looking for cheap fertilizer injector

andyinnycMay 1, 2012

I am looking for a cheap fertilizer injector to attach between two hoses.

Preferably I'd like something like the Miracle Grow sprayer where the water mixes with the solid fertilizer, but instead of a sprayer end I'd like a second hose attachment.

I have (still in box) an EZ-Flow injector, but I don't want to bother with it. A second one is too expensive (considering the Miracle Grow sprayer is $11 or less).

Choice B would be something like this

http://www.amazon.com/Dramm-22625-Syphonject-Siphon-External/dp/B002KCY2WS/ref=pd_sim_sbs_lg_2

Which is a Dramm 22625 syphonjet and would require liquid/premixed fertilizer and a 5 gallon or bigger bucket. Not the worst solution but not the best.

I'll be fertilizing strawberries in a tower filled with 1-1-1 mix (ie granite, Turface and pine bark fines) so fertilizing is required.

Anyone have experience with the siphon type injectors? I'd like to spend very little.

My hose has terrific pressure, so hopefully that won't be a problem.

Thanks for your thoughts on the subject.

Andrew

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fortyonenorth(6b)

I've tried two syphon type injectors and could get neither to work correctly. My pressure's excellent, too, so I don't know what the issue is. I sprung for an EZ-Flow which works, but has drawbacks. Once you place the pre-mixed fert solution in the tank, there's no absolute way to know (visually) when it's gone. You have to calculate flow rates and mix rates and then estimate how long it will last. You might look at the Gilmour line of hose end sprayers and see if they have something that fits the bill.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 6:58PM
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andyinnyc

OK, I purchased locally an ACE fertilizer sprayer (which is the licensed for ACE version of the Gilmour). This has a hose end on both sides.

So now I have my spigot -> short hose -> two zone water timer .> timer zone A has the ACE/Gilmour -> Y splitter -> hoses to the two strawberry towers.

zone 2 of the timer has a hose leading to a Y splitter leading to 2 soaker hoses in the traditional strawberry beds (also known as rabbit feeders).

So, after much fussing I think I have the Gilmour/ACE branch with an appropriate flow rate to each tower through the fertilizer feeder. The strawberries are blooming, so it's good that the feeding will now be constant.

I'm probably still over-watering the strawberries - no big deal since it drains right out, but I am getting some flooding at the side of the garden. I'll have to actually watch it at 6PM one night soon and adjust the duration of the watering.

Thanks for everyone's help. For a car ride and $10 I (think I) solved my problem. Of course, while there I bought a 4 valve brass splitter - one can never have too many hose attachments ; so of course my retail therapy was slightly more expensive than absolutely necessary.

Andrew

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 8:54PM
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sprtsguy76(Santa Clara Ca. 9b)

fortyonenorth- I'm thinking of getting an ez-flo myself. Aside from the drawbacks you touched on are you happy with it? What size did you decide on? I'm looking at the 1.5 gallon. Can you easily open the unit to visually see if fluids are running low?

Damon

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 1:45AM
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fortyonenorth(6b)

Damon - I think that's the one I got, too. Overall, it does the job. Two beefs: 1) is that it's harder than he** to get the cap off when it's pressurized.; 2) the issue with visually inspecting the fertilizer level, which is complex because of the way it is mixed in the tank. The tank is always full - regardless of how much fertilizer solution is remaining. As the solution is used, it is replaced by pure water. The solution and water remain separate in the tank through a technology they cal the virtual bladder - I think they talk about this on their website. It is my understanding that if you open the unit, the bladder is compromised and you end up with a "mixed" solution - meaning whatever fertilizer solution was remaining is mixed with the water that had displaced it.

If you're running the drip system precisely the same every single day, and if you know your flow rates, you can simply do the math to figure out when all the fert will be used up. Aside from being too lazy to figure out my flow rate, we get rain throughout the summer, so it's not unusual for me to turn-off the system from time to time. Or, if it's really hot, I might run it on manual for a cycle. At the end of the day, it's too much work to keep track of. So, I end up guessing at when the solution is used up. I had good success last year, but I can't help but wonder how much fertilizer I'm throwing away.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 4:26PM
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andyinnyc

Well, perhaps I spoke too soon.

Hooked up as above (spigot, short hose, water timer, short hose, ACE/Gilmour, short hose, splitter, hoses to strawberries) the system doesn't work.

Rather than shoot water through the hoses, it backs up and sprays around the stem of the ACE/Gilmour can.

By around, I don't mean the threads leak, I mean the section closest to the spigot leaks - almost by design. I dug out an old Miracle Grow sprayer of the same design but smaller and it 'leaks' in the same exact manner.

Is this a design issue - ie it doesn't want to push the water through because it doesn't have pressure or something? Is there a way to fix this?

I had the Gilmour/ACE attached directly to the timer and then the Y attached directly to the Gilmour - this leaked in the same way.

In either case there was no water coming out either of the two hoses at the tower top.

Suggestions?

If I have this problem with this hookup, is it reasonable to assume that the siphon solutions will have the same problem? I really need to inject fertilizer since I water twice each day and don't have time to do it by hand.

Thanks all.

Andrew

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 6:11PM
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