Home Plant Care Fertigation: A Guide to Feeding Your Plants Effectively

Fertigation: A Guide to Feeding Your Plants Effectively

by Donna
4 minutes read

What is Fertigation?

Fertigation is a cool way to feed your plants by mixing fertilizer into your irrigation system. It’s like giving your plants a drink and a snack at the same time!

How Does Fertigation Work?

When you fertigate, the fertilizer is dissolved in water and then sent through your irrigation system. This way, the nutrients from the fertilizer can be delivered directly to the roots of your plants.

Is Fertigation Good for Plants?

Fertigation has a lot of benefits for plants. It can help to:

  • Target nutrient deficiencies more effectively
  • Reduce soil erosion
  • Reduce water consumption
  • Reduce the amount of fertilizer used
  • Control the time and rate of nutrient release

How to Fertigate Plants

To fertigate your plants, you’ll need a suitable irrigation system with a backflow preventer. You can also adapt an existing drip irrigation system with valves, pumps, emitters, and a timer.

Once you have a setup, you need to decide how often to fertilize. This will vary depending on the type of plants you’re growing and the season.

Fertigation for Lawns

For lawns, it’s a good idea to fertilize 4-5 times per year. Apply the fertilizer when the grass is actively growing.

  • Cool-season grasses should be fertilized twice a year: once after winter dormancy and again with nitrogen-rich food in the early fall.
  • Warm grasses should be fertilized in the spring and again in the late summer with a fertilizer that is heavy on nitrogen.

Fertigation for Other Plants

Fertigation isn’t the ideal fertilization method for perennials and annuals because each plant’s needs are unique. It’s better to apply a foliar spray or to dig in slow-release fertilizer or organic compost. That way, each individual plant’s needs can be met.

Benefits of Fertigation

Here are some of the benefits of fertigation:

  • Reduced soil erosion: Fertigation helps to keep soil in place, which can reduce erosion.
  • Reduced water consumption: Fertigation can help to reduce water consumption by delivering nutrients directly to the roots of plants.
  • Reduced fertilizer utilization: Fertigation can help to reduce the amount of fertilizer used by delivering nutrients more efficiently.
  • Controlled time and rate of release: Fertigation allows you to control the time and rate of nutrient release, which can help to prevent nutrient deficiencies or excesses.

Drawbacks of Fertigation

Here are some of the drawbacks of fertigation:

  • Can be expensive to set up: Fertigation systems can be expensive to set up, especially if you need to purchase a backflow preventer.
  • Can be difficult to control: Fertigation systems can be difficult to control, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies or excesses.
  • Can be harmful to the environment: Fertigation can be harmful to the environment if the fertilizer is not used properly. For example, nitrogen fertilizer can evaporate into the air, which can contribute to air pollution.

Overall, fertigation is a great way to feed your plants if you have a suitable irrigation system. However, it’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before deciding whether or not to use fertigation.

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