Documenting Plant Results
by Barry Carter

If you grow plants using ORMUS and wish to share your results here are some hints for documenting these results in the most helpful way. These hints are arranged from most important at the top to less important but very helpful scientifically lower on the list:

1. Take lots of pictures of the plants and produce of these plants. I appreciate pictures more than anything else. If you just send pictures without any other measurements it is fine. If you want to improve the value of your pictures, however, you can do this in the following ways:

a. Include something else of known size in the picture to help people see the size of your plants or produce. If you are illustrating a large plant you can have someone stand next to it to give an idea of its relative size as illustrated in the pictures of raspberries, corn and walnut trees below.

b. Include a familiar object of similar size if you are illustrating the size of produce like in the pictures of oranges and walnuts below.

c. Include a ruler or tape measure in your picture as illustrated in the pictures above and onions below.

d. If you include a measuring device in your picture it is helpful if you orient it as close to horizontal or vertical as possible in the picture. This makes it easy for me to copy a section of the measuring device and paste it over the fruit or vegetable in the picture and get an accurate idea of the size of the item as I did below:

e. It is also very helpful to place the fruits or vegetables you are photographing on the floor with a even colored background (like on a piece of paper or cardboard) so that you can get a picture from directly above the produce. This helps keep every item in the picture in the same relative size. A more distant item will look smaller than a nearer item even though they may be the same size. This can distort the proportions of a plant as you can see in the picture below where the size of the root mass is exaggerated because it is closer to the camera.

f. Notice also that the larger plants in the picture above are on the left. I prefer to have the "before" or "without" plants on the left and the "after" or "ORMUS" plants on the right. To do this with the picture above I flipped the picture and copied the yardstick from the original into the flipped picture as you can see below.

Using these rules I was able to compose the picture of plums below from two pictures taken a year apart.

2. If you wish to do an actual measured comparison between plants which had two different treatments it is good to weigh the plants without the treatment and compare them with the treatment. This is illustrated in the picture above and in the pictures and text at: Sea-Crop Tests