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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Tuesday - September 13, 2005

From: Cape cORAL, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany
Title: Smarty Plants on Science Fair projects
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I would like to know what kind of plants can grow in two weeks? Please answer quickly so I can do my Science Fair project.

ANSWER:

Garden vegetables, like beans and corn, are most often used for this kind of project due to their ready availability, rapid germination and growth. Lawn grass is also commonly used for similar reasons. The type of plant you choose to grow will largely depend on the experiment you wish to perform, but other factors can be involved as well.

In two weeks time your newly planted seeds will have germinated, developed their first roots and anchored themselves to the soil, expanded their cotyledons (seed leaves) and developed their first true leaves. They will be breathing, taking up nutrients from the soil and photosynthesizing during this time. Unless your science fair project is a germination study, you won't have time to collect much data from your seedlings.
 

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