If you have never heard the word fertigation, you may be unsure what it means, and how you can use it in your garden. In fact, fertigation refers to a system of injecting fertilizer into a plant or vegetable patch. The injection system pushes a small amount of the vegetable matter into the roots of the plant, allowing the plant to thrive. If you are unwilling to pay a lot of money for an expensive fertigation system, you will need to get some way of pushing the fertilizer into the roots yourself. Installing your own fertigation kit is cheaper than using a ready-made system, and also quite reliable.
Step 1 - Install the Valves
The first step is to install the one-way valve into your irrigation system. This valve will prevent fertilizer from flowing back into the water system. This is a vital tool to prevent contamination of your drinking water by the fertigation system. Make sure that the valve is attached the right way around, otherwise your system will not work. You may choose to use either an anti-syphon, or backflow preventer valve, both of which will stop the backflow of fertilizer into the water. You should then attach the manual shut-off valve in the same area. This will allow you to take better control of the system.
Step 2 - Connect the Water
Once the valves have been fitted, you can then add a diverter pipe to your mains water supply, and attach enough pipes to reach the water supply. At the same time, construct a fertilizer tray, and place this near to the valves. You can then connect the tray to the fertilizer pumps.
Step 3- Fit the Pumps
Take out your fertilizer pumps, and then place these before a filter station. The latter will remove any large pieces that will clog up the pipes of your fertigator. You may decide to use a small water filter, such as those found in some water purification systems. Anything which fits into the pipes connecting the pumps to the fertilizer will do.
Step 4- Fit the Root Feeders
Take a line of pipes from your fertilizer pumps to the vegetables or plants you wish to fertilize. Push the root feeders into the soil near the plants, and then connect the tube which supplies the feeders to your pipe. You may need to use some pipe joints to get the fit exactly right.
Step 5 - Fit the Timer
You can place a timer on the fertilizer pumps which will allow you to feed the pumps exactly when you wish to. These irrigation timers are used for water. Simply fit it to the punp valve, and it will shut the supply on and off as required. You can also add an alarm to the feeder tubes, which will sound if no fertilizer is produced.