Is Fertigation the Next Big Trend?

Fertigation with waste water containing some nitrates has resulted in healthy turfs, but could require more testing.

Fertigation, the method of fertilizing and irrigating plants at the same time, has proven to provide sustainable and thriving lawns, according to a paper published by Crop Science journal. Bernd Leinauer, a turf grass expert at New Mexico State University, along with co-author Elena Sevostianova, suggests using the combination of fertigation and drip irrigation with water containing some nitrates for a lush lawn that is also sustainable.

Many New Mexico cities are currently wasting financial resources and energy to remove nitrates from wastewater in order to prevent pollution of ground and surface waters. This leaves many landscape professionals and turf maintenance contractors applying mineral nitrate fertilizers to keep turf healthy.

In the paper, Leinauer and Sevostianova suggest implementing a decentralized treatment system tailored to generate liquid waste that contains 15 parts per million (ppm) of nutrient nitrate during the summer months. This water would then be used in lawn fertigation.

While this treatment has so far resulted in the same healthy turf as those that receive potable water combined with fertilizers, results are preliminary. More testing needs to be done to rule out or address challenged that may develop over time, including high salinity.

Read the original article here.