How to choose the right fertilizer for your drip irrigation system faster

Farming requires great effort whether you are a small-scale farmer or running a large-scale commercial farm.

From preparing the soil to planting or transplanting to installing an efficient irrigation system, each step matters in ensuring the performance and productivity of your plants. One key step is fertilizing, which you can apply through fertigation or on top of the soil in its solid form.

When applied in liquid form through drip irrigation, it’s called fertigation. You need to know the right fertilizer to inject into the system.

What you should know before fertigation

In large-scale farms, applying fertilizers the normal way can be a nightmare. Fertigation simplifies the process and involves applying fertilizers through the irrigation system. However, if not done right, it can cause damage to both your irrigation system and plants.

But why?

  • Fertilizers may cause pipe buildup and clog nozzles, potentially leading to a system failure.

  • Fertilizers contain salts that can alter your soil and water pH, making it more acidic and unfavorable for farming.

Use the right fertilizer and check the water pH to avoid such problems. Also, flush the system regularly to remove any sediment or salt buildup. This will keep your system running in the long run.

Can you fertilize through a drip irrigation system on a small scale?

Although it’s mainly common in large-scale enterprises, fertigation can also be done in small gardens. Here’s why it’s mainly used in large-scale gardens.

  • It needs to be used with accurate drip systems, and setting up such a system at home can be expensive and difficult.

  • There might be a chance sprinklers are being used at times which can cause excessive runoff.

  • Introducing fertilizers in an irrigation system requires an expensive backflow preventer to keep chemicals and fertilizers away from your water source.

  • Home gardens and smaller growing areas have different types of crops with varying nutrient requirements. This makes precision fertigation challenging.

  • Automation in fertigation systems may be complex and costly.

What Fertilizers can you use?

Fertilizers can be in various forms, like granular, soluble, and liquid. Water-soluble fertilizers with less than 0.5% insoluble impurities are an excellent choice as they can be easily injected into the drip irrigation system.

Liquid fertilizers are frequently used as they are easy to mix and apply. You can use fertilizers like;

  • Nitrogen fertilizers like UREA, Ammonium Nitrate, and Calcium Nitrate.

  • Phosphorus fertilizers like MAP and DAP.

  • Potassium fertilizers like NPK, Potassium Sulfate, and Potassium Chloride.

  • Calcium fertilizers like CAN and Calcium Chloride.

  • Magnesium fertilizers like Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salt).

  • Micronutrient fertilizers with trace elements like zinc, manganese, copper, and iron.

  • Organic fertilizers like seaweed extracts, fish emulsion, and compost tea.

  • Water-soluble NPK fertilizers with a balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

  • Slow-release fertilizers.

  • Liquid foliar fertilizers.

How to inject fertilizers into the drip irrigation system

Fertilizer injections are commonly used in large-scale farming, landscaping, and small-scale gardens due to their reliable and user-friendly dispenser units.

How do you inject the fertilizers?

  1. Choose the right type of fertilizer. Select one that is appropriate for your plant’s needs. You cannot be applying a planting fertilizer like DAP a few weeks before harvesting.

  2. Dilute the fertilizer. Most fertilizers need to be diluted before being injected into the system.

  3. Prepare the injection tank and fill it with the right volume of water. You can add a filter to the tank to prevent clogging in the drip system.

  4. Add the fertilizer to the injection tank.

  5. Check the injector. It should be clean and functioning properly before connecting it to the drip irrigation line.

  6. Connect the injector to the main line using a tee fitting. This will allow the fertilizer to mix with the water before it enters the drip system.

  7. Adjust the injection rate according to your needs.

  8. Turn on the irrigation system once everything is set up and allow the water and fertilizer mixture to flow through the drip system.

  9. Monitor your plants and adjust the rate accordingly.

  10. Flush the system to prevent clogging and buildup of fertilizers in the drip lines.

  11. Continue regular maintenance.

The Bottom Line

In the world of gardening, choosing the right amount of fertilizer is paramount. When it comes to nutrient application, a suitable drip irrigation system combined with a powerful injector is the game changer.

D you want to explore more on fertigation, drip irrigation systems, maintenance, and farm management? The Mazero team is here to help. We offer high-quality drip irrigation and fertigation systems to get your farm operations running.

Get a Venturi Fertigation Unit from Mazero today and get started.

Here’s our pricing.

Venturi System Prices

Size(s)

Prices(KES)

1/2”

2000

3/4”

3000

1”

3500

2”

5000

Contact us today to learn more! For any inquiries contact Mazero Agrifood on +254729777711.

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