The Effect of the pH Level In Water on the Speed of Plant Germination

Student: Zarah Cardona
Table: 10
Experimentation location: Home
Regulated Research (Form 1c): No
Project continuation (Form 7): No

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Palvis, R. (2020, June 19). Baking soda in the garden - hacks that work and don't work. Garden Myths. Retrieved February 5, 2022, from,plants%20that%20are%20not%20weeds. 

“How Do You Use a Ph Test Strip?” Indigo Instruments, 11 Nov. 2019, 

Hasegawa, Chris. “How to Read Ph Strips.” WikiHow, WikiHow, 11 Aug. 2021,

Slidesgo. Agricultural Technician CV by Slidesgo


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Project files

Research Plan:


  1. Independent Variable:

Different measurements of baking soda I add to the water. 

  II.    Dependent variable: 

         How fast each plant germinated. (I will visit the plant twice a day and record when the plant germinates.)

III.    Outline how sufficient, relevant data will be collected:

         I will add different measurements of baking soda into water and see which one will germinate the pea plants the fastest. Because I will be using pH sticks to see the pH level it will be clear what the pH level is after the substances. I will also be recording the plant growth to see which plant germinates faster. 




  1. Gather all materials from materials list
  2. Record water pH level in data table (Have the pH stick in water for 10 seconds)  (FIll 80 ml of water) 
  3. Wait for 40 seconds
  4. Record pH level in data table 
  5. Fill 140 ml beaker with water and add 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda (Beaker A)
  6. Mix in a circular motion for 40 seconds 
  7. Set aside
  8. Fill 140 ml beaker with water and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda (Beaker B)
  9. Mix fin a circular motion or 40 seconds 
  10. Set aside

  11. Fill 140 ml beaker with water and add 5 tablespoons of baking soda (Beaker C)

  12. Mix in a circular motion for 40 seconds

  13.  Set aside

  14. Fill 140 ml beaker with water and add 10 tablespoons of baking soda (Beaker D)

  15. Mix in a circular motion for 40 seconds

  16.  Set aside

  17. Fill 140 ml beaker with 140 ml of water (Beaker D)

  18. Set aside

  19.  Put a different pH stick inside beaker A for 10 seconds 

  20. Set aside 

  21. Record pH level in data table

  22. Put a different pH stick inside beaker B for 10 seconds 

  23. Set aside

  24.  Record pH level in data table

  25. Put a different pH stick inside beaker C for 10 seconds 

  26. Set aside

  27. Record pH level in data table 

  28. Put a pH stick inside beaker D for 10 seconds 

  29. Set aside

  30. Record pH level in data table

  31. Fold Bounty paper towel four times and drop in beaker A

  32. Take Bounty paper towel out of water and unfold

  33. Place ten seeds on paper towel One inch apart **All on One half of paper towel**

  34. Fold paper towel over pea seeds into three folds 

  35. Repeat steps 29-32 with beaker B

  36. Repeat steps 29-32 with beaker C

  37. Repeat steps 29-32 with beaker D

  38. Observe plants twice a day 

  39. Record all observations on data tables







  • My data suggests that the peas that were in the paper towel with ½ a tablespoon of baking soda germinated the fastest. My data supports my hypothesis because the fastest germinating pea plant was the one with least amount of baking soda. My data shows that increasing the pH level in water does not help the germination process speed up. Beaker B germinated three hours after Beaker A. Beaker C and  Beaker D still have not germinated after two weeks. This may be because too much baking soda includes sodium which can be toxic to plants. The reason why some plants germinated was because (as stated before) they had little baking soda. 










Questions and Answers

1. What was the major objective of your project and what was your plan to achieve it? 

       a. Was that goal the result of any specific situation, experience, or problem you encountered?  


If I change the water pH level how does it affect how long the seed takes to germinate?

I will investigate if adding different amounts of baking soda to raise the pH level will affect how long it takes for a plant to germinate. 

Measuring pH in level in water measures how much acid is inside the water. pH level is from zero to fourteen. The best pH level in water is between 6.5 to 8.5. Testing the pH level in water is important because if the pH level is either too high or too low then the organisms inside of the water can/will die. Another reason why testing the pH level is important is because it can tell you the solubility as well as the toxicity of the water chemicals. 

The germination process occurs in all seeds. Germination is when the pea first starts to grow and you see a curvy stem starting to form out of the pea. The steps of the germination process are:

  1. The water fills the seed
  2. The plant starts to grow because the water activates enzymes inside the plant
  3. The seed starts to grow roots to access water underground
  4. The seed starts to grow these shoots that grow up towards the sun
  5. And finally, the seeds shoots start to grow leaves and begin the photomorphogenesis process  






       b. Were you trying to solve a problem, answer a question, or test a hypothesis?

I was trying to figure out the answer to the question If I change the water pH level how does it affect how long the seed takes to germinate?

2. What were the major tasks you had to perform in order to complete your project?

       a. For teams, describe what each member worked on.

I recorded the pH level of the water with the different intervals of baking soda (½, 1, 5, 10). I put the paper towel inside the water with baking soda and put the seeds inside of the paper towel and let it sit for a couple of days. I checked on the seeds daily until one sprouted.

3. What is new or novel about your project?

       a. Is there some aspect of your project's objective, or how you achieved it that you haven't done before?

I have never worked with the pH level of water and tried to germinate plants with different pH levels. 

       b. Is your project's objective, or the way you implemented it, different from anything you have seen?

What would benefit my experiment would be to shorten my procedure because it was a little difficult to follow along. I think that this would help because it would keep me and my experiment more organized. 

4. What was the most challenging part of completing your project?

      a. What problems did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?

Some problems that I faced were figuring out how much I should change the pH level of water and figuring out exactly how much I could change the pH level before the plant would die. 

      b. What did you learn from overcoming these problems?

I learned that doing your research before is extremely important for carrying out a somewhat flawless experiment. 

5. If you were going to do this project again, are there any things you would do differently the next time?

Next time I would get my research from multiple resources and websites for the most valid experiment. 

6. Did working on this project give you any ideas for other projects? 

Working on this project has given me a couple of ideas of how I can speed up the plant germination process. For instance, does temperature, soil, water increments, or different liquids, affect how fast the plant grows?

7. How did COVID-19 affect the completion of your project?

COVID-19 didn't have any effects on my project. I didn't have to buy any materials and everything would have gone the same way regardless of the pandemic.