Welcome to the site dedicated to resurrecting the centuries-old art of growing plants with electricity.

What is ElectricFertilizer™?

ElectricFertilizer™ is a company devoted to  finding novel, organic methods for the the acceleration and improvement of plant growth and other ecological systems using technology.

 

Making plants grow faster using electricity???  Is this for real?

Yes it is!  In my first blog post, “A New Way to Boost Your Garden’s Yield – Using Electricity“, I give an overview of how I discovered this topic and a touch on some of the benefits.  Below is a list of some of the main effects that can be observed in plants after they’ve been stimulated with electricity:
  • Increased soil fertility
  • Increased growth rate
  • Yield increases from 20 to 400%
  • Larger sized fruits and vegetables
  • Protection against various diseases
  • And more!
Start Here!
Thanks again for visiting! To learn more, explore the links above and join our mailing list ; and to thank you for letting us get to know you better, we’ll send you our free QuickStart Guide to Electro-Horticulture, today!
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  • Albertscientist

    Hi I’m Albert,
    I’m doing a research about electroculture. I’m using a DC of 9V but I’m having lots of problems with my electrodes because their are oxidising themselves. If tried to use the metal of a can covered with aluminum. I leave them connected all day but the intensity decreases. Actually, I can’t see main diferences between my countrol group and my electrified one. I don’t know what to do … Could you help me, please?

  • Albertscientist

    Hi I’m Albert,
    I’m doing a research about electroculture. I’m using a DC of 9V but I’m having lots of problems with my electrodes because their are oxidising themselves. If tried to use the metal of a can covered with aluminum. I leave them connected all day but the intensity decreases. Actually, I can’t see main diferences between my countrol group and my electrified one. I don’t know what to do … Could you help me, please?

  • http://electricfertilizer.com/ electricfertilizer

    Hi Albert,
     
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. 
     
    I think the first problem is the type of metal you’re using.  Aside from the oxidation problem in itself, the other problem with using aluminum is that the release of too much of it can make the soil toxic.  I would suggest that you try a hard stainless steel (I recently received some 316 stainless for its corrosion resistance that I plan to test out soon).  Alternatively, you can try carbon/graphite or titanium which should oxidize even less.
     
    In terms of having an effect, it turns out that there are a number of factors that can affect whether the plant responds or not.  It can be anything from the plant’s genetics to the electric field strength, to the way you apply the electric field, e.g. DC vs pulse-train.  I think there hasn’t been enough thorough research on electroculture yet to be able to characterize the effects of electricity on soils and plants. 
     
    What are trying to grow?  If you give those other electrode materials a try, let me know how they work out!

  • Albertscientist

    can you give me your email so I could send you some pictures, please?
     

    • http://electricfertilizer.com/ electricfertilizer

       @Albertscientist Sure – just send me a note via my contact form above and I’ll write back to you with my email address. 
       
      Looking forward to seeing what you’re doing.

  • http://electricfertilizer.com/ electricfertilizer

    Hey @Albertscientist  I haven’t heard from you… just wanted to ping you and see if you figured things out yet.  Send me a note via my contact form and then we can exchange pics! 
    – David

  • Albertscientist

    I sent you an email but I guess to the wrong adress :S Can you give me your adress, please?
    Thank you :)
     

    • http://electricfertilizer.com/ electricfertilizer

       @Albertscientist Ok, try david (at) electricfertilizer (dot) com

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCND4sCjvmM Increase vertical

    This should be spread in depressed areas in the world specially the 3rd world country..Genius! Thanks for sharing. Really learning from this post. Eager to read more of your posts soon.

    • http://electricfertilizer.com/ electricfertilizer

       @Increase vertical Hey!  Thanks for your comment!  I appreciate you stopping by and I plan on writing more articles soon.  I also agree with you that these methods can be very beneficial to 3rd world agriculturalists! 
      – David

  • Cotopaxi

    While not the most technological sounding, their are a couple of folks who are looking to use urine as a sustainable means of 
    <a href=”http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/fertilizers-c-59_416.html”>fertilizer</a>. It makes sense do to the significant amounts of nitrogen in human urine.

  • http://electricfertilizer.com/ electricfertilizer

    Electroculture will actually improve the effectiveness of fertilizers – so much so that the amount of fertilizer needed can be drastically reduced.

  • electricatmos

    Has anyone done dry weight comparisons between “electrically stimulated” plants and control plants?

    • http://electricfertilizer.com/ electricfertilizer

      @electricatmos  Thanks for your message – actually, yes – a number of scientists have done these types of comparisons, including Albert (also on this comment thread) – In his experiments on radishes using 9VDC, he found no differences in the dry weight.  Other researchers have found results that have varied – here’s a case where there was negative weight gain: “Influence of electric field on plant weight” – http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=5377852 and another reference that had positive weight gain, “Date Palm Biotechnology” by Shri Mohan Jain, p.299-300 – http://goo.gl/qjlNU .
       
      It turns out that many species of plants, respond differently to electrical stimulation and it is my hope that through our collective efforts that we can categorize how various useful plants are affected by electrical (and other) stimuli.

    • electricatmos

      @electricatmos Thanks for the references. I have done dry weight comparisons of corn seedlings grown under positive, negative and zero field conditions and found that the dry weight is highest for the negative potential gradient condition (plant is negative with respect to an overhead screen, and less for the zero potential gradient condition and least for the positive potential gradient condition (plant is positive with respect to an overhead conductive screen). As the ambient temperature and light exposure is increased for corn seedlings the differences in growth size and germination become very large. I chose corn because it typically has as many stomate cells on top of the leaf as on the bottom side of the leaf and corn is a very fast growing plant and is also tolerant of high heat growing conditions.
       
      I have also conducted potometry experiments with Blue Spruce cuttings and observed increased water uptake into the cutting with increasing electric potential gradient (plant negative with respect to surrounding electrified screen). This suggests that plant transpiration may be affected by the application of artificial or natural electric fields. Unfortunately, water is a very difficult material to work with for many reasons, among them are high surface tension values and its ability to store a lot of heat energy before changing state. Then, considering the distribution of liquid water, water vapor density, water vapor pressure, and associated thermal conditions makes the problem of speculating about the addition of electric fields to this mix very problematic. Nevertheless, the polar nature of the water molecule specifically chains of water molecules existing in liquid/vapor layer which probably exist inside and just above plant stomatal cell openings may offer interesting paths of investigation. There are other possible processes which may play a role in the results I have observed over the years. One is the possibility of “ion wind” produced by a charged surface causing the plant to transpire more water vapor.

      • electricfertilizer

        It will actually improve the effectiveness of fertilizers – so much so that the amount of fertilizer needed can be drastically reduced.

      • http://electricfertilizer.com/ electricfertilizer

        @electricatmos I garnered a significant body of knowledge from the following reference: Plant Electrophysiology (http://www.springer.com/life+sciences/book/978-3-642-29109-8); and in there I learned that the likely mechanism of increased transpiration seems to come from the plants’ radical increase in metabolic rate, affecting respiration and water uptake amongst other processes as well. 
         
        What I find to be perplexing is that some species of plants have shown to have developed a significant tolerance to drought conditions when stimulated.  On one hand there is an increase in transpiration, yet when drought conditions are present, perhaps other mechanisms come into play.  (http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20093239163.html) On the other hand, one of the postulated reasons for the fall of electroculture in the late 1930’s was due to poor weather conditions. (Yet I personally think it was due to the coming of the ‘chemical (fertilizer) revolution’.

        • electricatmos

          @electricfertilizer Thanks for the Springer link; I was unaware of the open-use policy. In just the first few minutes I found an interesting article related to some current work issues not related to plant electrophysiology. I do not have a significant personal budget for purchasing many research articles. However, I read the abstract and found it interesting. The field strength, 4 kV/cm, is on par with the values I have used. I do wonder about the physical set-up, for at that level corona discharge effects along with “ion wind” effects can complicate analysis. I admit the actual physical design and geometries of the electrical components as well as the plant’s topology among other considerations play significant roles, so the investigators may have resolved those issues.
           
          I have read Volkov’s 2006 book and was somewhat disappointed. That is not to say that the book he edited did not have useful information, but I discovered errors and omissions which gave me reasons to be skeptical about the scientific accuracy of the book’s contents. I have not looked at more recent Volkov publications. I should access them to see if his scholarship has improved. I briefly read chapter 2 of his 2012 book which is freely available on the publisher’s web page and found it interesting. I use LabView DAQ in most of my current professional lab experiments and testing.
           
          Your comments about drought and transpiration are cogent and relevant. I do not have much beyond speculation and a few experimental observations to say about that issue. Although, I am convinced that defining plant functions in the totality of all the factors and variables in the SPAC (Soil Plant Atmosphere Continuum) is very difficult, I find the challenge exciting. I have always accepted the danger of interpreting biological phenomena from a physics point of view and attempt to couch my views in rather more inquisitive skepticism. Your comment about chemical fertilizer revolution may be akin to the observation that to a person with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, particularly when the hammer is cheaper than other options.

  • Jrides5

    Hey. I do know that plants take up ions through protein chains that cross certain cell walks in the roots. This process is dependent on a negative potential across the chain into the cell. Can we take advantage of this some how?

    • http://electricfertilizer.com/ electricfertilizer

      @Jrides5 From my understanding, when an external electric field is applied, it affects the various channel proteins, changing their bias which then allows greater amounts of ions to pass into the root system.  Does that make sense or can you potentially offer some clarification?

  • livefyre11233

    How can you connect a battery to the plant itself?

    • http://electricfertilizer.com/blog electricfertilizer

      @livefyre11233 Sorry for the late reply… some people have used felt electrodes clipped onto plants, or nails driven into woody stems.  Are you thinking of trying something along those lines?