Chemigation & Fertigation Injection — A Proven Tool Adapted for the Needs of Today By Jeff Gilmore

Model home landscape in Colorado with an injection system installed

Typical injector servicing up to 2 acres of mixed landscape

Fertigation and chemigation are the application of fertilizer or chemicals through the irrigation system. Using the term fertigation can make the technology sound too restricted in that it is only valuable as a fertilization tool. Conversely, chemigation can be a more accurate description, but it often causes alarm, as people associate chemicals with harm. So, to properly describe what fertigation and chemigation mean to the industry, it is best to focus on the actual function of the technology, which is injecting products into irrigation systems, or simply referred to as injection.

Injection is a technology used extensively by a broad array of industries for a variety of purposes. Injectors can be found at gas station car washes, hospitals, computer- manufacturing plants and in fields of

18 Irrigation TODAY | April 2017

strawberries. Regardless of where it is being used, the primary goal of injection is to provide increased automation to a process resulting in better efficiency and simplicity.

Consider the process of irrigating a landscape, which can be done by hand with a watering nozzle and a hose. This is a practical method for a vegetable garden or small yard. However, if the area is larger and must be watered multiple times per week or day, the garden hose becomes a bit of a problem and an automatic irrigation system makes more sense.

When this need was first realized, initial attempts for landscape injection included adapted systems from other markets to the landscape environment. As industry professionals are aware, the landscape world can often be a brutal environment

to endure with ever-changing variables from hot and cold temperatures to high water pressure with water hammer or low water pressure and variable flow rates. These variables did not bode well for the early injector, nor for its price and ease of use. Fortunately, now there are injectors available for use in landscape that were designed for that purpose alone. But the question remains: When should injection on a landscape be utilized?

The use of injection should be just as routine as adding an irrigation system to a landscape. To keep this simple, it is best to review the needs of a landscape and determine if injection can meet any of those needs and if the property meets the

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