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Fertigation! Fertilize while you water.

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Project by Harold and Pam posted 03-31-2011 09:50 PM 4613 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Fertigation!  Fertilize while you water.
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Wanna fertilize while you water??? Make your own “fertigation” system!

I used an old barrel that had been the salt barrel for our water softner. Dril a hole towards the top of the barrel and insert the pickup tube. Make sure that you have a strainer on the bottom.

Run a flexible tube from outside the barrel (top of the pickup tube) to the suction side of the pump. You will connect this to a needle valve with a backflow preventer on the suction side of the pump.

Now whenever I water, I have the option of giving a little fertilization too.

I run all types of liquid or water soluble fertilizer and pest control products through it. I do not use it for herbicides for obvious reasons. When I want to use straight water, I simply close the needle valve.

Liquid Iron and a Soil Wetting Agent are the two items (in combination) that I use most. In Florida the last thing I want to do is encourage my grass to grow too much. So the wetting agent helps to break down soil and leaf tension (opens the pours) and the iron makes everything green without growth. Nitrogen greens too but it increases growth.

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl



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Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1741 days
hardiness zone 10b

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12 comments so far

View Gone_Tropical's profile

Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 1379 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 03-31-2011 10:16 PM

what a great idea. I’ll have to show this to DH. Thanks for posting this project :-)

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4305 posts in 1929 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 03-31-2011 10:43 PM

You are quite a clever tinkerer, Harold. It looks very interesting. Now I am off to find out what a “soil wetting agent” is and how it works….

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 1379 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 03-31-2011 11:04 PM

soap, i am guessing?

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1741 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 04-01-2011 12:02 AM

Gone Tropical is right. Soil Wetting Agent is soap. And while I’m not a chemist, I do remember from my days as an industrial sales rep tht our soil wetting agent was “non ionic.” I beleive that means that it has a nuetral charge, (or no charge). What that has to do with the tea in china is beyond me – but it helped me sell the stuff! I little goes a long way – 1 oz to a gal.

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

View Gone_Tropical's profile

Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 1379 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 04-01-2011 12:32 AM

since we have city water and not our own well, can that be rigged up to the faucet where my hose is connected?

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1741 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 04-01-2011 12:45 AM

I”m not sure. There needs to be a lot of suction to pull the liquid. I actually had to increase the suction lines from 3/4 inch to 1 inch or 1 1/4 inch (don’t remember) in order to get this to work.

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

View Gone_Tropical's profile

Gone_Tropical

510 posts in 1379 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 04-01-2011 12:58 AM

thanks. I run it by hubby to see what he thinks… :-)

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2446 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-01-2011 05:07 PM

That’s quite the setup Harold.Great idea for your area.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1063 posts in 2046 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 04-02-2011 03:46 AM

Extremely clever – love it.

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View danhux's profile

danhux

10 posts in 1374 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 04-02-2011 04:00 AM

very nice,,so a “soil wetting agent” is some form of “SOAP”? what kinda soap? My lawn needs this, we have really hard ground and lots of clay

-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC http://danhux.com

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

882 posts in 1763 days
hardiness zone 4a

posted 04-02-2011 08:49 PM

not some form of soap – but soap. Soap is soap. Soap is a surfactant. For use on plants, if I needed a so called “soil wetting agent” (fancy name so they can charge you more), I would use as pure a liquid soap as possible. The natural plant based soap I use for my dishes claims to be a non-ionic surfactant.

By plant based, all this means is that the oil used to make the soap comes from plants instead of animal fat, the lye used to make liquid soap could come from wood ashes which produces potassium hydroxide which makes a liquid soap.

Having said all this I have no idea what a soil wetting agent is. If you want your soils to retain more moisture, add compost!

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau

View fish1552's profile

fish1552

5 posts in 1283 days
hardiness zone 8b

posted 04-27-2011 12:15 AM

Hello. Newbie here. Sorry about the late post.

Thinking about the pressure question by Gone_Tropical, you may want to try restricting the pipes at your feed point. We use that theory in the fire service when adding foam to a water line, the restriction helps siphon the foam. The Venturi Effect should work to increase the pressure simply by reducing the pipe to increase speed of flow, therefore increasing the pressure once returning to the original size.

So if you have a 1 1/2 inch line, dropping to a 3/4 inch section, then reopening to original 1 1/2 inch and placing the fertilizer line there, it should help. Here is a pic to help explain. While this one shows air flow, it works the same way, but this one shows placement of the vacuum line (fertilizer line).
http://www.targetcoatings.com/forum/userpix/1156_venturidiagram_2.gif

‘Course, the key might be in finding pipe that could taper it down instead of sudden size change.

Another option might be to use a gravity feed to supply the fertilizer. That way it might “drip” into the line instead.

-- Thomas, Coastal Georgia 8b

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