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## Bucket Chemistry 101

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**Bucket Chemistry 101**Bodie Pennisi, and Paul Thomas Extension Horticulture Specialists The University of Georgia**PROPORTIONER**A device used in a fertigation system to control the rate of fertilizer applied through the system.**Fertilizer Injector or Proportioner**Stock Fertilizer Tank 1 part stock solution Water line 100 parts of water Injector ratio 1 : 100 Irrigation line to plants**Fertilizer Injector or Proportioner**Stock Tank Water line 1 part stock solution 5 gal 25 50 100 200 500 etc. x parts of water Injector ratios 2% 1% 0.5% 0.1% 1:50 = 1:100 = 1:200 = 1:500 = To get from ratios to percent: (1/50) x 100 = 2% To get from percent to ratios : 100/2%=1:50**Fertilizer recommendations for greenhouse crops are given as**either ppm of a specific fertilizer nutrient or in pounds and ounces (weight basis) of a fertilizer formulation per 100 gallons of water Parts per million (ppm) One part of a substance into one million parts of another substance**Things You Need To Know To Solve ppm Problems:**• Recommended fertilizer application rate. • Example: 8 ounces per 100 gal or 200 ppm nitrogen • 2. Fertilizer formulation and analysis. • Example: 20-10-20 • Injection ratio • Example: 1:100 • Size of stock tank in gallons • Example: 25 gallons**Weight Basis**Example: A chrysanthemum grower gets a recommendation to apply 20-20-20 water-soluble formulation to a final concentration of 16 oz per 100 gallons of water. How much fertilizer should be mixed in a 25 gallon stock tank if an injector with a 1:30 injection ratio will be used?**Things You Need To Know To Solve This Problem:**• Recommended fertilizer application rate. • 16 ounces per 100 gal • 2. Fertilizer formulation and analysis. • 20-20-20 • Injection ratio • 1:30 • Size of stock tank in gallons • 25 gallons**Solution**Step 1: Adjust the rate for the stock tank size using the following equation: Equation 1 oz per 100 gal = oz fertilizer per stock tank 100 / Stock Tank Size (gal) 16.0 oz per 100 gal= 4.0 oz of 20-20-20 100 / 25 gal**Solution**Step 2: Adjust the rate for the injection ratio: Equation 2 oz per gallon x injector ratio = oz per stock tank 4.0 oz per 25 gal x 30 = 120.0 oz per 25 gal tank!**Commercial Fertilizer (ppm)**Example: A pansy grower gets a recommendation to apply 150 ppm nitrogen using 20-10-20 water-soluble formulation. How much fertilizer should be mixed in a 25 gallon stock tank if an injector with a 1:100 injection ratio will be used?**Things You Need To Know To Solve This Problem:**• Recommended fertilizer application rate. • 150 ppm nitrogen • 2. Fertilizer formulation and analysis. • 20-10-20 • Injection ratio • 1:100 • Size of stock tank in gallons • 25 gallons**The Rule of 75**1 oz / 100 gal = 75 ppm • HOW DID WE GET THIS ? One ounce (28 grams) of any pure dry substance that will dissolve 100% in a volume of 100 gal equals 75 ppm 1 oz = 28 g or 28,000 mg 28,000 mg ÷ 379 L = 73.88 ppm ( 1 gal = 3.79 L 100 gal = 379 L )**Solution**Step 1: Convert the ppm recommendation to a weight basis using the following equation: Equation 3 Recommended ppm x dilution factor = oz fertilizer/gal stock the N number (% ) of fertilizer X 75 150 ppm x 100 = 10.0 oz of 20-10-20 per gal stock 20 x 75 (final solution)**Solution**Step 2: Use equation 1 to adjust for a stock tank size of 25 gallons: (oz per gal stock x (# gallons in stock tank) = Oz fertilizer per stock tank 10.0 oz x 25 gal tank = 250 oz of 20-10-20 in the tank**Solution**Each bag is 25 lbs! Remember 25 lbs x 16 ox…the number of bags needed = 250 oz/ (16 oz X 25lbs ) or 0.62 bags! Step 4: Convert ounces to pounds and ounces where: 16 ounces = 1 pound (dry) 250.0 oz per 25 gal = 15 lbs 10 oz 20-10-20 16 oz/lb (. . . .in a 25 gallon stock tank) This will give you 150 ppm with a 1/100 ratio