To maintain a vibrant garden full of health and color requires quite a bit of work. Watering, fertilization, and pest control are all important factors in keeping plants healthy and vibrant. Many gardeners cut down on time and energy by applying either liquid fertilization or pest control compounds into their irrigation systems, effectively "killing two birds with one stone."
Fertilizers consist of the nutrients required for healthy plant development, most notably the macro-nutrients nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. These provide plants with the energy and resources to maintain all biological processes that keep vegetation alive and reproducing. Pest management products keep healthy plants from being attacked or infested by insects, disease and weeds that may steal resources or feed off crops. They can work in many ways, and it is important for gardeners to choose pest control products that best meet their individual needs.
Liquid fertilizers are fast-acting compounds that can be applied either directly to plant soil or placed within an irrigation system. They are easily distributed but need to be reapplied more often than dry fertilizers, which are usually slow release. Liquid fertilizers are available in both chemical and organic forms, and can even be created by diluting manure or compost tea into water.
Liquid pest control products are often applied to the soil to prevent infestation of plants. Herbicides are often pre-emergent, working to kill weeds by keeping them from germinating before they break the soil. Insecticides can be absorbed directly from plants and work to keep pests at bay from within, or are sprayed on top of the plant's leaves. Other products on the market are made for an all-in-one application, known commonly as "weed and feed" products.
The rule of thumb when applying fertilizer is to applying 1 lb. for every 1,000 square feet of land. Nitrogen fertilizers will help grasses and vegetation begin their growth cycle and should be followed by a healthy dose of water. Pesticide products should be applied at least 30 days before weather permits an increased activity of pests in the environment. Do not water after pest control treatments as this may cause runoff which can poison the environment. Never apply liquid pest control products when moderate levels of wind and rain are present.
Fertilization should not take place excessively during dry seasons. The nitrogen added will make weeds grow faster and weaken the root system of crops. Liquid fertilizers are not time-release, so it is wise to switch to dry fertilization during dry seasons or risk wasting fertilizer. The opposite is true for pest control systems. Over-irrigation will weaken the effects of most weed control applications, while promoting the growth of fungal diseases, so monitor your crops closely during these weather conditions.