You’d be hard pressed to find a grower who isn’t familiar with mixing and weighing batches of nutrients, and even harder pressed to find one who enjoys it! Luckily, there are a multitude of options to take this boring work off of your hands and eliminate the labor cost and the potential for human error.
Fertigation, also called nutrient injection, is the process of automating the addition of nutrients to your water and feeding it to your plants. A fertigation system will automatically take your nutrients and mix them into your water at whatever rate you’d like, all at the push of a button.
There are two main types of fertigation: in-line injection and batch injection. In-line injectors, such as those made by Dosatron, use water pressure to draw nutrients up and mix them into the water one at a time. One injection unit – a doser, if you’re using Dosatron – is needed for each nutrient you intend to feed. Each of those units draws from a nutrient tank and mixes the nutrient with water before sending it forward to the next unit. This process repeats until each of the nutrients has been mixed, and the full mixture is then carried off into your drip system.
Batch injection functions as an automated version of hand-mixing nutrients in a tank. Batch injection systems such as Rhythm draw up specified amounts of each of your nutrients, but instead of injecting them one at a time into your water as it goes out to your plants, they mix up a full batch before pumping the solution to your plants. Batch injection systems also offer a wide range of programming and control options for your irrigation system and more, far too much to list here. There are also systems, such as Argus, which can inject nutrients in either manner. If you’d like more information on how batch injection works, please let us know!
Fertigation systems may have a large up-front cost, but they pay for themselves quickly. Just as a drip system saves money on watering, fertigation systems save money on nutrient mixing. In today’s competitive marketplace, a fertigation system is a must-have for any commercial cultivation operation.