Nature 101, 64-64 (28 March 1918) | doi:10.1038/101064b0

The Stimulation of Plant-growth by Electric Fields

V. H. B. &  G. W. O. H.

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IN his letter on the above subject in NATURE of March 7 “J. L.” states that “the procedure suggests that it is the field of force that is expected to produce the stimulation. The comparatively trifling amount of electricity that leaks from the wires into the atmosphere could scarcely produce directly any sensible effect.” It is perfectly clear, however, that Lemström—the professor of physics at Helsingfors who started about thirty years ago the modern phase of electro-culture with overhead wires—held the view that the current leaking from the wires and passing through the plant was responsible for the effects on plant growth which he describes. For the purpose of increasing the discharge he used fine wires, 0.6 mm. in diameter, placed only 40 cm. above the plants, and provided with “barbs” 2 cm. long. In similar experiments in this country the fine wires have been retained, though the “barbs” are usually dispensed with.