This is the second installment in a series I have been doing on using sprayer tips to expand your liquid application strategy.
This strategy for spraying lawns is advanced. If you are new, I caution you to not confuse yourself! One day it will all click together and you will understand but until then, just read this lightly and bookmark it so you can come back down the road.
Mix Rates and Spray Rates
It’s first important to talk here about mix rates and spray rates. Through all of my content over the years, I have always stuck to the standard that mix rates are “per gallon” and 1 gallon of spray mix is to cover 1,000 sq ft.
I’ll give you an example to ensure we are literally on the same page.
The fall application mix rate for warm season turf (and turf type tall fescue) is 13g/gallon. This means you weigh out 13 grams of the product and put that into 1 gallon of water and mix it up.
The fall application spray rate is 1 gallon covering 1,000 sq ft of lawn area. This means that once you have mixed up your spray, you walk at a pace that allows you to get the mix evenly out across 1,000 sq ft.
Here is a video where I show you how to mix that up:
If you have a two gallon sprayer like the Field King, you could actually get up to 2,000 sq ft done in one “fill up.” You’d accomplish this by putting 26 grams of the prodiamine WDG into 2 gallons of water, mix it all up and walk at a pace to get it evenly out over 2,000 sq ft.
That’s the max you could do using this standard.
This is where varied tips can help you adjust your comfort in getting out this 2 gallons of spray mix. I like to walk pretty fast when I spray. This comes from my days of working for TruGreen ChemLawn. Our standard was to spray “1,000 sq ft per minute.” We had truck mounted spray rigs and large spray guns that allowed for this pace to be pretty easy to keep up. Me and you though, with our “hand cans” need to walk a little slower than that. And that is where the various tips come in - they allow you to adjust the walk pace to whatever is comfortable to you!
In the first post, I introduced you to spraying with the floodjet tips from TeeJet. These tips are designed to produce a fan spray with a larger droplet size so they are perfect for applying products that you want to water into the soil.
You can use them for pre-emergents, bio-stimulants or liquid fertilizers. The key with these tips is that you use them to apply products that you will be “watering in” to get them into the soil.
This as opposed to tips that produce a very fine mist that you would use for weed control that you want to stick to the leaves of the target.
Finer mist = better weed leaf coverage. Watch this video to see what a good mist tip looks like.
Larger droplet flood = better for soil products: produce more output, faster.
Large Droplet FloodJet Tips
I am sticking with the larger flood tips in this series, ones called “Turbo Floodjet Wide Angle Flat Fan” tips. Here is the white one that I talked about in the last post, and will expand on in this post.
If we go to the TeeJet chart, we can see the different PSI increments and the corresponding output you can expect from this tip.
I am keying in on the 20PSI rating for this post. That is because we will be sticking with the Field King 2 gallon battery sprayer as our spray unit. That unit pushes at 20PSI. I know that because I read the manual.
(note: it actually fluctuates from 14-20PSI. It kicks on when the pressure in the tank falls below 14 and cuts off when it reaches 20. But don’t concern yourself with that - just go with me on the 20PSI to keep this simple - the numbers will work out close enough - kind of like jazz music - being near the right key is good enough.)
So here is what we know:
- 2 Gallon sprayer tank
- Sprayer pushes at 20PSI.
- Tip puts out .57 gallons per minute at 20PSI
- 2/.57 = 3.5 :: 2 Gallons sprayer will be empty in 3 minutes, 30 seconds
Now I can tell you: that is a pretty leisurely pace. It may not seem like it, but it is. I like to walk and spray much faster, but if you are someone who wants to get your spray app done without having to rush, this is a good tip for you.
Here’s a video where I show you just how easy of a walk pace this is. In this video I have 2 gallons of mix and I am applying to a 2,000 sq ft area.
I’m first going to use the blue tip, TF5 and show you how to spray by doing everything in one pass. Then from there I will put on the white tip, gain more time and show you how to spray in a double pass.
Just look at how slow I am walking. Keep in mind, I’m short - 5’8” - so my strides are not very long either.