Fertigation is a word commonly associated with the agriculture industry, but it is a methodology that can and should be practiced on a commercial landscape. Simply put, fertigation is the delivery method of providing materials to nourish soil. The most common material used in these systems, beside fertilizer, is soil conditioner and pre-emergent herbicides.
More often than not, plant problems are related to soil. Prior to having True North Outdoor install a fertigation system, a battery of soil tests, plant/leaf tissue analyses, and water quality tests are given. Pre and post tests prove that fertigation improves the health of the landscape. Soil conditioners correct the soil’s deficiencies in structure and/or nutrients. Fertilizers supply plant nutrients or amend soil fertility. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent the germination of unwanted seeds by inhibiting a key enzyme.
Fertigation can be part of a sustainable landscape management system by allowing roots to grow to their natural depth, which makes them more drought tolerant, needing less input (better fertility) and thus self-sustaining. Traditional methods can create a dependency because without the sigificant root structure, the plants need people to intervene by continuously adding fertilizer and water to keep them healthy.
How can Fertigation help me?
Ask a horticultural expert what makes a beautiful landscape, and you’ll probably hear them say,”Healthy Plants”
Ask them how to get healthy plants and they will tell you,”Healthy Roots”
And if you finally get to the heart of the matter and ask them how you get healthy roots, they are going to tell you, “HEALTHY SOIL!”
That’s the “secret” of PGA golf courses and professional sports fields. They poke, prod and pamper their turf and landscape areas with almost daily attention to develop good soil and root mass. They know if they can get healthy roots developing, their turf will be able to withstand world class abuse and still look world class.
The problem is that most people don’t have the time or budget to give their landscape daily attention. Fortunately, with a fertigation system, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or a big chunk of your budget to get results. In fact, in many cases, the system can be implemented for less cost than using a traditional fertilization and soil maintenance program.
To learn more about how fertigation has helped others like you, True North’s media site has case studies with photos of Bill’s systems in place. Click “trees” or “grass” to link to them directly. Also, on the site you will find a 5-part podcast that will give you a better insight into fertigation and other sustainable landscape management practices. USDA’s Soil Quality website is another great resource to learn about the importance of soil.