A lawn sprayer is a valuable tool for fertilization, weed and pest control. It allows you to deliver a precise amount of chemical to your lawn, get even coverage and buy chemicals in concentrate form, which is generally very cost-effective. Additionally, lawn sprayers are relatively simple to use. Follow a few tips to maximize your lawn sprayer's effectiveness and your safety.
Never Mix Herbicides and Pesticides
If you use your lawn sprayer to distribute herbicides as well as pesticides, you must have one clearly labeled lawn sprayer for each. The residue of most herbicides is nearly impossible to completely remove from the interior of a lawn sprayer and you could accidentally apply it where you don't intend. It is also a good idea to have a separate lawn sprayer for each pesticide that you use. Mixing pesticides can result in dangerous compounds being created, which are harmful (and even sometimes fatal) to inhale.
Wear a long-sleeve shirt, pants, gloves, a respirator and goggles whenever you use your lawn sprayer. Do not wash these items with the rest of your clothes.
Do not smoke, drink or eat after using your lawn sprayer until you have changed your clothes and bathed.
Spray Under the Right Conditions
Don't spray on a windy day. It is virtually impossible to control the drift of a lawn sprayer used under windy conditions. The pesticide or herbicide that you are using could end up hundreds of feet off target. Or it could even end up in your neighbor's pool or on their plants. Once a breeze picks up, turn off the lawn sprayer and wait until the wind subsides.
Spray your lawn early in the morning or in the late afternoon. High temperatures may cause the herbicide or pesticide to evaporate quickly.
Check the Sprayer Each Time You Use It
Before filling your sprayer with pesticides or herbicides, fill it with water. Then test the sprayer to see if the nozzle is plugged. Next, check the hose connectors to make sure that they are secure.
Measure Your Chemicals Carefully
Too much fertilizer, herbicide or pesticide can harm or even kill your lawn. Before filling your lawn sprayer, know exactly how much chemical you will need and measure it exactly.
Never fill your lawn sprayer with more chemical than you can apply in one session. Unused chemicals should not sit in the lawn sprayer's tank.
Clean Your Tank Thoroughly and Safely
Any residual fluid in the lawn sprayer's tank should be emptied out onto the ground in an area with little traffic. Never empty pesticides or herbicides over the sink or onto concrete. Rinse the interior of the tank with a hose three times, and run clean water through the nozzle to clean it.