How to Use a Root Feeder
A root feeder is basically a large hollow steel needle that allows fertilizers and plant food to be injected directly into the root zone of plants.
Step 1 – Check the Root Feeder
If you are using a root feeder with a hose connection, make sure that the hose is properly connected, tight and there are no leaks. Especially check where the water hose connects to the feeder reservoir. Turn off the water at the feeder.
Step 2 – Mix the Fertilizer
Mix the fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions and fill the feeder reservoir that is connected to the root feeder. With some root feeders the fertilizer and plant food is in pellet form and fits into the water line of the root feeder.
Step 3 – Placement
Push the spike feeder into the ground. Keep the feeder vertical while you do this. You should do this just outside the root area of the plant or tree.
Step 4 – Mixture
Turn on the water at the feeder. The water from the hose will flow across the top of the feeder reservoir and draw and mix the fertilizer and water. If the feed is in tablet form the water will flow across the tablet to make up a mixture. The mixture will be driven down the spike into the ground right by the roots. Turn off the water when the required quantity of mix has been delivered.
Step 5 – Repeat
Remove the spike from the ground and move on to the next position that you are going to inject feed. Make sure that you do not damage plants with the hose if you have to drag it across the garden. Don’t allow the hose to get kinked while you are moving it. This could stop the efficient flow of water and mean that you might not give enough feed the next time you use it.
The root feeder is very simple and safe to operate. No special protective clothing is necessary.
Permanent Root Feeders
There is a second form of root feeder which is equally easy to use. This form of root feeder has an injector permanently mounted in the root zone of a tree of plant.
- The top of the injector is designed to fit into a socket in the bottom of a large reservoir (typically, 5 gallons).
- The reservoir is fitted to the top of the injector forming a water tight joint.
- The reservoir is filled with 5 gallons of the fertilizer mix which is allowed to drain down into the root system. It is a bit slower than the hose pipe system but just as efficient.
Because of the delivery system, roots are encouraged to grow downwards rather than upwards to reach moisture. This ensures the tree or plant has a much firmer hold on the ground and encourages healthy growth.