Article 4-5 Oxy-cal

My name is Jennifer Min and I am a community college 2nd year student in a Biology 201 class. We are doing a seed germination research project and I came across your website when doing some research. It is a GREAT website with so much helpful/informative information! Thank you. I have a question about OXY-CAL, since we are thinking of testing it on our radish seeds. Is it only composed of Calcium peroxide, or does it have other chemicals? Do you know where we could find out more about the chemical components of it? Does it work with radish seed germination? How much do you recommend putting for optimum germination and how much is too much? Please if you can (as soon as possible!!) reply back. I would greatly and truly appreciate your time! I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you! Sincerely,

Thanks for the kind words, and taking the time to write. It’s nice to hear from students interested in doing some research. Manufacturer’s don’t often like to reveal what’s in their product but, as far as I know Oxy-Cal only contains calcium peroxygen. If incorporated into the planting medium at the rates recommended by the manufacturer, it should help speed up the germination and development of your radishes, while helping to prevent disease. Use about 9 grams (about 1 Tbsp) of calcium peroxygen per gallon (3.785 L) of soil. Follow the safety precautions on the label to avoid inhaling the dust.

When planting radishes the recommendations I found were to space the seeds one inch apart, and plant at a depth of one half inch. Radishes can mature very quickly, depending on the variety. Most radish varieties prefer cooler temperatures such as those found in spring and early fall. If indoors, to get your transplants started, I would use two- 48″ bulb fluorescent shop lights for two standard nursery flats (10″ X 20″ trays) to start the seeds. For the growing medium, you can use commercially prepared propagation mix or try blending some of your own. One of my favorites is: 1/3 perlite : 1/3 vermiculite : 1/3 earthworm castings, which you could add some Oxycal to also. I am not sure if it’s beyond the scope of your experiment or not but there are many great propagation mediums out there: Oasis, Rockwool, Peat Pellets, Rapid Rooter Plugs, etc., so you may consider including those in your experiment. Good quality growing mediums should hold plenty of oxygen on their own. Good luck with the experiment, and keep lots of notes and take lots of pictures. Maximum Yield has published the research efforts of students in the past. Regards,
Erik Biksa

Hello Erik,
Thank you so very much for replying to my email. Thank you so much for taking the time to provide all the information. I truly appreciate it. However, my biology partner and I have decided to test the effects of the plant growth hormone Giberellic Acid on our radish seeds instead of Oxycal. Do you have any information or tips regarding Giberellic Acid? Thank you so much for your time! It was very kind of you to provide that information for us.
Student Jennifer Min

Nice to hear from you again Jennifer. Giberellins are produced in plants by roots and young leaves. Applying synthetic gibberellins will act against abscic acid (which occurs when plants become stressed) and will help to break dormancy in seeds. The seeds treated with giberellic acid may germinate faster, but in plants having both male and female species gibberellins can trigger male flowers on female plants if applied at high enough concentrations. It will also elongate cells if applied in later stages. Whenever handling synthetic hormones such as giberellic acid, always wear protective clothing, gloves, etc to avoid contact with skin.
Erik Biksa