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ballstar
10-11-2007, 05:11 PM
Anyone done it? What are your thoughts on it? Is fertigation a good tool for you? What are the best suppliers/brand names to look for?
I have a landscape that will have no turf. All plants irrigated with rain bird drip. Would like to put in a fertigation system, but have never done it.

CAPT Stream Rotar
10-11-2007, 05:42 PM
everything netafim 17mm...

Best in the biz.

Mike Leary
10-11-2007, 06:00 PM
I've researched it...there's some neat stuff out there, sorry I don't know
what happened to my lit. but a google should help. One company makes a
("Addilizer"?) unit that will use organic fertilizer, but I've been cautioned
about it not being "clean" enough to use in anything but rotors & large spray.
The unit I researched hooked into the irri clock w/ a metering arrangement.
You buy their fertilizer for various plant types, turf, etc. The biggie about
fertigation is the backflow regs regard it as "high hazzard" & a reduced pressure backflow assembly MUST be installed. If you find any hits on
google, post them so we can take a look. Cool idea, not sure organics will
work for drip, tho.

ballstar
10-11-2007, 06:27 PM
I've used some netafim in the past.. do they make emitters like what I'm accustomed to? I really don't want to be weaving pipe all around the beds, but use emitters and spaghetti tube.

Mike Leary
10-11-2007, 06:49 PM
I've used some netafim in the past.. do they make emitters like what I'm accustomed to? I really don't want to be weaving pipe all around the beds, but use emitters and spaghetti tube.

Netafim makes the whole meal deal..first you've got to find out if the
fertigation works for drip/micro.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-11-2007, 11:16 PM
Not a fan of fertigation in small yards. I prefer slow release fertilizers and don't believe any hype that liquid fertilizers can be slow release. Big area makes sense.

Kiril
10-12-2007, 08:50 AM
Not a fan of fertigation in small yards. I prefer slow release fertilizers and don't believe any hype that liquid fertilizers can be slow release. Big area makes sense.

Ditto. :clapping: :clapping:

ballstar
10-12-2007, 09:09 AM
It is a large area, no doubt. I would think that with fertigation, slow release is not even an issue, since it is being fertilized every day- especially in this scenario, where the whole area is all trees and shrubs. Has anyone used it through a drip system for any period of time? The reason I'm asking here, is my irrigation distributor sells these systems, but he doesn't know enough about them to tell me if it will work.

Kiril
10-12-2007, 09:10 AM
Why would you fertilize every day? IMO fertigation with anything short of buried drip is a waste of time when your talking trees and shrubs.

PurpHaze
10-12-2007, 09:17 AM
I think AZ Gardener has a lot of experience in this area. Maybe he'll chime in?

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-12-2007, 09:20 AM
It is a large area, no doubt. I would think that with fertigation, slow release is not even an issue, since it is being fertilized every day- especially in this scenario, where the whole area is all trees and shrubs. Has anyone used it through a drip system for any period of time? The reason I'm asking here, is my irrigation distributor sells these systems, but he doesn't know enough about them to tell me if it will work.

The IA show in San Diego will have a lot of fertigation companies. The Dallas Arboretum has one and I'll try to find the thread and post pics. Constant fertilizer at low increments is something I've seen promoted as a better way to do it but I just don't buy into it.

ballstar
10-12-2007, 09:27 AM
I'm not sure I buy it either. Really need to find out more. I will do some hard studying up on this and then get back to the thread. Kiril, I usually set my drip systems to run for one hour, each day. Combined with my typical IBDU tablet program, I get awesome results. I would assume that I could get the same with a fertigation set up if it would work. However, I really would like to know why you think it would be a waste of time. Need to know all the negatives along with any positives.

Kiril
10-12-2007, 09:28 AM
Constant fertilizer at low increments is something I've seen promoted as a better way to do it but I just don't buy into it.

If your growing a crop maybe, for general landscapes I don't see the point. If your needing to fertilize on a daily basis in a typical landscape you have bigger problems.

Kiril
10-12-2007, 09:34 AM
I'm not sure I buy it either. Really need to find out more. I will do some hard studying up on this and then get back to the thread. Kiril, I usually set my drip systems to run for one hour, each day. Combined with my typical IBDU tablet program, I get awesome results. I would assume that I could get the same with a fertigation set up if it would work. However, I really would like to know why you think it would be a waste of time. Need to know all the negatives along with any positives.

Any type of fertigation is best placed directly into the root zone of the target plants.

A word of warning, if your fertigating with drip you need to schedule in a leaching cycle.

Also, I question a 1 hour a day run time. What is your reasoning for this schedule?

ballstar
10-12-2007, 09:42 AM
Well, I guess I have never thought of why I do it for an hour. The emitters I use put out 1, 2, and 5 gph. I place the emitters depending on plant material and size. I suppose I don't HAVE to run it every day, but I just do. I have had nothing but success doing it. One example is an office that I took over all services for this year. I was just doing chem before. The drip was set for 20 minutes per day, every day. I bump to one hour, and put out my woodace fert. Shrubs look better this year than they ever have, according to the owner. Holy crap, I think I just talked myself out of fertigation. Either way, the hour per day works for me.

PurpHaze
10-12-2007, 09:54 AM
Go with what got you there and is best for the plants. If increasing the watering time and cutting back the number of days works best then do it. Some plants will actually change their watering needs. When new and shallow rooted then daily watering may be best because deeper watering is only wasted as the water has the potential to infiltrate deeper than the root zone. This can cause water pocketing and create a mushy environment for the plants that can create an environmental potential for diseases. When the plantings get established with deeper rooting systems then longer watering in fewer application days might be the answer. The key to any successful watering program is to apply the correct amount of water to the root zone only in sufficient quantities to maintain healthy plantings. It's really no different in establishing turf whether seeded or sodded. More water is needed in shorter applications until the root systems are developed.

Kiril
10-12-2007, 09:57 AM
Seems to me watering every day is going to lead to constant saturated conditions unless your dealing with a soil that drains very quickly.

A couple of other factors to consider with fertigation.

1) Biological growth and mineral deposits in the lines & emitters
2) Methods for controlling/maintaining item 1.

Purp response is the more elegant way of explaining what I was getting at. :)

ballstar
10-12-2007, 10:20 AM
In Northern Michigan, we are basically sitting on straight sand (sleeping bear national lakeshore), so soil does drain quite quickly. The 'topsoil' available here is basically sand as well. But, after kiril's post about deposits on lines and emitters, I will certainly not be hooking up fertigation. Having to swap clogged emitters would offset the potential labor savings of the fert system. The old 'punch a hole and drop a pill' method will prevail.

Az Gardener
10-12-2007, 11:04 AM
Fertigation with emitters is no problem provided you have enough flow to activate the unit. I would look at a Fertile Earth unit www.fertileearth.com They have targeted the trac home market and have different nozzles to use based hon how many GPM you are pushing.

I also like Fertigator because you can program it for different amounts of fertilizer per each valve.

I don't like either of the fertilizers these companies promote with their unit and the product I use shreds the barrels on the fertigator unit after about a year and they are more expensive. The fertile earth has a o-ring that my product has problems with so I have to frequently clean them monthly or replace them every 4-6 months but the servicing is easy less than 10 minutes.

I have some fertigation units in for over 10 years with both drip sprinklers and bubblers. If anything the product I use buffer salts and keep systems clean.

Do a search, we have discussed this before. There are many benefits to fertigation that have been discussed at length, I just don't have time to go over it all again right now I need to get into the field. You can call me if you like I have tried them all, well most of them, and have taught classes and written articles on fertigation. 602-750-0574

Kiril
10-12-2007, 12:34 PM
In Northern Michigan, we are basically sitting on straight sand (sleeping bear national lakeshore), so soil does drain quite quickly. The 'topsoil' available here is basically sand as well. But, after kiril's post about deposits on lines and emitters, I will certainly not be hooking up fertigation. Having to swap clogged emitters would offset the potential labor savings of the fert system. The old 'punch a hole and drop a pill' method will prevail.

I checked soils (see attached soil report) in Empire (just guessing at location) and it would appear based on physical properties that you may have a valid case for fertigation. Your best bet is to have a soil test done to determine what the most efficient and beneficial approach may be. Personally I try to minimize "fertilizer" inputs and instead create a sustainable system. This approach may or may not be possible given your soils and plants.

In soils such as yours, I believe it is critical to choose your plants carefully to avoid costly maintenance (eg. excessive watering and fertilizing).

Mike Leary
10-12-2007, 12:50 PM
These are the two I researched, both look good www.fertigator.com and www.ezflofertilizing.com

Mike Leary
10-12-2007, 03:43 PM
Thanx Mike.......I wondered if I crammed them too close.:)

Wet_Boots
10-12-2007, 03:55 PM
you mean it isn't www.fertigatorgatorgator.com (http://badgerbadgerbadger.com/) ? :)

Mike Leary
10-12-2007, 03:58 PM
you mean it isn't fertigatorgatorgator.com (http://badgerbadgerbadger.com/) ? :)

aaieeeeeeeeeeeee!

ballstar
10-12-2007, 04:19 PM
Well, maybe this is a possibility after all.

Mike Leary
10-12-2007, 05:16 PM
Yass..just to make Boots happy....a vacuum breaker backflow assembly is
approved in some areas, not mine..RP only.

ballstar
10-12-2007, 06:04 PM
I had a suspicion that might be the case. Any idea who I can typically contact to find out? This is a rural area, and irrigation systems are never 'checked'. However, doing it right is doing it right.

ballstar
10-12-2007, 06:18 PM
Should mention, to avoid any excitement, I install pvb on all my systems. However, there might just be a possibility that I would have to go with RP

Mike Leary
10-12-2007, 06:24 PM
This is a rural area, and irrigation systems are never 'checked'. However, doing it right is doing it right.

Rural schmerle..ALL backflow devices should be tested yearly, however,
I would not install a RP unless the injector is at a elevation that is more
than 40' below the elevation of the fertilizer source. As quoted, " A 40'
elevation differential is approximately the same as installing the injector
in the usual location just below ground level and placing the fertilizer on the
peak of a three story house." RPs are pricey & require talent to install &
maintain.

ballstar
10-12-2007, 06:37 PM
I don't disagree about the rural shmerle part... one question about the testing: who is responsible to arrange it? The plumber, the homeowner, or the irrigation contractor?

Mike Leary
10-12-2007, 06:45 PM
I don't disagree about the rural shmerle part... one question about the testing: who is responsible to arrange it? The plumber, the homeowner, or the irrigation contractor?

Your local P.U.D. water puryeyor in town should have a list of licenced
BATs, (backflow assembly testers). If they don't get what's going on, & lots
don't, your State health dept. would steer you in the right direction.

ballstar
10-13-2007, 06:09 PM
Thanks Mike.

Mike Leary
10-13-2007, 06:13 PM
Thanks Mike.

Any time..let us know if it works out.:)