The Magic of Fertigation and StoneWool: A Quick Guide to Fertigation Systems and Stonewool Applications
With the evolution of the commercial horticulture industry turning towards new and improved techniques, equipment, and technology, fertigation is coming to the forefront as a means of growing crops. Fertigation is a practice that can be used in many different applications and crop varieties. Understanding the difference in a fertigation system in comparison to other methods, irrigation techniques, and the use of fertigation with stonewool. By understanding the dynamics of these systems and the benefits of them an operator can make an educated choice in their grow operation for the types and techniques used in their specific set up.
What are fertigation systems/nutrigation/plant nutrient delivery systems?
A fertigation system is where plants are injected with a nutrient solution using a specific irrigation system that will combine both the nutrient solution and water to meet the needs of the plants. A mixture of treated water is able to be distributed to the plants throughout the entire growing season at all stages of growth to ensure that the proper nutrients are applied at the right times in the correct amounts.
Simple fertigation can be achieved through a pump, distribution pipes, capillaries, and a dripper pen. There are more advanced fertigation systems that can be automated for ease of use and for a more precise application. Automation is also on the rise with supporting large commercial grow operations to ensure that all plants receive the same inputs.
What are the advantages of Fertigation Systems?
A fertigation system has many advantages that make it a wise choice for many growers in the commercial greenhouse industry. The major advantage is that with fertigation, a grower is able to allow for more automation and overall accuracy in the growing area which allows for more time and energy spent elsewhere in the operation. There is a flexibility in fertigation that allows users to mix specific nutrient solutions needed for a crop and to change these when needed with quick and precise applications to the root zones.
With the more advanced fertigation systems, an operator is able to set and control multiple set point targets that can mix and deliver nutrients up to 14 different zones through a central mixing tank. A grower is able to schedule a delivery in the system thanks to timers. With the precise nature of the application pH and other growing media factors can also be closely maintained and controlled. With more advanced systems, the system can send alerts and notifications with full control over the system through mobile applications. This means that a grower doesn’t even have to be in the growing area to know what is going on in the said zone.
Fertigation also provides a very reliable means of dosing a crop through automation and technology. These systems are able to monitor and deliver the needed nutrients without the need of intervention. Once set and calibrated, a grower can be rest assured that plants will receive needed nutrients and water. This allows for focus to shift to other areas of the operation without much stress.
Fertigation Systems- Can a Drip Line System be Used?
The concept of fertigation is precision and accurate distribution of water and nutrients to feed crops. One of the best methods to ensure this accuracy is through the use of a drip line system. Drip lines are great water conservation techniques for greenhouses and offer direct watering of the root zone instead of sprayers that can waste water through above vegetation applications. Drip irrigation, also referred to as micro irrigation, originated with growers having the desire and urgency for water conservation. These systems are truly the best at water conservation with their ability to keep the root zone damp, but not overly saturated. Not only is this a wise conservation method, it is also excellent for plant health as it aids in aeration of the soil and allows plants to get the water they need, but still have the ability to gain oxygen and plant nutrients through the roots.
Using drip irrigation systems in the commercial grow setting is ideal for many applications from greenhouses, CEA facilities, grow warehouses, indoor farms, cultivation facilities, vertical farms, large commercial farms, and everything in between! Although the commercial drip systems differ in their size and scale, they are very similar to those on the small scale production side of the spectrum. The benefits are numerous and allow the grower to save on resources and overall environmental impact footprints.
|Benefits of Drip Irrigation and Fertigation|
Drip Irrigation, Fertigation, and Stonewool Grow Media- Is this the power trio for the commercial greenhouse?
There are many benefits with drip irrigation and fertigation that make it a no-brainer for many operations. However, when stonewool is introduced as the grow media for these applications a true eureka moment is sure to happen as plants are happy and healthy. Stonewool is a go to media for hydroponic systems. In the commercial industry, the concept of precision applications is becoming the main focus. In traditional hydroponic systems, there is a flood system in place and a trough.
The system pumps water on a schedule through the system. This is good, however, it isn’t very precise. It may lead to loss of water or stress on the plants in the event of the environment changing around the plants requiring water throughout the day at different times and quantities. Not meeting these needs swiftly will result in stressed plants. Prolonged stress will directly impact quality and quantity of yields.
Drip irrigation is the precise application in a constant drip method directly into the root zone. With stonewool and its ability to maintain proper levels, drip irrigation provides the ideal water amounts at all times. This lessens the chance of water stress in plants. One aspect of plant stress that is sometimes overlooked especially with a stonewool system is the overwatering of plants. With drip irrigation, the water is applied at a constant slow drip that allows the material to drain and keep the root zone at optimum levels.
RedRock Grow Block Stonewool- Is this the right stonewool for a commercial operation?
There are many benefits of stonewool, however, these benefits are greatly reduced if the stonewool is from a non reputable source as it will not perform correctly.
RedRock Block is one of the top reputable suppliers with a home base in Los Angeles, California. RedRcok is known as a supplier for some of the largest commercial greenhouses, indoor farms, commercial CEA, vertical farms, and more.
Commercial growers all across North America rely on RedRock Block media as a very rapid supply chain delivery for large quantities needed for commercial operations all while still maintaining quality and standards for every stonewool related product.
Features of RedRock Grow Block
|Moisture||High moisture retention allowing for excellent water support with a reduced risk of wilting and stunting due to water stress.|
|Nutrient Content||Once the stone wool is treated, all stonewool blocks are able to retain and hold on to nutrients with minimal to no leaching of nutrient solution.|
|Oxygen Availability||Roots get a breath of fresh air with 97 percent oxygen content when dry, and with proper drainage times between waterings, excellent water and oxygen ratio for the roots.|
|pH and EC||RedRock Stonewool has a neutral pH which means a clean slate for all plants. A grower has full control over the initial pH and EC content of the media allowing for full customization based on individual crop needs.|
Buy Stonewool Grow Media-
In need of rock solid stonewool grow media supply chain source that offers a complete line of high quality grow media products?
Click here to find out more information about RedRock Block’s commercial-grade stonewool plugs, mini cubes, starter blocks, stonewool grow blocks, Solo slabs and mini solo slabs, and multi-flower stonewool grow slabs– https://redrockblock.com/shop/ or Call for more information about ordering and pricing- 1-310-967-2025