Have you ever looked at your garden soon after a thunderstorm has passed? Did you notice that the plants looked brighter, fresher, and greener? Many gardeners have probably wondered what causes this. Perhaps it is the fresh rainfall? Or maybe the slightly cooler temperatures, maybe the humidity?
While all of these things have an affect on your vegetable garden plants, lightning is known to be a major factor in naturally fertilizing plants, therefore giving your vegetable plants a quick boost of life.
How Lightning Helps Your Vegetable Garden
Air is comprised of 78% nitrogen and about 20% oxygen. Nitrogen is an element that plants need for chlorophyll production (which aids photosynthesis), foliage development, and overall growth. It is usually the main ingredient in fertilizers. However, the nitrogen in air is not in a usable form for most plants. So how do plants get nitrogen that is in the air?
The intense heat and electric charges produced by lightning causes the nitrogen molecules in the air to cling to the oxygen molecules. This bond forms nitrogen oxides. The nitrogen oxides will either fall from the sky, or be collected by the rain drops – bringing a form of nitrogen that can now be used by the plants.
The plants now receive a supercharged dose of available nitrogen, causing them to become brighter, healthier, and greener.
How To Harness The Power of Lightning In Your Vegetable Garden
Anyone that has watched Master Gardener Jerry Baker’s video, Year 'Round Vegetable Gardening, has seen this before. You can supercharge your garden by using methods to collect static electricity.
Drive wooden stakes around your vegetable plants, or attach them on each corner of a raised bed. Run bare copper wiring from the top of each stake to the next, forming a square around the perimeter of your plants. The copper wire will attract static electricity.
Use metal stakes on vegetables such as tomatoes. The metal stakes will help to attract static electricity. Also tie your plants to the stakes using hose stockings. The stockings will help collect static electricity, and make very good ties since they are elastic, soft and strong.
Use caution when outside during a lightning storm. If you can hear thunder, then you can be struck by lightning. If a lightning storm approaches, seek shelter immediately.