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Electro-culture (botany)

Note: This article is currently in the 'Proposed Content' section, for possible inclusion in the 'Botany' section

The idea of using electricity to encourage plant growth goes back at least as far as the mid-eighteenth century.

Some of the systems were powered from electricity storage devices, whilst others were entirely 'passive', requiring no external power, and used instead tall metallic 'antennae' which exploited the naturally occurring voltage gradient of the air above ground level. Though very low current, the voltage differences can reach several kV in just a few metres - especially in thundery weather.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, however, there was very little formal scientific research into the subject - but there were many anecdotal reports about its effectiveness (or otherwise).

In 1918, the UK 'Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries' began a research project with lasted until 1936.

Much of the work carried out by the Committee saw considerable success, and the mass of results achieved then, and in the 1960s and 1970s, suggest that the growth increases seen by the Electro-Culturists were real."

Source :David Kinahan, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London.

The article cited above was published in 2009 - Wikenigma has not been able to source any up-to-date peer-reviewed scientific research on the subject.

There is currently no agreement about how Electro-Culture techniques might work - or even if it actually does.

Further reading on the history of Electro-Culture, with many external references :

1) The Gardens Trust

2) Robert A. Nelson

also see

3) Justin Christofleau c.1920, (archived)

Note :

According to the UCL article, the UK Govt. placed the ministry's research under a '30 year rule' order, meaning that the results could not be revealed to the general public for 30 years. Reasons for doing so are still unclear.

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