Microwave Water and Plant Experiment – Final Conclusions

The final results of the experiment are in.

The plants that did the best were those (a) in the hygrosoil (of course!), and, (b) those watered with microwave boiled water.

In the hygrosoil, both the microwave and stove-top boiled watered plants sprouted the fastest (3 and 3.5 days respectively) and grew the tallest.  As seen from this photo, the plants that did the very best were the ones watered with the microwave boiled water.


The superior performance of the microwave boiled water as compared to the stove-top boiled water was even more stark for the seeds planted in the compost soil.  Two out of three seeds germinated for the microwave condition but only one seed germinated for the stove-top boiled water condition.  Further, the seeds in the compost in the microwave condition germinated three full days before the stove top condition and grew faster and better (with more leaves).

Unfortunately, would you believe it, I didn’t get photos of this last condition and instead took two photos of the hygrosoil condition!  (Thom’s parents were visiting all last week so I was distracted and quickly took photos before we took the 6.5 hour local bus down to Livingstone.  Fun and interesting the first time but this being my second time, tiresome and grueling.)

In any case, when I started this experiment I fully thought the microwaved water would kill or harm the plants.  Instead, the plants did better!  I think the key was that I used ceramic/glass to boil the water whereas in the San Francisco experiment, she said they used plastic to boil the water (and putting anything hot in plastic causes nasty chemicals to leach into your food or beverage).

The pea plants are now safely planted out side.


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About Kimm X Jayne

Gravatar Photograph from the exceptionally talented Ben Heine. http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/3794765860/
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6 Responses to Microwave Water and Plant Experiment – Final Conclusions

  1. Lisa says:

    Is the reason microwave does better due to killing bacteria or changing chemical composition of minerals in the water? Making it easier for the plant to either not compete for resources or reaier for the plants uptake because minerals in the water were broken down? Other ideas of why it works?

  2. Michael says:

    Following up on my previous comment, I’d like to illustrate an issue using the one item you mentioned quantitatively: 2 of 3 seeds sprouted in microwaved water while 1 of 3 sprouted in stove water. Assuming that a seed has a 50% chance of sprouting overall, the probability that your results would occur at random is 14%. That’s greater than the probability of getting the same coin toss three times in a row. Obviously no scientific conclusion can be drawn from that, though it gives one encouragement to do a more rigorous experiment.

    The other outcomes you mentioned are not reported in a quantitative way, so it’s hard to say anything about them. But I hope you see the point from the example of this one outcome (sprouting or not). Six seeds in two pots is not enough to make scientific conclusions.

  3. Maureen Witte says:

    Good work!

  4. andyetbandit says:

    Nice and interesting blog :)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Kimm, enjoying the education on a subject that I normally wouldn’t read. Now will micro-waved water make me grow faster and bigger? If so, there just might be a market for this.
    Daniel

  6. Rashad Bitar says:

    HEllo there…this is out of subject..but i would like to ask you some questions about living in Zambia…so if we can connect in a way..this is my email : rashadbitar@gmail.com and facebook:http://www.facebook.com/rashad.bitar… btw ur blog is very interesting..thanks alot..

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