This past weekend I found myself in a pickle. I was at my orchard and had a very narrow window to spray and my sprayer was down for maintenance. I also found that the trees’ fruiting development (more in another upcoming thread) and the upcoming weather (warming & rain-free) made made it critical to get a spray in as PC and others were in the orchard. One PC even crawled up my arm. Guess it likes English Leather (dating myself here )
I thought of something. I didn’t know if it would work but I tried anyway and I think that my “emergency” solution will become my go to way of spraying. So here goes.
I have a 2450 PSI TroyBilt pressure washer.
I have a plastic barrel which I use to mix Ammonium Sulfate etc for my blueberries.
I have an old submersible pump which I had used to pump water from my pond to the orchard before I moved the orchard and ran a water line from the well to the orchard.
I mixed my thirty gallons of spray mixture in the barrel.
I put the submersible pump into the barrel with a 75 foot garden hose going to the pressure washer. Gravity feed to the washer did not work. It needed water to be pushed into it.
I put on a spray nozzle that produced a cone shaped spray I started the pressure washer.
This is the result of my experiment.
My espaliered orchard has 6 100 foot rows of trees with the rows being 6 to 9 feet apart and the trees are 6 to 8 feet tall. With my regular sprayer I had to walk up and down each row to be able to get coverage on both sides of the trees.
With the pressure washer I can apply the spray to the row I am in by spraying ahead of me as I progress down the row. AND… because of the spray expands into a cloud as it travels, I get very good coverage on both sides of the trees with one pass ( but I cover the other side when I move over to the next rows just for insurance). Then as I walk back up I turn my body 90 degrees and by sticking the spray wand/gun between the arms I can get to two rows on either side of me.
I was done is 1/3 of the time than it took with my regular sprayer.
There is very little over-spray outside the orchard because the only time I am pointing the sprayer towards the perimeter us when I am in the middle of the orchard
Because of the washer throws the spray pretty far away from me, I did not get hit once with any back spray as occasionally happens with the other sprayer. I could not say, to quote @alan , " I just love the smell of Imidan in the morning"
I did NOT use more spray that with the regular sprayer and I think I got better coverage.
So I just wanted to share my discovery. It should work as well in non-espalier situations.
Haha… the poor-mans air-blast sprayer. [quote=“MES111, post:1, topic:11184”]
With the pressure washer I can apply the spray to the row I am in by spraying ahead of me as I progress down the row. AND… because of the spray expands into a cloud as it travels, I get very good coverage on both sides of the trees with one pass ( but I cover the other side when I move over to the next rows just for insurance).
Actually that is what actually do.I sort of mis-spoke when I wrote the original message.
I back up for the initial spray and then as I bring the washer back up to the head of the row to go to the next position, I do the rows on the sides.
After it stops raining, I’m going to spray with my new battery operated sprayer. Its only two gallons but I can carry it and I have a ladder. Wouldn’t a powerwasher, blow the fruit right off of the tree? I don’t know about your trees but at this stage my plums, apples, peaches, pears and cot, are pretty fragile. Please take pictures!
I stand quite a way back. The closest I come to the fruit is at least 8 feet. And with the cone shaped spray, by the time it gets to the fruit the billowing plume is 5-6 feet across and is akin to a just a strong breeze. Interestingly the plume does not expand much more after that but it keeps going to at least 15 feet which lets me hit two rows.
Maybe some of the physicists our there can explain. Its like the early quick expansion of the universe before it settled down to be limited by the speed of light.
So, being careful I don’t even blow any leaves off the branches.
Like @Levers101 said, I have my own little mini-airblaster.
Sounds like a brilliant solution. Now I know what to do if my sprayer goes down and my backup sprayer follows. It would be cool if you could hook it up with a 300 ft reel and hose. Then I could actually use it.
Small power sprayers are not a mass market item to prices are relatively much higher than a similarly powered power washer.
With my 2540 PSI power washer, hooked up to a 75 foot garden hose, I could have sprayed a 40 foot tall tree with no problem just by adjusting or changing the the nozzle.
I have it more than 5 years and I can assure you that it has not been the victim of too much tender loving care. My brother in law used it for more than 5 years in his business and I have it for 5 plus years. That Honda engine has not had any service since I own it and I am sure it is not putting out as much as it could if it got tuned up.
I think that the biggest problem you would have with a 300 foot hose would be moving the hose.