Fertilizing your vegetable garden is very important to its growth and health. There are some tools that make fertilizing easier – sprayers and dusters. Fertilizer sprayers come in many different varieties, but have one common goal; to properly distribute fertilizers and other liquid mixtures. Sprayers can also be used to apply liquid pesticides and fungicides. A few days ago we discussed organic pesticides, so here are some common sprayers and dusters that you can use to apply those organic fertilizers.
Compression sprayer, also called pump or pressure sprayers, is the most popular sprayers used in home vegetable gardens. The sprayer operates by pumping a lever, which pressurizes the tank. The built-up pressure then forces the liquid inside the tank out through the nozzle. The nozzle can be adjusted for different spray patterns, ranging from a wide angle mist, to a direct stream. Compression sprayers are commonly available in sizes from 1 gallon to 5 gallons.
The knapsack sprayer, or backpack sprayer, operates just like the compression sprayer, but is carried on the user’s back. It also has a larger capacity and is mostly used for commercial applications. The steady pumping of the knapsack sprayer creates a more steady and uniform stream that results in better application of the contents. Knapsack Sprayers have a capacity of 3 1/2 gallons to 7 gallons.
Hose-end sprayers attach to a water hose on one end, and contains a small bottle that screws onto the bottom. The solution placed in the container is mixed with the water from the water hose. Hose-end Sprayers are used for foliage feeding, or the broad application of fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides. This type of sprayer is very common for treating lawns, and large garden applications. Hose-end sprayers come with an anti-siphon check valve that prevents the contents of the sprayer from backing up into the water supply.
Hand sprayers are commonly referred to as spray bottles. Hand sprayers are great for applying liquid fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides to localized areas, such as individual leaves or plants. Hand sprayers can typically be adjusted for wide sprays, fine mists, or direct streams. These sprayers are widely used for misting house plants.
Sling Pump Sprayers
The sling pump sprayer operates by a two-handed, telescopic plunger action that draws the spray material from an open container and discharges it through an adjustable nozzle. This sprayer can develop pressure up to 150 lbs, and nozzles adjust for spray patterns up to 25 feet or 30 feet.This pump can be adjusted for continuous or intermittent action.
Power sprayers are generally powered by an electric or gasoline motor and are equipped with a large tank. These are sometimes towed by a lawn tractor or ATV. Power sprayers can efficiently spray large areas with just one tankful. These types of sprayers usually come in sizes ranging from 1 gallon to 10 gallons.
Crank dusters have a crank handle on one side and provides a steady flow of dust while cranking. Crank dusters are used to apply powdered fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides. These useful dusters can hold anywhere from 2 lbs of dust for home users to 15 lbs for commercial applications. The duster discharge can be either in front of the user or behind, and comes with a regulator to control the volume of dust applied.
A plunger duster is ideal for applying dusts to individual plants or localized areas, and can hold anywhere from 1/4 lb to 2 lbs of dust for home users. This duster discharges on the forward stroke of the plunger, and the volume of dust discharged depends upon the size of the pump, and the speed of the pumping.