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Using Water Soluble (Powder) Fertilizers with fertigate automatic fertilizers.

April 24, 2017

This article explains how to use a water soluble (powder) based fertilizer with your fertigate unit.

fertigate units deliver your required fertilizer dose rate by automatically adjusting the volume of fertilizer to suit the volume of water flowing.

Water soluble (powder) fertilizer can be prepared into a liquid concentrate for use with fertigate automatic fertilizers as outlined below.

Step 1. Select an empty resealable container. For this example we will use a 4L container.

Step 2. The fertilizer label will nominate a quantity of powder fertilizer to be diluted in a particular volume of water. For this example, we are using "Miracle Gro MaxFeed All Purpose Plant Food" which states 1 scoop (14ml or approx 1 US Tablespoon) of powder fertilizer per 4L of water.

Note: The manufacturers recommended dilution rate is the concentration you would apply directly to the plant if using a watering can. fertigate automatic fertilizers inject concentrated fertilizer into the water stream and therefore the mixture you make will be more concentrated than the manufacturers guide - as outlined in the following steps.

Step 3. Assume a dose rate we will set on the fertigate controller eg we will assume a rate of 50ml per 10L of water. This means we inject 50ml of fertilizer concentrate for every 10L of water flowing through the line.

Step 4. Calculate the water soluble (powder) fertilizer concentration to be used on the basis of the assumed fertigate injection rate of 50ml / 10L of water.

This is a relatively simple calculation to perform

 Concentrated fertilizer solution Manufacturers recommended Dose
 50 ml of fertilizer concentrate
10L of Water
= 1 scoop of powder Fertilizer
4L of Water

 

The equation can be simplified as follows:

1 ml of fertilizer concentrate = (1 scoop of powder Fertilizer) x (10L of Water)
(4L of Water) x 50


In this example we elected to use a 4L container to hold our concentrated fertilizer.  (4L = 4000mL)

4000 ml of fertilizer concentrate = 4000 x (1 scoop of powder Fertilizer) x (10L of Water)
(4L of Water) x 50

Or:

4 L container of fertilizer concentrate = 4000 x (1 scoop of powder Fertilizer) x (10L of Water)
(4L of Water) x 50


Simplifying, we find in our example using "Miracle Gro MaxFeed All Purpose Plant Food" that:

4L of fertilizer concentrate = 200 scoops of powder fertilizer mixed in 4L of Water 

 

If you are using a different powder fertilizer, and assuming you will use your fertigate automatic fertilizer with a dose rate setting of 50ml/10L, use the following formula to make your fertilizer concentrate. Simply insert the manufacturers recommendations into the formula:

4 L container of fertilizer concentrate = 4000    x       ("Number of powder fertilizer scoops)"                          x       (10L of Water)
       ("Number of Litres of water specified by manufacturer")           x           50

Step 5. Label the concentrate solution with fertilizer name and that you will use it in conjunction with a fertigate automatic fertilizer set at a rate of 50ml / 10L of water.

Step 6. Shake the fertilizer concentrate container prior to use.

Then follow the three simple steps to use with a fertigate automatic fertilizer

Step 1 - Set the dial to the desired fertilizer rate

Step 2 - Place the suction filter into the fertilizer bottle Step 3 - Start fertilizing

Step 1
Set the dial to the desired fertilizer rate

Step 2
Place suction filter into fertilizer bottle

Step 3
Start fertilizing

Use either a portable or permanently mounted fertigate unit and enjoy watching your bonsai develop and quickly and as healthy as ours.



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