This growing season, I’ve been working towards increasing the number of electroculture experiments in my yard and in my basement. While it seems that I have somewhat achieved this, my goal is to eventually have a small warehouse where I can have lots of proper experiments going on simultaneously under near identical conditions. In the meantime, I made due with what I have and what I have time to put together. In this post I’d like to share most of the projects that I’m working on, and perhaps you’ll find inspiration to give electroculture a try as well, seeing how simple, it can be to try it out in many cases.
Electroculture in the Home Garden
I’d like to start by showing you my latest endeavor: creating an outdoor system that works off of a solar panel, or in this case, two of them. In the picture below, you can what my home garden area looks like.
In this shot you can see some raised garden beds, herb boxes just past the entryway, part of our peach tree and a kiddy pool for our daughter’s entertainment while we work on weeding. In the 2nd bed to the right, we have a bunch of bee-balm and mint growing. Temporarily, I have my solar system in the middle of it, just for looks (though I plan on moving it shortly for better accessibility and lighting).
As you can see, I have 2 solar panels from Voltaic, mounted on some white-painted plywood. Underneath, I have a green plastic tub that can be detached from the panels for maintenance and to see if the device is operating.
As you can see, there is a green light on. This is the LiPO battery charging indicator.
This is a photo showing the guts of the system. The solar panel output goes to a accessory-charging outlet for a car, to a usb converter and finally to an arduino-based microcontroller, the SquareWear 2.0. On the other end, I have output wires going to a terminal block mounted on plastic just as a platform for labels, so I can know how the wires are connected. In this case you can see that I have 4 outputs. Presently only 2 are hooked up to anything – the melon beds, and a wire loop going to a tomato plant.
The picture above shows a close bed containing melon and squash seedlings. In the distance, surrounding the peach tree, are multiple melon planting areas. While this isn’t a true experiment per-se, since I don’t have a control group – the hope is that the plants are accelerated enough to make up for delayed planting on our part.
Here, you can see 3 of our tomato plants. In this case, the one towards the back has an insulated wire going around it near the roots. The question is – will the induced magnetic field have an effect on its growth?
Coffee plant continues to thrive under electrification
I first electrified my wife’s coffee plant after noticing that it wasn’t doing well after being transplanted in the middle of the winter this last year. I hooked it up to a quick and dirty system comprising 2 “C” cell batteries held together with duct tape, and small pieces of wire from each end going to 2 carbon electrodes placed within the pot.
Despite being a kludge of a system, we have observed a rapid turn-around in the plant’s health, and soon saw that it was it thriving with large deep-green leaves compared to earlier growths. Interestingly, the more recent leaves, while also large in size, don’t have the same level of green-ness as the earlier set. So a few days ago I disconnected the electricity to give it a rest from the “juice”… Like everything in life, I’m learning that with plants, some prefer to be stimulated more and others less – in all cases, some level of moderation is in order. And obviously, this is now becoming a new variable to be considered when setting up experiments.
Indoor experiments: Radish & Cucumber
In this system, I’m doing some testing using a prototype system that me and my partner put together. In this experiment, we are stimulating each set of seeds using approx 2.5V DC, for different periods of time… One set is on for 20Hz for 10 seconds. The other set is constantly on for 10 seconds. We also are testing the use of a piece of copper as a bridge between 2 cells (will update photo to show this). This has an effect of reducing the electric field strength by half.
Here’s an interim update of it…about 1 week later.
As you can see, the lower 2 rows are having some growth, yet for some reason the left side of the cucumber row hasn’t sprouted yet. For those that have, I see the most improvement in the electrified column one over from the right side, which has the copper plate ‘jumper’ between the cells.
Since the other electrified cells seem that they’re growing closer to those of the controls (at this time), I would say that both of these plants do better when the electric field upon each plant in smaller (per the jumper-column cells). It’s smaller because the distance between the electrodes is larger, e.g. 5″ apart vs 1-1.5″ apart, resulting in 0.5V/in vs 2.5V/in, respectively.
The difficult thing here is that there are many experimental variables, and there is much to be learned about the preferences of each particular plant.
Lastly, we have dwarf blue curled kale as the subject – which is under he influence of 5V DC.
As you can see… I have a bunch of things going on, from the simple to the complex. The thing you need to know is that it doesn’t need to be difficult. In essence, all that’s needed to give it a go is a power source like some batteries, two pieces of wire, and something conductive like a piece of metal to go into the ground.
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