Fertigation

We are one of the first irrigation companies in the northeast to offer residential customers the fertigation technologies that have been used at golf courses and commercial facilities for nearly 30 years. What is fertigation? Quite simply, it is the application of sprinkler technologies in the automated delivery of fertilizer. That’s a mouthful, we know! What that means is, we use your controlled water supply to feed your lawn and provide a measure of disease resistance and pest control as well.

The advantages? First of all, automated fertigation is more efficient – saving both time and money as you feed, water and protect your lawn.
It’s also more effective. Regular automated fertigation is proven to result in a stronger overall root structure for your lawn and plants. And don’t forget those added benefits of disease resistance and pest control!

Finally, fertigation has been proven to be better for the environment using less water and controlling the amount of fertilizer delivered. This not only gives your lawn the exact amount of nutrients and protection it needs to stay beautiful, it results in less run-off into ground water supplies, streams and rivers.

Frequently Asked Questions.

When you’re in the business as long as NEI you hear a lot of the same questions. We thought they may help you learn what you need to know to make an informed decision. If you have a question we don’t address please send us an e-mail to info@NEIrrigation.com.

Q. What is fertigation?
A. Fertigation is a time-tested process of “spoon feeding”: Delivering small amounts of fertilizer through an irrigation system each time the system is operated. Fertigation has been used extensively in agriculture for more than 30 years and has gained wide acceptance in the golf course, nursery, turf and athletic industries over the last 10 years.

Q. What are the benefits of fertigation?
A. Supplying grass and other plants with small amounts of fertilizer on a frequent basis through an irrigation system allows plants to thrive in a constantly nutrient-rich environment. Plants use nitrogen and other necessary nutrients quickly. Fertigation keeps the nutrients readily available to the plant resulting in strong root growth and better plant health. This is what slow-release fertilizers try to mimic. It is also less time-consuming and more affordable for the homeowner than walking behind a spreader or using a lawn care company.

Q. What is wrong with fertilizing the old way?
A. The traditional method of monthly fertilization results in substantial over feeding as the plants use up the nutrients in the first few days following treatment. After a week or so, the lawn must endure a period of near starvation, until the next chemical release or treatment in several of weeks. Another huge dose of chemicals is followed by another stressful low nutrient period. This sequence of peaks and valleys can be difficult for the plant. This process is also more time-consuming for the do-it-yourself homeowner and more expensive for everyone.

Q. How is contamination of water-supply avoided?
A. Because fertilizer is being injected into the water stream, a proper backflow preventer is required in all states. A backflow preventer is a mechanical device that does not rely on electricity, but it will keep any liquid containing fertilizer from flowing or migrating back down the water line into the public drinking water system.

Q. I have a poor irrigation system. My sprinkler head spacing is less than perfect. Will the fertilizer cause green circles around the heads?
A. This has been a problem with the old practice of injecting just a few times a month, but when fertilizer is lightly injected with each irrigation cycle (micro-dosing) the coverage is very even. Even coverage is achieved because the sprinkler impact area will move around slightly with changes in the wind and fill in spacing gaps. Also, the spray mist will carry the nutrients to other areas. This light foliar application will produce a very even coverage and color response.

Q. Does fertigation only aid in leaf growth? Will it produce poor roots?
A. There is foliar uptake of about 15 to 25 percent, which improves nutrient efficiency. The biggest improvement is the light feeding, which keeps the top growth down and allows the plant to put its energy into root growth. You are not storing in the soil large quantities of nutrients that can cause uncontrolled plant growth, or be leached away by rains.