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Dallas Morning News - July 30, 2020

Sprayer Advice


One of the best recommendations I've ever made is for you to get rid of your grass catcher and stop catching the grass clippings. Better for the turf, saves time and makes mowing a breeze. Arguably, my second best recommendation relates to sprayers. And that is - stop using hose end sprayers.


First of all I don't like trusting cheap plastic devices to mix the formula for me as the "hose ends" have to do. That's how they function. Second, they tend to clog up. As you are spraying compost tea or liquid fertilizer and look around to see where the dog has gone, the sprayer stops sucking up the concentrate and is spraying water only. You probably have no idea when the change happened. That ruins the foliar feeding program. Same thing for pest control spraying. These inexpensive sprayers also tend to fall apart regularly and require a new purchase.


Hose end sprayers are sorta okay (if you remove the strainer) for spraying something that doesn't need precise coverage such as microbe products like beneficial nematodes, but they are not good for fertilizers and pest control products where the concentration and coverage is important.


Pump-up sprayers are good for small jobs


Sprayers I recommend are those that dispense the spray mix that you have made. Pump-up sprayers are the least expensive and good for small jobs. They are available from quart sizes up to about 3 gallons.


A much better choice is the trombone sprayer. It has a sliding brass barrel connected to a rubber tube that goes down into a bucket of whatever mixture you are using. This sprayer is especially good for foliar feeding with compost tea, fish and seaweed or Garrett Juice, but also effective for applying the organic herbicides as well as insect and disease control products. Some trombone sprayers are bare brass and no handles but the Hudson trombone sprayer has handles and is nickel-coated brass. It's available from mail order sources such as


Some trombone sprayers are exposed brass and no handles

The Hudson trombone has handles and is nickel- coated.

The trombone sprayer is much better than hose end sprayers for several reasons. The perfect mix that you made comes out consistently and it will spray as far as 20 feet. It's easy to set up, easy to use and easy to clean – which you should do carefully after using with any of the sprayers. I use a trombone sprayer to do my entire properly in less than an hour - plus it's good exercise.



Trombone sprayers are useful spraying 20 ft. Organic products are safe for bare skin, pets and wildlife


Another good choice is the backpack sprayer. The one I like best is made by STIHL They also make a small inexpensive hand-held pump-up sprayer that works well. You'll find these products at the lawn equipment hardware stores.


Backpack sprayers are my second favorite sprayers


Power sprayers are also good because they spray your mixture and cover large areas quickly, but they of course will be much more expensive. These are the sprayers that are used primarily by the contractors.





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