Experimenting with Electroculture…

In 2023 I conducted an experiment in my garden which is by far the most unusual of all the different things I’ve tried – electro culture! Until 2023, I’d never even heard of electroculture. Surely, I thought, if this was really something, wouldn’t we all know about it? For all the gardening books I’d read, videos I’d watched, gardeners I’ve spoken with, this had never crossed my path.

So, I did a bit of research about it. And by golly, indeed there was a history to this practice dating back to the 18th century, perhaps much farther back than that. I think the thing that really caught my attention, to draw me in to look a little more closely at this, was when the literature mentioned a phenomenon I’d actually seen many times – that is, the burst of growth plants experience after a thunderstorm. I always wondered what it was that was so different about rain during a thunderstorm compared with my regular watering? It turns out, this was a form of natural electrculture. As an organic gardener in the suburbs, with no goats, rabbits or other animals to provide ready manure, I’ve always looked for new ways to keep the fertility of my garden up naturally – especially as an avid tomato gardener, a crop known to deplete soil. The electroculture information really made sense to me, even if there is still some mystery involved with its process. We had some spare copper around too, so I decided to give it a try with the help of my husband.

We selected 15 saplings to make poles that could be wrapped in copper, about 8 or 9 feet tall. We used 14 gauge copper wire around the entire length of the saplings, leaving a coil that looked like a spring at the top, and a piece of copper at the bottom long enough to penetrate the soil 6 inches deep. Because each ‘pole’ could cover an area of about 30 feet we positioned them accordingly, leaving one control area in the garden – half the corn, and all the eggplants. I also did not use any electric poles in the greenhouse. It was all a kind of comedy to us at first, with my daughter referring to them as our ‘alien hailers’. It took some time to wrap the saplings, but it wasn’t really much work. For potted tomatoes I used 3 foot bamboo stakes and wrapped them in copper, same as for the others, driven into the pot, the tops slightly leaning North as was suggested.

It didn’t take long before I was able to detect something different was definitely going. It was the above average vigor of the cherry tomatoes that caught my eye first – potted plants that didn’t really have much root room and whose growth was usually subdued by that. By midsummer the garden was becoming a jungle of greenery; I grow a lot of beans and tomatoes, and these are good sized plants, but this was really something. The height of the pole bean plants was on average 12 feet, and I had close to a hundred bean poles. At one point someone pulled my husband aside, after seeing the garden, and said, ‘What are you doing to those plants?’

By fall, it was clear the plants setting records. In all the years I’ve been gardening, I’ve never seen tomato plants produce as they did in 2023. Even in the rainy summers. With one pole bean variety I planted, 4 plants produced 2 1/4 pounds of dried beans. I’ve had good yields before, but this was really outstanding. The peas too did fabulous, it was my largest harvest of peas yet. My control area of eggplants did not do well, and I’m not 100% sure what happened there. The year before I had a fantastic harvest. The corn plants in the control area had 3 cobs closest to the pole and the plants farthest from the pole had on average one. The height of the plants seemed to slightly increase the closer they got to the electoculture pole. My greenhouse was a struggle because of an aphid invasion, and the peppers were set back as a result. I’m not really sure if it was the lack of electroculture, the high temps, or what, but the control areas did not perform like the electro-cultured areas – and 2023 was a tough year for many gardeners, being very hot and dry.

Aside from yields, the pest control that electroculture is said to influence seemed evident. Slugs can be a problem for me, and cutworms have increased a bit over the years. Voles have been a large problem for the last 3 years. All three of those problems disappeared in 2023; the only place where slugs hung around was a rain barrel next to one of the gardens. The atmospheric humidity seemed to draw them up the sides of the barrel. And my most dreaded pest, Delia platura, the bean seed fly, seemed to finally have been thwarted. Apparently, crawling things – like the maggots of the bean seed fly – cannot handle the influence the elctroculture. As a bean collector, this was a revelation to me. No other bean year (I grow around 75 to 100 every year) can compare with the yields of 2023. The carrot rust fly also did not show up, and for many years I avoided carrots because of those. Radishes interplanted with the carrots can keep them away, and coffee grounds as well, but we had no radishes or coffee grounds in the garden in 2023 and still no rust flies AND I had my best harvest of carrots yet in terms of size.

It was a one year experiment, so my results are limited to a single season, but I’m so pleased with my incredible harvest in 2023 that I plan to use the electroculture poles again in 2024 and see what happens. I’m hopeful that this new technique will influence the plant vigor and yield in my garden for years to come! It was certainly something very different to try, and I’m so glad I took a chance with it. This may be one of the best keep secrets of gardening! I highly encourage doing the research and trying it out for yourself. Yannick Van Doorne is an electroculture expert, and his youtube channel as well as facebook page has a lot of great information.

1 thought on “Experimenting with Electroculture…”

  1. Jim

    Yesterday I noticed two things; something very small came out of hiding at night and ate the first true leaves off of a seedling. I guessed that it was a slug. I remembered reading that putting old copper screens down stopped the slugs and I was thinking that it could be related to a small electrical charge. My house is over 100 years old and I found a bunch of unused copper window screens in the garage attic when I moved in, but they are no longer around. But my mind was thinking. . .

    Later, as I was sowing other seeds in a “no till” “heavy mulch” garden, almost every time I pushed the trowel into the ground, it fell into a mole tunnel. Then I remembered the copper mesh for the slugs and wondered if there might be a way to use electricity to get the moles out of my garden. Then, I remembered how my uncle used a broken extension cord to collect night crawlers. He attached the two wires to screw drivers and poked them into the ground about 6 feet apart and plugged it in. To my surprise, it didn’t blow a fuse. A minute later, night crawlers came out of the ground. I was thinking of doing something like that to encourage the moles to leave the garden. Now I have a way to solve both of these problems with a safer and simpler method. I’ll give it a try and let you know if it works in other’s gardens.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top