Poor man's airblaster sprayer

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.





Oh please make me one I’m poor!!! I want one bad, even though I am moving!




Looks like you need a calm day for that


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.

When I shot the video it was slightly breezy.


So if you can just reach the edge of the orchard on a calm day, do you have to shift the setup to reach the edge blowing against the wind?

That’s awesome dude.



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.





So it’s not a stationary setup, you can move it around

That’s great Michael I love it.

1 Like


The only thing that is stationary is the heavy barell holding the mix. It is connected to the washer by a 100 foot ordinary garden hose.

The pressure washer has its original wheels. I roll it into position. I start at one end of the row and work my way down.

The washer itself has a 15 foot hose to the gun/wand.



So gravity is sufficient to feed the mix to the pressure washer? This is great, thanks for posting Mike.

Ah - now I can see it


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.

  1. I open the ball valve at the barrel holding the end of the hose up above the mix level.
  2. I walk over to the washer and slowly lower the hose end until I see the mix.
  3. 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.



1 Like

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.

This is what I came up with


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.


1 Like

This is my sprayer that I built a few years ago. We use it to spray your 300 tree orchard.