Why use calcium peroxide for fertilizing plants?
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 neighbouring 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.
Calcium peroxide (CaO2) is a solid peroxide with a white or yellowish color. For all practical purposes calcium peroxide is insoluble in water but will dissolve in acid to form hydrogen peroxide. When in contact with water it will immediately begin to decompose releasing oxygen. Calcium peroxide is composed of oxygen being held in a tight bond with calcium, both of which are indispensable when growing high-performance crops. The breakdown is as follows: CaO2—–1,Ca + 2,O. As mentioned previously H2O2 decomposes into 1,H2O and 1, O.
One of the greatest benefits of calcium peroxide, is that it provides a continuous constant supply of both calcium and oxygen, which are very important in plant production.
Calcium peroxide 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.
Calcium peroxide is also known to be useful in land farming. In clayey soils it can provide a source of oxygen and improve hydraulic conductivity, permitting more efficient movement of nutrients and oxygen through the soil.
The calcium peroxide treated soils shows increased total microbial populations and species diversity. Increasing species diversity suggests the ability to degrade a wilder range of chemical contaminants.
It has been found that metal peroxides, as evidenced by an experiment with magnesium peroxide, which can release at lease 15 mg of oxygen per gram of total formulated product controls Erwinia caratovara.