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Several kinds of activities can be carried out to enable you to better understand that some soils are very important for plant growth.
a. Line two glasses with paper towels. In one glass, hold the paper towel in place with a second paper towel. In the other, hold it in place with rich garden soil.
Place radish or lima bean seeds between the paper towel and the glass. Add equal amounts of water, and set the glasses in a warm, sunny location.
Keep the glasses moist, and keep daily records of what happens to the seeds over a period of at least a month.
You will find that the plants in the glass without soil do not continue growing and thus you can infer that soil must be a contributing factor for continued growth.
b. Fill one flower pot with sand, another with clay or subsoil, and a third with loam or topsoil. Plant five lima beans in each pot (soak the seeds overnight, or it will take almost forever for them to germinate), and place the pots side by side where they will receive the same amount of sunshine.
Add the same amount of water to each pot daily, and keep a record of the plants' growth for a month. Decide which kind of soil is better for growth.
Usually it is the topsoil.
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