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Help Me Understand Liquid Application

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by coyotekid, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. coyotekid

    coyotekid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    Hi all--

    I'm new to the large-scale liquid application of fertilizers/herbicides.

    For example, I understand that when using a large skid-type tank setup in the back of a pickup, you mix the product being applied into the tank at a set amount...say 2 oz. per acre for instance.

    Then you decide you'd like to apply that chemical via 3 gallons of water per acre.

    But when just using a hand-held spray wand, how do you apply the product evenly?!

    I understand that if using a boom-type sprayer, you can calculate the GPM flow of the nozzles, take into account the speed of the vehicle pulling the sprayer, and then use those numbers to figure the amount of chemical being applied per acre.

    But how do you maintain equal and correct coverage when using a hand wand?

    I know this is a real beginner question, but that's what I am!
  2. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Kid, I answer just about as nicely as anyone is going to on here. You are not going to get alot of help with this question because it's obvious that:
    1.) You are brand new and don't know what you are doing, as evident by the use rates you are quoting, and more importantly,
    2.) It's also obvious you are not licensed to apply chemicals since you would know the answers to these questions if you were.
    My answer is to contact your local regulatory board , get study materials, do the work, and get licensed. That way, you don't end up making a huge mistake which helps give the whole industry a black eye and costs you a lot of money and maybe a criminal record.
  3. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    you need to calculate how many square feet you get out of a hand can sprayer.

    using water only fill your hand can. then on a paved area using your normal walking speed spray until the can is empty (do this several times to get a good average number of square feet per hand can fill)
    measure the area that has been sprayed (easily done when practicing on pavement, you'll see the wet pavement easily)

    now you know how many thousand square feet you'll get out of your sprayer.

    read your product label, add product according to label instructions
  4. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Messages: 866

    I think his question is one of even coverage more than anything else,as in how to work a pattern. Handgunning is a little bit like painting, there is a movement and a rhythm to it that no one can tell you about, it can only be shown to you, then watched as you do it, corrected and so on until you gain the muscle memory to do it without someone keeping a close eye on you. The only way you are going to get it is to work for someone who is willing to show you and practice practice practice. Until then, you will be prone to striping and over applying areas while under applying others.
  5. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    Practice on a concrete surface with water. Measure your spray pattern width, and also measure your walk speed to determine how many square feet you cover per minute. The key is to be consistent with your spray pattern and foot speed. It takes time, but you do get used to it.

    Then calibrate the gun output per minute using a clean jug. With that data, you can then determine your coverage rate.
  6. coyotekid

    coyotekid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    I appreciate the help, and please trust me when I say that I'm in the process of becoming licensed. I haven't bought any spray equipment yet, because I'd like to "do it right" and become legal first.

    My point is this: Did you get a driver's license and THEN start learning how to operate a vehicle? I learned to drive, then got the study materials, studied, and then I took the test.

    I don't understand what is wrong with educating oneself first--I'm not out there applying chemical commercially yet!
  7. coyotekid

    coyotekid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    And another question:

    I've done the research necessary to find out how to obtain a license in my state, etc. But can anyone suggest a good training program I could go through to really learn application techniques?

    Does PLANET offer a good course in this?

    Here's the deal: As in most areas, TruGreen/Chemlawn is dominating. I maintain many of the lawns they treat, and I'm not impressed with the results. I honestly feel I can do better through research and education as opposed to the TG/CL tech getting paid a lousy wage and applying a pre-set regimine his boss tells him to apply to every lawn, regardless.

    I'd like to take some soil samples, etc. and give each lawn what it really needs!
  8. Chris@CRU

    Chris@CRU LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    Contact the local chapter of the National Pest Management Association. They have technician training courses for individuals seeking the training. You will have to obtain a membership, or pay for the training. But, the point is, as you said, to learn the correct way to perform the treatments. This can only be accomplished by spending time under the training and supervision of another who is licensed and certified. This is not an industry where you read a book, and take a test and WHAM!, your competent. Time and a lot of reading to know what to use, how to use, when to use properly. I rode for a year with my father to learn, then took a college course and industry courses. In addition, to REALLY know more to be more competent, I worked for an award winning nursery under an individual with 30 years experience. This taught me much more than the books can, because you learn every day.
    Good luck.
  9. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    I found this written by Tremor. What does everyone think about this for a general hose applicator's method?

    "We (LESCO) make & sell a plastic gun that was originally engineered & patented by ChemLawn to which any of 4 color coded nozzles can be attached. These nozzles discharge 1.5, 2, 3, or 4 GPM. Most applicators are trained (in the early days at least) to walk at about 3 mph with a true 50% overlap in a way that they cover 1000 sq. ft. per minute. The gun is held in one hand at about a 50 degree angle & swept back & forth fast enough so as to strike a selected target 3 times at 3mph & cover a swath about 7-8 feet wide. The nozzles typically deliver their rated output at 40psi. Applicators quickly learn to alter pressure & output to best suit their own needs, production goals, pesticide used, pest treated for, canopy height of turf, etc, etc,..."
  10. coyotekid

    coyotekid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    Well I just emailed my local extension agent for more help.

    Thanks for the advice--I'm just trying to learn what I can before buying lots of expensive equipment and getting in over my head!

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