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Old 01-16-2010, 02:22 AM   #1
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BooBooBearBecky's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northern Wisconsin
idea Can magnets affect plant growth?

The Effect of Magnatism on Plant Growth

Magnetism and plants may sound a bit odd together.
You may think magnetism is totally unrelated to botany and plants in particular.
Many researches have proved that magnetism affects plant growth.
Being rather skeptical about this, I decided to give it a try.

I used Cow Magnets.
Can magnets affect plant growth?-cow_magnets.png

I selected the cow magnets because they are really strong and compact. These are long capsule shaped magnets fed to cows when a farmer suspects the cow has eaten a metallic object. The magnet is strong enough to attract the metallic object in the cow's stomach and pass it through the digestive system. No more sick cow.

The cow magnets cost $5.00 a piece. I purchased 3 of them.

I put the magnets in the bottom of the tray that contained my test seedling cups. I watered the seedlings from the bottom. The magnets were immersed in the water tray, so the water was exposed to the magnets.

When I transplanted the test tomato seedlings to my garden I “planted” the magnets parallel to my row of tomato seedlings. Like this:

~ = tomato plant
| = cow magnet


I used soaker hoses in the garden, so the water dripping into the soil on my test area was exposed to the magnets.

I grew two normal rows of tomatoes, without magnets, so a comparison could be made.

I took pictures periodically to record the plant growth.

I grew 3 varieties of tomatoes, intermixed in my rows.
  • San Marzano
  • Mortgage Lifter
  • Italian Genovese
My experiment was cut short due to early freezing temps. 50% of my tomato crop was wiped out by frost & snow. In other words I had oodles of green tomatoes hanging on my plants waiting to get ripe. Bummer.

I could not see any difference in germination times between the magnetized seeds and non-magnetized seeds.

Seedling Stage
Magnetized seedlings were a bit larger and sturdier.

Growth Stage
The Magnetized plants grew bigger/taller.

Can magnets affect plant growth?-img_1013b.jpg

Can magnets affect plant growth?-img_1014b.jpg

Late Summer
Can magnets affect plant growth?-img_1453b.jpg

The magnetized plants were the first to produce ripe fruits.
Can magnets affect plant growth?-img_2185.jpg

Harvest Stage
Magnetized plants had larger tomatoes, but the quantity of fruits was about the same as the non-magnetized plants. There were only a few green tomatoes that got wiped out by the cold weather on the magnetized tomato plants, because most had already been harvested. The non-magnetized plants still had several green tomatoes on them waiting to ripen when they got frosted.

Garden Cleanup Stage
The magnetized plant roots had lots more roots and root hairs than the non-magnetized plants.

Would I use magnets again?
Yes, just because the tomatoes on the magnetized plants ripened earlier. This is an important factor, because the summer growing cycle in northern Wisconsin is short.

The research I did on google about the affect of magnets on plant growth varied, so I guess you’ll need to draw you own conclusions. And my experiement wasn't exact science either. Still it was fun to try something new and zany in my garden.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has experimented with magnets and plants.

"Getting your hands dirty is the best way to keep your head clean."

Last edited by BooBooBearBecky; 06-11-2010 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:27 AM   #2
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Location: Olympia, WA

haven't done so yet ... but will do so this summer
~ A good wildlife photographer studies everything about the animal before ever setting out with a camera in hand... ~
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:28 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Tewksbury Massachusetts
pumpkin Magnets & Tomatoes

Found your test very interesting there is a lot we do not know about out there. I had also heard that using metal stakes attracts electric charge (not a lightning strike) that is in the air during a lightning storm. This is suppose to increase nitrogen in the soil. Supposedly the electric charged rain also brings nitrogen that is why everything responds so well to rain from a thunderstorm. One thing I have tested & used for many years is dry cat food trenched in about how you use the magnets. The dry fish meal slowly releases all year & resists being diluted by a rainy season. Most people tell me I have the best tasting Tomatoes they have ever tasted, I just tell them it must be the cat food.

GBPUMPKIN (George Brooks)
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:06 PM   #4
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Location: Northern Wisconsin

George, thanks for the information.

Wow dry fish flavored cat food....I never thought of that. I think I'll give that a try.

I do bury a dead fish in the ground at the bottom of a hole whenever I plant a shrub. I live in an area where fishing is popular and we have many lakes to fish from.

"Getting your hands dirty is the best way to keep your head clean."
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:14 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Virginia

There is a "soil conditioner" product available here that is a by-product of the blue crab processing industry that seems to make for pretty happy shrubs. I just toss in a handful when planting.

BooBoo, I love your experiment. I take it you'll be trying it again next year?
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:41 PM   #6
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Yes, I would like to try this experiement next year. Although I was very skeptical at first, I'm thinking there might be merit to this magnet method.

"Getting your hands dirty is the best way to keep your head clean."
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:37 AM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: North Dakota
dragonfly01 Magnets & Cat Food

Hanh mitakuyapi. If you put flat magnets under the flats, you should see a difference between those with the north pole up vs those with the south pole up & comparing both of them to flats with no magnets at all..

Have never tried magnets parallel to the plants, as with cow magnets, but I've put magnets in cans & buried cans under various plants when I set them out to see what difference, if any.. There is..

North pole up were generally smaller & slower-growing but had better flavor. Passed out a few samples to friends & they said so, so this isn't just my opinion. They didn't know which pole was up for which sample; I did.

South pole up were sturdier & faster-growing but had more water & didn't have as nice flavor as N-pole-up.

'No magnet' samples were pretty standard for this area.

I market a product for pain relief that uses magnets & it definitely makes a difference there, (on humans & on animals, so there's no placebo effect to consider) so I see no reason why magnets would not have an effect on flavor, sturdiness, growth rate, etc. in plants. Certainly non-toxic & re-usable..

As for the cat food trick - great idea. People are forever giving me dry pet food.. now I have a use for it. I have to try old dry dog food, too, & see what it does.
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