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Fertigation is the technique of using soluble fertilisers to supply essential nutrients to vegetables through sprinkler or trickle irrigation systems, or by means of a boom spray. It is ideally suited to most horticultural areas in Western Australia, especially the sandy soils of the Swan Coastal Plain that have a poor capacity to retain nutrients.
Before and after planting, nutrients are often applied to vegetables on soils of the Swan Coastal Plain by applications of poultry manure* or solid fertilisers. After planting, fertigation is a safe and effective method of applying top-dressings of nutrients to crops, especially after the rows have closed over. If required, all of the essential nutrients needed by plants (see section 3) may be applied by fertigation after planting.
With sprinkler irrigation systems, fertigation is mainly used to supply nitrogen and potassium, but magnesium, calcium and some trace elements may be needed on some crops. With trickle irrigation systems, which are being increasingly used for production of capsicums, cucurbit crops, strawberries and tomatoes on the Swan Coastal Plain, fertigation is sometimes used to supply all nutrients on a regular basis.
Number of Pages
Fertigation, Fertilizers, Irrigation, Nutrients, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Ammonium Nitrate, Potassium, Crops, Western Australia
Plant Breeding and Genetics | Soil Science | Water Resource Management
Burt, J. (2002), Fertigation of vegetables in Western Australia. Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Perth. Bulletin 4512.