Garden sprayers come in handy when pesticides, herbicides, or other liquid products need applying in the landscape. Garden sprayers come in various sizes from small one-quart capacity sprayers, to ones that will hold several gallons of fluid. There are different styles, but they all perform the same basic function--spraying out a liquid. As with all gardening tools, proper maintenance and care of your garden sprayer will prolong its life.
Choose the Correct Sprayer
Garden sprayers come in several basic styles. Basic styles of garden sprayers are hose end, compression or tank, backpack and gasoline powered. Hose end types work well for applying fertilizer or pesticides to a large area such as lawns. They are inexpensive, but will not work for limited area application. The most popular variety is the compression or tank sprayer. They are inexpensive, come in a range of sizes and can treat large or small areas, though they can be heavy.
Backpack garden sprayers are like tank sprayers, only you carry the weight on your back. They work well with large and small areas, but can be expensive. Gasoline sprayers work well in all areas but can be heavy and expensive and you will have to mix the gas with oil before using.
Using the Sprayer
The steps for using a garden sprayer are relatively basic. You fill the tank, pump and spray. Fill the tank with the specified amount of product you are using along with the correct amount of water. Leave approximately ¼ of the tank empty. This will allow enough space between the top of the tank and the liquid to build up pressure.
Adjust the wand tip to spray the desired amount of fluid. Tips are adjustable to spray a fine mist all the way to a full stream of liquid. Test the sprayer on the driveway and adjust as needed, before spraying any vegetation. Make even sweeps with the wand to apply the product evenly. Dissolve granular products before placing them in the tank, or they might clog the sprayer. Use separate sprayers for pesticides and herbicides so there will be no cross contamination of products.
Maintenance and Cleaning
To preserve the life of the garden sprayer it is necessary to clean it regularly. After using, be sure to wash the sprayer out with clean water. Rinse the tank out and then fill it partially with water. Pump up pressure and spray the water out on a driveway to clean the hose, wand and tip of the chemicals. Do not allow the chemicals to sit in the garden sprayer for long periods, or they can clog and disintegrate parts and the sprayer will not work effectively. Always release the pressure on the tank, once you are through using the garden sprayer.