Introduction: Plant Grounding Hack

Picture of Plant Grounding Hack

last night I read a life changing instructable on benefits of grounding potted plants; https://www.instructables.com/id/Ground-Any-Plants-... by author JM1999

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and author gravityisweak shared in the comments an amazing study done by brown university; https://browntia.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/theor... (yield can be over %50 higher.!)

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here I am hacking a regular everyday use power outlet for easily grounding your potted plants nearby. the soldering will be done only once, but the user can afterwards ground as many plants as he/she needs with plug&play capability.

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the only thing you need to buy is some female jumper cables and 22gauge wire.

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the idea is that when we put plants into pots, we disconnect them from earth's natural connection, and apparently this is very important. it is a very new discovery from what I understand but the results are very exciting..

Step 1: Strip Your Wires

Picture of Strip Your Wires

and get them ready for soldering.

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leave the positive (+) and negative (-) connections alone. we only need the 3rd prong, the only round one - ground.

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you can twist your stripped wire together and wrap it around the ground prong. make sure to strip a good deal of wire cover. the longer the better.

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also use your razor to scratch the bottom of the ground prong where we will be soldering, roughening this surface helps for a better solder job.

Step 2: Solder and Hot Glue

Picture of Solder and Hot Glue

your connections. the tape is there to hold everything together in place to help.

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i chose to leave the tape on there after done soldering, it doesn't affect the connections in any way but providessupport.

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try to keep your soldering and hot glue job as low as possible to the bottom. this way most of your prongs will be plugged into the outlet. the outlet starts receiving electricity even half-way plugged in, so you still have a good deal of lead way here..

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you could open the plastic cover on the outlet and hack the ground connection from inside and insert your female jumper cables to the body of the cover. but the outlet i'm using doesn't have any screws on it to access inside, i would have to break it or use a rotary cutting tool. if yours has screws, you should go this way for a much cleaner look.. make one !!

Step 3: Make Custom Size Grounding Cables

Picture of Make Custom Size Grounding Cables

now strip your 22gauge wire as needed. first measure the distance needed.

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strip one end about half an inch, this side will connect to the female jumper cables.

strip the other end as the same depth of your plant pot and stick into the soil.

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you can also make a round, ring style grounding cable and insert it to an empty pot before adding soil for better results i assume.

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once again I would like to thank both authors for bringing this information out. please visit their profiles. they have some great work posted.

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I may setup a side by side experiment using box1 with a time-lapse video and post it here..

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also remember to vote for us at the indoor gardening contest.!

Comments

JM1999 (author)2015-01-07

Neat!

Are you taking daily photos or recording the plant growth?

Akin Yildiz (author)JM19992015-01-08

no not yet. i think that i will set up a side by side experiment with some bean plants, they grow really fast which would be perfect for this experiment, i will be taking pictures daily for a time-lapse video as well. thanks you !

JM1999 (author)Akin Yildiz2015-01-10

Awesome!

I can't wait to see your results!

gravityisweak (author)2015-01-08

Excellent! You got me thinking about another EXTREMELY SIMPLE way to ground your plants using an outlet.

If the outlet boxes inside your walls are grounded, the screws that hold your outlet covers on are also grounded. That's why these adapters work, by attaching to the screw. This means that all you really need to do, is unscrew your wall plate, wrap a wire around the screw, and screw it back in. Right?

yes i guess so.. :)

all you need is to connect to ground. nothing else needed. just ground circl middle prong. :)
my question is how much would the size of the wire effect performance. i use here only 22" wire, ground prong from the wall is much thicker. more surface area. it should still work. we can cover the inside of plant pots with bendable wire and just have a usb style magnetic cable that goes straight to the wall.. if you ever give it a try, make sure to share your work here

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Bio: Please support & share our mission; http://igg.me/at/smartplants . the Plant Doctor is a non-profit, open source online research laboratory specializing in electronics+plants. Our vision is ... More »
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