Fertigation has been around in the agricultural industry for quite some time, however it is relatively new to the golf course industry.
So what is it? Working smarter, not harder.
Fertigation is the process of injecting nutrients straight into the water that is being used for irrigation of a golf course.
You can improve the quality of the water being applied to the course, which can directly impact how the water is absorbed by the soil. This improvement in absorption can in some cases lead to less water and nutrient usage because the efficiency of the water is increasing.
It is a more sophisticated and useful tool to be added to the toolbox of the golf course superintendent in order to keep the turf on the course healthy and beautiful.
How does it work?
It works at the level of the pump station. As the water is going through the pump station it is injected with the desired nutrients before it enters the irrigation lines.
Advance planning is crucial to ensure the course is being given the proper nutrients needed at the proper times.
Are there drawbacks to fertigation?
As with any technique there are benefits and drawbacks. Some of the drawbacks are:
Fertigation requires new hardware such as pumps, controllers and storage tanks.
It only works when the irrigation system is in use. This does not account for rainy periods.
Fertilizer cover is only as good as the water coverage, which is only as good as the irrigation system. All sprinkler heads must be working properly in order for coverage to be consistent. With older systems this can pose issues.
Green space in our world is a valuable commodity. Advances in the technology used to increase the green space that is offered by golf courses are beneficial to everyone. Fertigation definitely falls into this category!