ALL CATEGORIES
GROWING CABINETS
HYDRO SYSTEMS
NUTRIENTS & FERTILIZERS
LIGHTING
TIMERS & RELAYS
ELECTRICAL
BLOWERS & FANS
ODOR CONTROL
POTS & TRAYS
GROW MEDIUMS
PROPAGATION
Co2 EQUIPMENT
AIR/ WATER PUMPS
IRRIGATION & HOSES
HEAT CONTROL
INSECT CONTROL
REVERSE OSMOSIS
PH / EC TESTERS
GARDEN TOOLS
SCALES
GROW ROOMS


POPULAR BRANDS

ADVANCED NUTRIENTS
HOUSE & GARDEN
LUMATEK BALLASTS
CAN FAN MAX
GROZONE CONTROLS
SOLARMAX BULBS
BLUE LAB METERS
SPIN PRO
HIGH LITE TIMER
THOMS POWER PACK
 

GROWERS INFORMATION - ARTICLE - HYDROGEN PEROXIDE


H2O2: PEROXIDE PLANT PERFECTION
or Just Another “Blonde Moment”?

by IAN MALLEY

WHEN YOU FIRST GET EMBROILED in the world of growing your own produce it can seem a bit of a minefield when it comes time to hitting the indoor gardening shop in search of your grow-room essentials.

With so many different lotions, potions, additives, supplements, etc., as well as pH up, pH down, buffering solutions, etc., to be stocked up on by the first-time grower, it becomes difficult to see the wood for the trees. Expensive too, at least initially.

So how can you be sure that the grow shop is not spinning you a line with regard to what’s “necessary” and what is a “beneficial” or growers choice, (like Liquid Silicon)?

I come from the old “organic” less-is-more school of thought. Essentially, if it doesn’t smell like it’s just been shovelled off the farmyard floor, then I don’t want to know about it, preferring the sweet taste of truly organic grown produce.

But the truth of the matter is, this short-sighted approach to growing means I miss out on a lot of things that other growers take for granted. Like massive hydro yields for instance!

There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that given a pack of seeds and a 14-week diary to keep, the hydro-grown plants will grow bigger, faster, and stronger than similar plants grown under organic conditions, and here’s the reasoning as I see it.

Organic nutrients tend to comprise “raw materials,” that is, a set of components that, as they stand in the bottle, are almost useless to the roots. This is why organic fertilizers seldom work very well when fed to hydroponically grown plants unless accompanied by a heady mix of bacteria, as seen in the new breed of “bio” hydro nutrients, such as BioSevia.

But for the privilege of using a bio-product we have to spend even more of our hard-earned on buying the bacterial solutions we need to add to get the fertilizer to work as it’s meant to. Not exactly cost effective for the grower on a tight budget.

In hydro there are no bacteria at the root zone. Not good bacteria, anyway. We feed bare roots with a cocktail of salt-based fertilizers that are, once mixed with water, absolutely ready for the grower to serve, and for the plants to use, as is. Fast, as well as efficient and straight to the point (or is that straight to the roots?).

But with organic gardening, things happen a little differently.

First of all, we actually encourage microbial activity at the root zone, because this is the organism that actually processes the raw materials we provide and, in doing so, feeds the plants. Of course (as mentioned earlier), there are good bacteria as well as bad bacteria, and this is where the boundaries become a little blurred.

H2O2

So, I’m standing in the hydroponics shop looking at the obligatory solutions required for a successful grow, and the owner points out the H2O2. So I pick up the bottle and start to read the label: “Contains Hydrogen Peroxide at 17.5%”!

It’s worth mentioning at this stage that science lessons were never really my strong point in that dim and distant memory which is my school days. I hardly attended any of them, for one thing. Happiest days of your life?

The facts of the matter as I see them are as follows: why on earth would I spend good money on nurturing a healthy and active micro-herd in the root zone and then set about pouring hydrogen peroxide over them? It’s corrosive, and it makes your hair go white!

So I set about finding out the reason, and what I found was like an epiphany of enlightenment. It also made me wish I had paid more attention during my previously mentioned science lessons, because I would have been using this stuff a long time ago.

How It Works

So, we pour hydrogen peroxide into our water, which gives a slight reading of EC or electrical current/conductivity, so that needs taking into account.

The H2O2 is very unstable in its current form and quickly breaks down once in the nutrient solution. Essentially, within a short space of time it’s present only in its component form, and in reaching this form it releases a single oxygen atom. This oxygen atom is ultra-reactive as well as aggressive. It’s looking for a fight, but instead of looking to cause problems, it’s actually on your team.

So the unstable single oxygen atom sets off, looking for mischief to make. If it comes across another oxygen atom, it attaches itself to the other atom, forming a larger, more stable oxygen molecule, or ion. This gets taken in by the plant through the roots and benefits growth above as well as within the root zone.

If, however, the rambunctious oxygen atom comes across an organic molecule, such as a virus or fungal spore, as it waxes and wanes through your nutrient solution, it will attach itself to the pathogen and quite literally oxidize itself, as well as whatever organism it had attached itself to.

And this stuff actually works!


So, what this means is not only does H2O2 supply the nutrients (and indirectly, the plants) with a massive boost of pure oxygen ions, it will play a huge part in keeping your reservoir fresh, highly oxygenated, and free from organisms such as Pythium, Fusarium, and mould, as well as a plethora of other nasties we encounter daily as hydroponic growers.

Not only that, but when the crop comes down there is no better cleaning agent to use (albeit in higher concentrations) than hydrogen peroxide. Not only will it clean as effectively as bleach but, as explained earlier, it attaches itself to other organic micro bad guys, and oxidizes them into nothingness. They simply cease to exist, leaving your grow room clean, sterile, and ready for the next crop.

Safety First

With this in mind it’s worth mentioning that your hands are also “organic organisms,” so its worth reading the safety data sheet, which any good hydroponic shop will be able to supply with the aggressive liquids they sell, as well as getting some gloves and goggles.

Speaking of goggles, I could tell you a nightmare about a grower who left a pipette full of 81 per cent nitric acid hanging out the top of the bottle, only to catch it with his sleeve, sending it airborne and filling the surrounding environment with microscopic droplets of industrial grade nitric acid at the perfect altitude and vector to land in someone’s eyes. If you think safe, handling these ultra nasty liquids becomes a whole lot easier.

But I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Cleaning is for girlies!” and “What does it do for the plants?”

Right?

O2

If it even needed saying, a fresh and regular exposure to pure oxygen will work wonders in how your plants look and “feel.” Oxygen invigorates, it heals, it’s present (and necessary) in every living form, and plants just can’t get enough of it.

With lots of oxygen available, nutrient uptake is massively boosted, and if the plant’s getting the nutrients, it will use them. Also, this extra nutrient, along with a blast of oxygen, is going to increase the production of proteins at cell level across the board, especially if the plant is getting plenty of CO2 (the carbon source the plants use to actually “build” themselves). This means thicker, stronger stems with shorter internodal spacing, as well as lush, deep-green healthy foliage. Which makes it also better equipped to handle the complicated conversions as a result of the photosynthetic processes the plant carries out in the creation of the sugars and starch’s necessary to feed it.

As a result of this mad growth, your plants will supply readily the smaller side branches necessary to facilitate a productive run of cuttings.

So, no matter what your chosen growing method is, get some hydrogen peroxide in the grow room. Whether used for oxygenation or for pathogen destruction and prevention, or as a cleaning agent, H2O2 fills all these roles and more, with aplomb.

Hydroponic Featured Products

Hydroponic Featured Products

Advanced Nutrients PH Perfect Grand Master Bundles