Fertigation Systems and Upgrades
Updated: Jul 20, 2021
What is fertigation? Fertigation is the process of injecting fertilizers into an irrigation system to provide crops with the nutrients they require. There are many different styles of fertigation, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. There are, however, some tools and technology that make it more efficient and will reduce labor needed to water and feed crops.
Hand watering is a thing of the past for monocrop cannabis cultivation. When all the plants are on the same cycle and feeding schedules, hand watering is a time consuming and inefficient way to feed your cannabis crops. There are many ways to increase efficiency and productivity in your grow room. One being installation of a drip feed irrigation system. The basic premise is each and every plant is connected to a trunk line via drip emitters. The trunk line is connected to
a reservoir of mixed nutrients that get pumped into the trunk line with a jet pump. These simple systems work well but do have some drawbacks.
One drawback is that your nutrient reservoir will get dirty fairly quickly as the salt-based nutrients precipitate out of solution and form a film or crust on the side of the tank. Cleaning large reservoirs takes up a lot of resources, especially when it becomes a weekly task, or you have more than one reservoir to maintain. Creating custom feed solutions for your various cultivars at different stages becomes a task of its own, and you lose a lot of real estate to large reservoir tanks and plumbing components to get the nutrient solution to where it needs to be.
Take your irrigation system to the next level and ditch your large reservoirs and complicated plumbing for a dosing injection system. Dosing injection systems such as Dosatron, accurately inject your fertigation system with the required doses of nutrients from a concentrated form. Dosatron is an injection system that only requires one thing to operate: water. With no power required, it works with a wide range of flow rates and water pressures to ensure you get the exact same mixture of nutrients every time you feed your plants. With the inline nutrient monitor, you can quickly and easily see if your nutrients are being injected at the proper ratios. No more messing around with pH meters or EC meters to verify your nutrients are in the right concentration and pH range. The Dosatron unit also takes care of injecting the correct amount of pH up or down, depending on your nutrient requirements. It also works with any nutrients: liquid, salt-based and even organic. It will also work with any style of growing and fertigation system.
To adjust feeding ratios, or even changing nutrient recipes is as simple as adjusting the injection ratio and swapping out the concentrated stock solution. If you want to skip injecting any of the nutrients, you can simply flip the bypass valve and the Dosatron unit will allow water to flow through freely without injecting any additional nutrients. Another benefit of using a system like this, is that cleaning stock tanks is far easier than cleaning large reservoirs. The nutrients remain separated in their own stock tanks so they don’t have any reaction with other nutrients that cause them to precipitate out of solution and form mineral deposits on the inside of your reservoir. The shelf life on concentrated solutions is also much longer as you will only need to mix up your stock tanks once every month or two depending on how large they are and how large of an irrigation system they are supplying.
Dosing systems can be expensive, but the upfront cost will be offset with the labor savings down the road. Dosing systems also free up floor space in your grow so you can maximize your canopy and achieve maximum yield in your space.
By Cameron Canna – Master Grower