Fertigation: approaches, systems and fertilizers in use

Fertigation: approaches, systems and fertilizers in use

Fertigation, as the name implies, is the process in which fertilizers are being applied with the irrigation water: Fertilization + Irrigation.  

The fertilizer solutions are prepared in advance in stock tanks and the solution is then injected into the irrigation water. 

Fertigation has various advantages over other fertilization methods, and when properly used, it saves time and money.

Some of the advantages are: 

  •   Fertilizer application is more accurate and uniform
  •   Fertilizers are applied to specific areas, where they are needed
  •   Nutrient are immediately available to plants
  •   Uptake of nutrients by roots is improved
  •   It saves labor
  •   It helps to save water, because plants develop a healthier root system
  •   Nutrient losses are minimized 


The most common fertigation approaches are the quantitative approach and the proportional approach.

The quantitative approach is commonly used in open fields. The grower first decides how much fertilizer has to be applied per area (e.g. kg/ha, lbs/acre). This quantity of fertilizer is then delivered through the irrigation water.

The proportional approach is mostly used in soil-less media and sandy soils. Here, a defined quantity of fertilizer stock solution is injected into each unit of water flowing through the irrigation system (e.g. l/m3, lbs/gal). 

Nutrient levels are determined by their concentration in the irrigation water. Most growers who use proportional approach, use units of ppm (parts per million) or mmol/l.


Effective fertigation requires knowledge and proper management, since fertilizer application is an integral part of the irrigation system. Therefore, the system has to be properly designed.

To learn more about the design of the system, read our articles about fertilizer injectors.

 fertigation-system.jpg     fertigation-system-1.jpg

                                               Fertigation Systems


Not all fertilizers can be used in fertigation: only water soluble fertilizers and liquid fertilizers are appropriate. Different fertilizers differ in their solubility. Read more about solubility of fertilizers


Nutrient Recommendations for Various Crops (proportional approach)


Concentration in mg/l (ppm)
Tomato 190 40 310 150 45
Cucumber 200 40 280 140 40
Pepper 190 45 285 130 40
Strawberry 50 25 150 65 20
Melon 200 45 285 115 30
Roses 170 45 285 120 40


Fertigation Software

  •   Create fertigation recipes, for any crop,
    within minutes
  •   Avoid mixing errors
  •   Ensure uniform fertigation
  •   Optimal results
  • Prevents clogging in irrigation system