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Old July 29, 2014   #1
Cole_Robbie
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Default Organic Fertigation?

Does anyone grow organically and use a fertilizer injector with a drip system? That is my plan for next year.

I'm thinking about brewing compost tea, filtering it well, and putting it in my ez-flow injector. I can only guess that I would need a chlorine filter, or else the chlorine/chloramine in the tap water would adversely affect my tea. Here's an example: http://www.freshwatersystems.com/c-2...r-filters.aspx

Molasses is another easy fertilizer to use with the injector. There are plenty of organic over-the-counter hydroponic nutrients, but I think they would be cost-prohibitive. Guano might work, as long as I can filter out the sediment so nothing clogs.
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Old July 29, 2014   #2
RayR
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Sounds like a lot of work filtering. Highly filtered organic hydroponic base nutrients like BioBiz, Botanicare or Nectar for the Gods would work but like you said it would get expensive to run it through a drip system to soil.
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Old July 30, 2014   #3
Tania
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What crop are you fertilizing?

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Old July 30, 2014   #4
Cole_Robbie
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tomatoes
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Old July 30, 2014   #5
amideutch
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I think what type of soil and what amendments you have added to it would dictate the amount and frequency of fertigation required. My raised bed at work I added horse manure, horn shavings, azomite and compost last fall and have yet to add anything this year except water and it's a jungle.

If you are growing in containers that is a different story.

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Old July 30, 2014   #6
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I agree with Ami.
We add alfalfa meal and bone meal before planting, and never fertilize tomatoes throughout the season, unless they are in containers on the balcony (in this case I add alfalfa and compost at the end of July, and water with kelp solution).

It sounds like lots of work filtering.

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Old July 30, 2014   #7
kurt
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Cole,Worth in #12 covers some of the aspects you are questioning.A good read all the way around the post also.

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...er+drip+system

Also some chlorine items here.

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...lorine+filters
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Old July 30, 2014   #8
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I've been using GHE General Organics this year with good results and don't see any problem using it with a drip system. Hence my question as to the type of aggregate you be growing in.

http://www.amazon.com/General-Hydrop...ywords=GHE+Bio
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Old July 30, 2014   #9
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Can you really filter enough to not plug your drip tape? We don't even try the organic fertigation due to the particle size and trying to get it through the emitters. IMO fish emulsion will plug the drip tape, I have tried it and it seems to ruin it.. I think your best bet is to amend your soil before planting.
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Old July 31, 2014   #10
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To fertilize it would be better to have larger spray heads or emitters dedicated for this purpose.
Then just use the drip system for watering.

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Old July 31, 2014   #11
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I run water soluable powders (fish and kelp) thru my drip irrigation for my giant vegetables. Also Companion, Actinovate, Molasses. A number of things. You need to flush the lines out well after you run them thru.
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Old July 31, 2014   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
To fertilize it would be better to have larger spray heads or emitters dedicated for this purpose.
Then just use the drip system for watering.

Worth
That's the thing, though, doing so would present a host of new problems: getting through plastic mulch, preventing algae growth, and getting the fertilizer water to soak down far enough into the soil without evaporating. I have to use mulch or else I get a weed explosion. The drip tape under plastic is perfect - as long as it doesn't clog.

I can buy screen material in various micron sizes, and experiment to see how much filtering is required. I'm hoping the beneficial bacteria I would be culturing could fit through a screen of very small micron size.

I will be amending my soil with organic fertilizers like rock phosphate over the winter, but from what I understand it takes years to break down. The drip system would very convenient for delivering beneficial bacteria and sugars to feed them.
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Old July 31, 2014   #13
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I dont know a thing about compost tea.
What mesh filter would you need? I use a 200 mesh filter on my drip lines.

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Old July 31, 2014   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
That's the thing, though, doing so would present a host of new problems: getting through plastic mulch, preventing algae growth, and getting the fertilizer water to soak down far enough into the soil without evaporating. I have to use mulch or else I get a weed explosion. The drip tape under plastic is perfect - as long as it doesn't clog.

I can buy screen material in various micron sizes, and experiment to see how much filtering is required. I'm hoping the beneficial bacteria I would be culturing could fit through a screen of very small micron size.

I will be amending my soil with organic fertilizers like rock phosphate over the winter, but from what I understand it takes years to break down. The drip system would very convenient for delivering beneficial bacteria and sugars to feed them.
I posted right after you did.
When I get home we can surely come up with something.
I have an idea that may work but posting on this phone is a challenge and I need to draw some sort of prints to show you and others what I have in mind.
The plastic mulch kills the two line idea.
What is your drip line.
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Old July 31, 2014   #15
Cole_Robbie
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The plastic mulch kills the two line idea.

hmmm. Maybe not. What if I ran a piece of pvc pipe down the row, and then tapped into it with black spaghetti tubing? I could put an emitter on the end of the tubing and then stick it under the plastic. It would be easy to pull it up and check for clogs. I can even feel the wet spots through the plastic if I need to.

I think molasses would run through the injector and drip tape just fine. I would have to find the specs on the package to see if they tell you anything about the hole size. I can buy a multi-pack of screens sold as pollen separators to experiment with screening.

I think I'd need a pump to create a small amount of pressure to fill the pvc lines, but I think a simple transfer pump would do the job. I even have one.

Thanks for the help, Worth and everyone else.
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