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Garden Sprayer Guide

A garden sprayer can be a great addition to your lawn care arsenal.

If you want to have a healthy lawn and beautiful flowers, consider buying a garden sprayer. Protect your landscaping investment by using a garden sprayer to prevent bugs and weeds. Follow these tips to ensure you’re buying the right garden sprayer for your needs.

Choosing a Garden Sprayer
Can’t decide which garden sprayer to choose? Let us help you decide with these helpful tips.

Spraying the right material in the right amount and the right way is key. You can create a beautiful lawn and garden all spring and summer. Using a liquid chemical applied by a garden sprayer can be more effective. It can also be a more accurate way to control bugs or weeds. This is compared to hand distributed granular chemicals.

Spraying herbicides for weeds and insecticides for bugs can be very effective. Of course, you must follow the directions on the chemical you are using. You might want to consider buying one garden sprayer for each chemical type. Herbicides can be hard to completely remove from inside the unit. Just be sure to purchase a neutralizer to thoroughly clean between each use.

Deciding the Type of Garden Sprayer You Will Need

The first step is identifying how large of an area needs treatment. Garden sprayers vary greatly from one quart to four gallons. It won’t be difficult to find one that meets your needs. Some areas can be spot treated with small amounts of pesticides. Large gardens or lawns need a large capacity garden sprayer. There is a variety of garden sprayers to choose from.

Hose End Sprayer:

If you’re looking for a simple way to apply product to a larger garden area, a hose end garden sprayer is the simplest and least expensive garden sprayer type. All you need to do is add the concentrated chemical to the jug and adjust the nozzle to determine the amount that is being dispensed and spray. The water coming from the hose dilutes the mix for the perfect application.

Pump Sprayer:

Also known as compression garden sprayers, these are the most commonly used type of garden sprayer. Add concentrated material to the tank and fill to the pre-marked line with water before using. The pump handle on the top of the sprayer pressurizes whatever air remains in the tank. Use the wand to apply the chemical to the specific area you wish to treat. This application is very controlled and precise, but might not be best for large areas.

Backpack Sprayer:

If you have a little larger of an area to treat, you might want to consider buying a backpack sprayer. These garden sprayers work the same way as a hand pump sprayer. The difference is they are worn on your back with a wrap around wand. The wand dispenses the chemical. The over the shoulder configuration allows you to carry the heavier load of liquid chemicals easier than a hand held garden sprayer. If you don’t want to deal with taking the unit off to pump, find a unit with a lever pump along the side to compress the liquid for continued spraying.

Pull Behind or ATV Sprayer:

If you have a large area that you need to treat, a pull behind sprayer might be what you need. These garden sprayers attach to the back of an ATV. They provide excellent spray coverage over large areas such as fence rows, crops or even parks. The number of booms, or chemical dispensers, depends on the sprayer. The more booms, the larger the area that can be covered at once. These garden sprayers also have a hose you can use for precise application when you’re not pulling the unit behind an ATV.

Spot Sprayer:

Spot sprayers are a great alternative to pull behind garden sprayers. They can be mounted on a variety of different applications, not just an ATV. These garden sprayers are used for large areas with a spraying wand. This differs from the boom sprayer application of the pull behind units. As with the ATV sprayers, a high flow pump is used to distribute the chemicals on to the area.

What to Spray and When

Herbicides should be sprayed in the late spring when weeds are present, or again in late summer when they continue to be a problem. You want the chemical to stick to the weeds. Pesticides (insect killer) should be sprayed when insects are present. Keep in mind that once there is a heavy rain, your spraying may no longer be effective. You will need to re-spray the area. Keep the timeline in mind for spraying year-round.

Early Spring/Spring:

In the early spring, try dormant spraying of pesticide to prevent many damaging insects and diseases. A preventive herbicide will need to be sprayed when weeds actively begin growing.

Early Summer:

Vegetable and flower gardens can be taken care of. Spray as needed if there are signs of pest damage.

Plant disease can occur in early summer. Before you begin a regular spraying program, remove all weeds and dead plants. Spray plants that are susceptible to damage before any evidence of disease appears.

Roses can be taken care of in early summer. Remove and destroy any leaves that are affected with black spots on the upper surface of the leaves. Start a regular spray program that begins now and goes through the first frost.


Mosquitoes are the name of the game. Eliminate their breeding places if at all possible (standing water, weed patches). Spray mosquito-resting places such as flowers, shrubs, etc.

Late Summer:

Lawn weeds and insects are  sprayed in the late summer. This is the time of year when bugs and weeds attack your lawn. You’ll want to spray to kill weeds and bugs living underneath your soil, destroying your grass.


Home perimeter spraying is best done in fall. Spray the foundation around your house. This is when insects are looking for warm places to hide. If you just do one spray all year, do this one. You’ll be thankful not to see those Japanese Beetles all over your house.

Keeping It Safe

Always be sure to read the labels before you use the chemicals. It’s important to follow the spray material directions for mixing and use. Most chemicals should be safe around pets and children once dry. All chemicals are different. Reading the directions is essential to ensure safety.

Spray on a calm day and never spray into the wind. Spraying early in the day or late afternoon will prevent excessive heat from evaporating the spray.

Wear protective clothing such as eyewear and a face shield. Nitrile gloves are also recommended anytime you handle chemicals.

Dispense of unused spray materials properly. Clean your sprayer before storing it away. Keep all materials out of the reach of children and pets.

You can’t always kill everything on the first spray. Following a spraying program is a great start. You’ll be doing everything you can to keep your lawn and garden looking their best.


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