Tips, Tricks, and Frequently Asked Questions
Here's some of the helpful hints on how to get the most our of your hose-end sprayers:
- Before mixing any ingredients, make sure your sprayer jar is super clean as well as the pail or bucket you're mixing them in. It only takes one tiny particle of dirt to clog the siphon tube.
- If you find that the contents in the sprayer jar are not siphoning after 30 seconds, stop! Take the cap off the sprayer jar, gently mix the ingredients again, and re-apply the cap to the sprayer.
- If using instant tea, be sure it has dissolved completely in your tonic.
- Make sure the Epsom salts (or Magnesium Sulfate) is completely dissolved in your tonic.
- Water with high concentrations of chlorination may interact with baby shampoo, causing excess foam in the sprayer jar, making it difficult to spray. Remove the tonic, mix a small amount of antiseptic mouthwash with water, and run this through your hose end sprayer to cut the foaming action.
- Dishwashing liquid has a heavy consistency, especially if it is concentrated. So add it last to any tonic.
- Do not use dishwashing liquid that is advertised as antibacterial, detergent, or a "degreaser." When a manufacturer uses these advertising words, they may have added ingredients which may be too harsh for plants. Also, do not use automatic dishwasher soap.
- Gently mix all tonic ingredients in a pail or bucket before adding to sprayer jar. This also eliminates clogging the tube.
- Be sure your water pressure is all the way on, and there are no kinks in the hose.
- Molasses is another ingredient that can clog the sprayer tube. It must be at room temperature, not just taken out of the refrigerator. Corn syrup must be mixed thoroughly with the other ingredients to work properly.
- Remember that the opening of the tube in the sprayer jar is only as small as a plastic straw. Dirt particles and Epsom salts, if not dissolved completely, will not siphon through this tube.
- If the problem continues:
- Take the entire contents, and pour them through a sieve. Even a small particle can clog the siphon tube.
- After you've emptied the sprayer jar of its contents, clean the sprayer head by returning the spool to the "WATER" position and letting it run for 30 seconds to remove any residue. Then thoroughly rinse the jar.
PLEASE NOTE: The sprayers with the black tips shown in our how-to videos (below) are no longer available. As a result, after shooting the videos, we upgraded our sprayers to make them even faster and easier to use. Generally, the information in these videos still applies to our new sprayers. The sprayer photos on our product page shows you exactly what our new sprayers look like, and the video below shows you generally how to use them. Check ‘em out!
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about my hose-end sprayers:
Q: What is a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer?
A: The 20 gallon Fertilizer hose-end sprayer with the green lid is a 32 oz.(1 quart) jar with a sprayer attachment that connects to the end of your garden hose. This sprayer has a tube inside that siphons the correct ratio of tonic out of the jar as the water passes through the sprayer to correctly dilute the tonic with 20 gallons of water (which means it works at a rate of 1.6 oz. of solution per gallon of water).
Q: What is the difference between the Weed/Herbicide sprayer and the Fertilizer sprayer? Aren't they both "20 Gallon" hose-end sprayers?
A: The 20 gallon Weed/Herbicide hose-end sprayer with the red lid sprays at the same rate as the Fertilizer 20 gallon. However, this is a special sprayer for weed-killers only. Herbicides can leave a residue in the sprayer jar, even if they're cleaned out, and you just might end up spraying a little leftover herbicide on your prize-winning flowers! And that would be tragic! That's why this handy, separate sprayer was created, with an easy-to-recognize red lid that signals caution.
Q: So what's so special about the 6 gallon Insecticide hose-end sprayer? When should I use that?
A: The 6 gallon Insecticide hose-end sprayer with the blue lid is also a 32 oz. jar, but it sprays at a rate of 5.3 oz. of solution per gallon of water. And that's just right for a lot of insecticide tonics or sprays. Of course, always double-check application directions to make sure you're spraying at the recommended rate. You wouldn't want too much of a good thing!
Q: Can I use my adjustable rate, dial-type sprayer for your tonics and if so what setting should I set it at.
A: While some dial sprayers can be used, others will be labeled that they may be damaged if used with soaps. It's usually best to use the recommended 20 gallon hose-end sprayer with the recipes rather than chance damaging your sprayer. Make sure you read the label and instructions for your sprayer before using these with my tonics. If you decide you want to take the chance, the ratio breakdown for my 20 gallon hose-end sprayer recipes is 1.6 oz. of tonic per gallon of water.