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CO2, plants on steroids

Looking through some Australian articles on the global warning tax being implemented there. There were a few references to CO2 as a pollutant by the politicians which was followed by a scientist talking about his work on CO2 and plant growth. I recommend you listen to the whole video but if you are not interested in the politics watch from 02:13 for a minute to see what CO2 does to plants.

You can see that the scientist has set up two areas. One had normal air with a 450 ppm level of CO2 and the other had a massive 1270 ppm level of CO2. The plants in the higher level of CO2 grew twice the size and looked much healthier than the one in normal air. There was also an experiment on trees in a polythene covered greenhouse which had a similar growth rate with only double the CO2 ppm. All plants require CO2 to live and grow.

As you can clearly see CO2 gives your plants a bigger boost than many fertilisers. I am considering an experiment where I cover my greenhouse in polythene, seal it up and perform an experiment with fertiliser and CO2 to see how several common plants perform. I have several CO2 cylinders in my shed which were intended to be used for a beer tent last year. Obviously monitoring of the CO2 will need some equipment and the configuration of the greenhouse will require some work but it is worth a try.

After an event anything that improves the growth and viability of our first few yields is going to be a high priority. Especially when we could end up with a shorter growing season due to physical or environmental reasons. Perhaps even because we do not get started due to other people raiding our crops.

Of course I’m still aiming for 15 months worth of food but you never know how it will work out and this could be a lifesaver.

Anybody done any work with CO2 in this way?

9 comments to CO2, plants on steroids

  • Skvez

    I vaguely recal a report from may years ago that suggested that elevated levels of CO2 increased the growth rate of weeds more than crops and thus was detremental rather than benificial as the weeds smothered the crops.

  • maddog

    i would have thought we want more co2 if we are worried about famine not less

  • Skean Dhude


    Some of my favourite plants are weeds anyway and make good eating but if I am in a sealed environment then I can take a lot more care over weeding and there will be less seeds in the air inside a polythene tent.


    The levels we are looking at will not make much difference in the atmosphere. However removing the CAP would be a good way to help reduce food costs and famine.

  • Hi Skean,

    Good luck with the experiments, and beer tent lol, think Ill check out the edible weeds sounds interesting, and useful to know of course.

  • Ronnie

    Use your CO2 for the beer, but if you want, you can burn candles in your green house to increase CO2. Use overnight to keep it warmer if needed, especially in Spring.

    The supermarkets are the problem when it comes to waste, and thinking of removing the CAP. Mr. Tesco has too much power. You know those “Buy one get one Free” offers on veg or meat you see and lap up? … the grower/supplier takes the hit, not TESCO. They just tell the farmer that he’s only getting paid for every other pork chop for the next two weeks.

  • Skvez


    Unfortunately I think you’ll find there are a lot of weed seeds lurking in your soil to start with.
    I’ll be interested to hear how you get on though.

  • Skean Dhude


    Thanks for that. I’ll keep you all informated when I get around to it.


    Good idea. A longer term CO2 generator.

    There is a lot more involved with the CAP that we do not understand. Mainly because we wouldn’t believe it.


    A spot of weeding will be required then. I hate that bit. Don’t worry I’ll keep everyone informed on progress.

  • tinkertytonk

    I think that this was one of the reasons David Bellamy has not been courted by the popular media for some time. A few years ago he stated that ‘Global Warming’ was a global myth & that if it wasn’t the increase in CO2 would provide a massive boost for growing plants. He did not see this aspect of ‘Global Warming’ if there was any as a problem as it would massively increase the worlds food production.

    I stand to be corrected ……………….

  • Skean Dhude


    David Bellamy jumped on the bandwagon of climate change like many of his peers. However, as the facts started to come out he changed his mind and was crucified for it as a example to any others who dare to question the religion of global warming, or cooling or whatever it is this month.

    We need CO2. No doubt about it.

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