Article 2-3 Why Use Calcium Peroxygen
Why Use Calcium Peroxygen?
For some time now, growers have realized the benefits of increased oxygen levels at the root zone. Up until recently, soil growers had few options with regard to increasing oxygen levels in the soil. Aerating materials such as rock, bark, perlite, and vermiculite, to name a few, were used as amendments in order to prevent anaerobic activity or "root-rot" due to insufficient levels of oxygen at the root zone. Unfortunately, container grown plants soon maximize the area provided to them at the roots and begin to draw the potting media into a tighter mass or root ball, minimizing the beneficial effects of attempting to provide macro pore space in the soil media. (the roots begin to draw it tighter and tighter, compacting the media).
Food grade hydrogen peroxide came onto the scene a number of years ago, providing an alternate method of adding oxygen at the roots. It has been shown to be effective for a number of reasons as it can be added with each irrigation, allowing oxygen to penetrate around the entire root mass, as hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen. For each molecule of H2O2 (i.e. "Super Oxy") added one oxygen molecule is released for every molecule of water. (H2O2---H2O + O).
What if you didn't have to add oxygen directly to your fertigation regimen and could still realize the benefits of increased oxygen levels while buffering pH and increasing plant available calcium? Yes, you guessed it, Calcium peroxygen or "Oxy-Cal" (and similar products) will do this and a whole lot more. This product has been used for a number of years as a food additive and is relatively safe for use with edible and ornamental plants.
Oxy Cal is composed of oxygen being held in a tight bond with calcium, both of which are indispensable when growing high-performance crops.
Calcium is the main constituent of plant cell walls, and is most abundant in actively dividing root and shoot cells. It is particularly advantageous to supplement calcium levels in germination/rooting, pre and early flowering. By having sturdy cell walls, plants are less susceptible to insect and disease, while providing greater dry weights.
Oxygen is essential at the roots for water and nutrient absorption during photosynthesis. During this stage plants are metabolizing macro and micronutrients, as well as enzymes, hormones, organic acids, etc. for storage in plant tissue to fuel growth. Plant friendly microbes require a constant supply of oxygen in order survive and flourish. Without a good supply of oxygen, anaerobic microbes may begin to set up shop, thus leading to a host of problems including nutrient deficiencies, and root disease.
Recent studies suggest that individual plant cells under attack from viruses require tremendous amounts of oxygen to oxidize themselves (sort of a cell "suicide") in order to prevent neighboring cells from becoming infected with the virus. As all living things, plant viruses require food, which tends to be plant D.N.A. and R.N.A. so once the cell has destroyed itself, the isolated virus must starve and die, leaving behind healthy and uninfected plant cells.
One of the greatest benefits of Oxy Cal, is that it provides a continuous constant supply of both calcium and oxygen, which as you know now, are very important in plant production. In comparison with hydrogen peroxide, you are getting 2 oxygen molecules and one calcium molecule for each unit of compound (CaO2) supplied. The breakdown is as follows: CaO2-----1,Ca + 2,O. As mentioned previously H2O2 decomposes into 1,H2O and 1, O. So you are able to get twice the oxygen with the benefits of calcium in a worry free slow release formulation. Oxy Cal will break down more rapidly with increased temperatures and decreased pH, making it an ideal product for indoor growers with peat-based potting mixes. An additional benefit is the increased calcium levels in the peat substrate increasing buffering capacity, thus reducing the effects of nutrient toxicity, which we all know can lead to a host of problems.
I hope this provides some insight for all of our dedicated growers and readers with regards to the beneficial aspects of choosing Oxy-Cal to get our crops to reach new highs. If anybody has any questions regarding Oxy-Cal or any area related to plant growth, please feel free to e-mail me c/o Maximum Yield at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to answer your questions.