For those who are caught between spending on a good hand pumped sprayer tank and a spot sprayer that needs an ATV to get around…
I repurposed an old pressure washer and connected it to a 32 gallon barrel.
Inside the batrel I have a sumersible aquarium pump to keep the concoction of the day mixing.
The orchard is 50 feet wide. Standing in the center row I can cover the entire width of the orchard. I use a 25degree spread spayer nozzle. Using a narrower discharge may give more range but then need to be much more careful watching the distance to the closest tree being sprayed
With my 80+ espaliers (see photos for size) at this stage of leafing, I can get away with 20 gallons of mix but I mix up 24 gallons which lets me make sure I get full coverage and I wind up with about 1/2 a gallon at the bottom of the barrel.
Not any calmer than a day on which you would use one of those spot sprayers or hand held pump sprayers
Actually it could be windier than on a day you would be using a pump sprayer since you are able to stay further back from the spray exit point. When I used the hand pump sprayer I would sometimes have blowback onto me from any slight wind change because I was close to the spray.
I never spray INTO the wind. I try to spray perpendicular or with the wind. If the wind is blowing towards me I spray behind me.
If you imagine a face of a watch with me standing in the center and the wind coming from 12 o’clock, I will spray towards 9,8,7,6,5,4 and 3 o’clock
If the wind is atrong enough to be an issue, I can place myself in a position where I use the wind direction to help carry the spray where I want.
Even on a breezy day I can reach the edge from the middle using a 25° spray nozzle. Using a narrower spray nozzle I can reach farther. But, in the two years that I have been using this I have not had to change nozzles.
If it got that windy I would not be able to spray with the other two types of sprayers either or it would be too windy to spray at all.
I usually try to spray earlier in the morning before the warming sun kicks up the winds.
If it got a little windier AND I was in a bind that I HAD to spray (remember that I can only get up to the orchard on weekends and rainy weather is my biggest obstacle not wind) I could just go down the two off center isles or switch nozzles.
Andy, yes gravity is enough. The only trick is to get the air out of the hose before connecting to the washer.
This is what I do.
I open the ball valve at the barrel holding the end of the hose up above the mix level.
I walk over to the washer and slowly lower the hose end until I see the mix.
I kink the hose and screw it onto the thread at the washer. Tada!!!
My orchard has a very slight downhill bias. At 100 feet it is 1 foot lower than at the “top”. Needles to say, I put the barrel on the higher end.
Depending on the particular location one could put the barrel on some sort of base, ie a cinderblock or two.
I’ve long wanted to make a sprayer out of a pressure washer and talked about it several times on here. I’m so glad to see you actually did it! I see no reason why I couldn’t put both the tank/barrel and the washer onto a small trailer and pull it through my orchard, do you? Thanks.
No I do not. My orchard compact. It is a 150’ x 50’ fenced in espalier orchard as you can see in the photos above.
I needed a solution that did NOT require me to haul 300 lbs of tank & mix around. The rows are narrow and turn around at their ends was not a option. I needed to figure out a way to keep the mix tank itself stationary but still being able to get the business end where I needed it.
I’m sorry…I wasn’t clear. I think what you have designed is very ingenious and absolutely perfect for your needs. Looks awesome! I was just asking if there is any reason I couldn’t put it on a trailer for my own needs. My orchard is several hundred feet in both directions and really is in 2 locations on my property. My rows are all really wide (20 ft +). So I just wondered if there is any reason you know of that I couldn’t modify your design and make it mobile.
Kevin, I see no reason that you could not do what you have in mind.
The only caveat is that if you are going to be carrying it around on a trailer, I would build some sort of baffle into the tank. You don’t want the mix to be sloshing around especially if the tank is not bolted onto the trailer carrying it.