TALON Talk 2020 “How does oil added to soil affect the growth of bean plants?” Colby Ng

HiĀ  Everyone,

I chose to do a science inquiry on “How oil added to soil affects the growth of bean plants?“.

Please watch the video attached below and comment!


Thanks, Colby Ng

10 thoughts on “TALON Talk 2020 “How does oil added to soil affect the growth of bean plants?” Colby Ng

  1. I really enjoyed how thoroughly you went through all the different negative impacts of oil, and how you explained the science behind all of it as well! Your message was clear but concise, and you did a great job! You talked about how oil raises the pH of soil. Is that because it’s basic? and how do acids and bases affect plants, generally speaking?

    1. Thanks so much Devon! So several studies found when oil is added to the soil, the pH balance is raised to around 8.0. This happens with crude oil, engine oil, and motor oil which are all similar. The thing is, most plants thrive in slightly acidic to neutral soil usually 6.0-7.0. This is because chemical reactions that the plants undergo often require slightly acidic soil to carry out life processes. However, this isn’t all plants, but it is the majority. Thanks so much for the question!

  2. Hey Colby!

    I loved your TALON Talk! You thoroughly explained how oil affects soil, water, and photosynthesis. Your talk was engaging and overall really well done.

    I’m finding it hard to suggest a wish, but maybe when you talk about certain studies, you could provide more specific details?


    Is there a clear line between pesticide vs harming plants?

    -Derek, TALONS 9

    1. Thanks, I appreciate the comment! To answer your question there isn’t a super clear line between pesticides and harming the plant. It’s always better safe than sorry and in my research, I found that you just need to lightly spray the plants to the point where you can barely see it. Another precaution is to just leave the plant without oil when it’s hot because that is where it gets most dangerous. Overall, natural oils help a lot more than crude, engine, or motor oils. Thanks for watching!

  3. Great job! I really enjoyed watching your video.

    You did a good job using images and diagrams to help further explain your points. Before watching, I had no idea such a small amount of oil could have a huge affect on the environment.

    I was wondering if you think using natural oils as pesticides for plants is worth the risk considering the damage it could cause when too much is used?

    – Ruby

    1. Thanks for watching! To answer your question, personally I do believe that using natural oils is worth the risk of damaging the plant. If you play it more safe than sorry the benefits are still there. I wouldn’t recommend doing this on an industrial scale, but maybe in a small home garden, this could work very well. As long as you only lightly spray the plants and do it when it’s not boiling out the plants will be fine, and using natural oils is much better than the thousands of harmful pesticides out there. Thanks again!

  4. Great Ted Talk Colby! Your presentation was very clear and contained a lot of images and videos relating to your topic. It was interesting to watch, and very useful in everyday life. Something I would recommend changing is that you repeated the same statement a few times where it was necessary, making some parts a little repetitive. But other than that, well done!
    My question is, do you know of a way to clean plants if they have been affected by oil? Or a way of preventing the affects of oil on plants?

    1. Thank you so much for your advice. Unfortunately, I do not have an answer to your question. Due to pants being stationary unlike animals, it would be hard to remove them from an environment that is already contaminated from oil and clean them. The best thing to do would be to minimize oil spills in the first place. this is one of the reasons that soil spills pose such a large problem to entire ecosystems and plant life. Thanks for the question and I’ll look into it more.

  5. Great presentation Colby! This looks like a commercial you would see on tv! It was very informative and engaging. My question is what the best kind of oil for a pestacide would be and if you would reccomend using it? I enjoyed your presentation a lot! Good job!

    1. Thanks a lot! The best two oils to use as pesticides in small amounts would be either cottonseed oil or soybean oil. In studies done these worked best and were safest.

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