured root lengths and leaf quantity had various results across each plant group, leaving the hypothesis unverified. Overall, the experiment was effective in demonstrating negative impacts of great concentrations of coffee grounds when introduced to various plants, but further investigation with an adjusted experimental design will need to be completed to reach a reliable conclusion.

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  • 2016-12