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How to Mix Powdered Fertilizer in a Hose End Sprayer

arrosoir outils jardin image by Mélissa Bradette from

Fertilizer serves as an essential tool for landscape plant health. Hose end sprayers allow easy transmission of nutrients to a large garden area. Manufacturers supply powdered fertilizer for use in pre-packaged bags for easy mixing. Learning how to mix powdered fertilizer in a hose end sprayer requires smart application practices to prevent burning and damage to landscape plants.

Read the directions on the back of the fertilizer packaging. Heed any safety instructions including the use of protective eyewear, clothing and hand coverings. Fertilizers include caustic agents that burn or cause allergic reactions when in contact with the skin.

Unscrew the cap to separate the hose end sprayer and the bottle. Remove any hose attachments from the hose end. Place the hose sprayer cap onto the hose end and twist to secure tightly. Turn the sprayer nozzle toggle to the off position.

Follow instructions on the fertilizer package for exact measurements. General guidelines suggest adding an entire premeasured package to the bottle portion of the hose end sprayer. Most sprayers release about 50 gallons of water in a 12-minute period. This allows fertilization of a 500-square-foot area for Miracle Gro plant food and a 1,200-square-foot area with Vigoro plant food.

Fill the bottle two-thirds full with fresh water from the garden hose to blend the solution and prime the bottle for spraying. Addition of water during spraying keeps the sprayer bottle continuously full while dispensing the fertilizer product.

Screw the bottle onto the hose end and secure tightly. Turn on the spigot to dispense the fertilizer on your garden or lawn.


When mixing solution in a hose end sprayer to feed container gardens, add 1 tbsp. per gallon of water. Ensure proper penetration of fertilizer into the garden soil by watering well the day before application. Dry, compacted soils don't absorb water as readily as loosened soil. A general rule of measurement of powdered fertilizer to water ratio indicates that 1 tbsp. of product mixed with 1 gallon of water covers a 10 square foot area of the landscape. Spray water-soluble fertilizer across the entire garden bed. Also direct some spray at the base of each plant for absorption at the root level.


Never apply powdered fertilizer directly to flowers. This product is caustic and will kill the plant.

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