Lawn Sprayers: 10 Ways to Use Them

If you own or take care of a home, you know all the work it takes to maintain a lawn. Between insects, weeds, and weather your property can get hit by all sorts of pests. Fortunately, there are many products you can apply with a lawn sprayer to prevent or rid yourself of these intrusions. The catch is that buying a lawn sprayer is an investment and you want to be sure that it is worth it. 

The good news is that a lawn sprayer is versatile and you can use it for more than just pesticides. Here is a list of several things you can use a lawn sprayer for.  

1. Applying Herbicides to Control Weeds In Your Yard

This can be achieved with just about any type of sprayer including backpack sprayers, small boom sprayers, hand sprayers, and more. 2-4D is a common herbicide you can use in a lawn sprayer that will help control weeds and not kill your grass. You can also spray Roundup with a lawn sprayer but do note that Roundup will kill grass as well as other weeds. 

2. Applying Pesticides to Control Insects in Your Yard or Home

You can use a boom sprayer for pesticide application on your lawn. A hand pump or backpack sprayer can be used for in-home pesticide application, assuming the products are safe for indoor use. I personally have a hand pump sprayer that I use solely for the purpose of applying Tempo in my basement. 

3. Fertilizer Application for Lawn or Garden

A sprayer is not just for herbicides or pesticides. Liquid fertilizers can easily be applied with a sprayer but granular fertilizers that can be dissolved in water can be effectively applied with a lawn sprayer as well. 

4. Spray Fungicides to Control Diseases in Plants

Whether you identify a portion of your lawn that is suffering from fungal disease or you want to take preventative measures, your lawn sprayer is the perfect tool to accurately distribute a fungicide. Specific types of fungicide might work better when applied with a broadcast sprayer and others will require spot treatment

5. Water Flower Pots and Planters

A hand pump, backpack, or 12-volt spray with a wand can be used to water flower pots or planters if the nozzle is large enough. You don’t want to use a small capacity misting nozzle as it would take forever. If you are new to sprayer nozzles and need some guidance on adapting or changing your nozzle, check out this guide I wrote that teaches all about adapting nozzles to your spray wand. You definitely want to make sure your sprayer is rinsed with a tank neutralizer if you have used a herbicide in it. 

6. Applying Concrete Sealers

Hand pump sprayers or backpack sprayers can be used to apply concrete sealers and cures assuming the seals or o-rings in the sprayers are compatible with the specific product being sprayed. Some sealers are thick and may not be able to work with sprayers, but many thinner products will work just fine. 

7. Apply Stains or Finishes to Wood Surfaces

In most instances, any water-based wood finishing or sealing products can be applied with a hand pump sprayer. You will want to make sure you are adequately flushing the sprayer when done to prevent residue buildup. 

8. Cleaning & Disinfecting

Both backpack and hand pump sprayers can also work to spray cleaning products. Remove dirt, grime, or mildew from outdoor surfaces such as patios, sidewalks, or siding. Hand pump lawn sprayers can be used to apply disinfectant solutions in various settings, such as offices, schools, churches, and other public areas.

9. Automotive Maintenance

Use your hand sprayer to apply degreasers, aluminum brighteners, or cleaners to wheels, or other automotive parts for cleaning and maintenance purposes.

10. Applying De-icer or Anti-Icers

Liquid de-ice and anti-icers are effective options to help melt snow and ice on your sidewalk or driveways. The liquids used for this task are also compatible with the materials used to build lawn and turf sprayers. Whether you have a 12-volt boom sprayer, spot sprayer, or backpack sprayer, they can be used to apply these liquids. If you would like more information, wrote an article where you can find out more about using a turf sprayer for de-icing liquids.

Hand Pump Sprayer Variations

There are several types of hand pump sprayers, each with its own construction and materials. The most common types of hand pump sprayers include plastic, stainless steel, and brass. Plastic hand pump sprayers are lightweight and budget-friendly, but they may not be as durable or chemically resistant as other materials. Stainless steel hand pump sprayers are more durable and resistant to corrosion, but they may be heavier and more expensive. Brass hand pump sprayers are also durable and resistant to corrosion, but they may require more maintenance.

The seals and o-ring material are also very important. Some of the types of rubber used for seals in hand pump sprayers may be resistant to certain chemicals, while others may be more prone to corrosion or damage. Common rubber types used are Viton and EPDM.

Related: Diagnose and Fix a Hand Pump Sprayer

Lawn Sprayer Compatability

It is important to understand that some chemicals may not be compatible with certain types of lawn sprayers or may require special precautions and safety measures. The poly, plastic materials used to manufacture most lawn and garden sprayers have good resistance to a wide variety of chemicals, however, specific products don’t always interact well. For example, EPDM gaskets and O-rings do not work with petroleum products, Viton would be a better option. And of course, you should read and follow the instructions and safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer of the chemical or product you are working with.

Lawn Sprayer Safety Precautions

No matter what type of spraying or what product you are working with it is important to take some safety measures. 

  1. Wear PPE: Gloves and goggles are always recommended for just about anything you might spray. I definitely recommend goggles when spraying because a sudden change in wind direction can result in unwanted liquid in your eyes. A respirator might be necessary with some chemicals, especially when indoors.
  2. Monitor the Wind: Wind is a major enemy of effective spraying. Wind will cause drift and cause unwanted harm to plants, animals, or yourself. 
  3. Check Labels: I know most labels have a lot of boilerplate, redundant, government-mandated warnings, but there is often very valuable information in the label that can save you the hassle and help you use the product in the safest possible manner.
  4. Rinse: Whatever you spray, it is a great idea to always rinse and run water through the pump after each use. If you use the pump for multiple different products, it is advisable to use a tank neutralizer in between to eliminate cross-contamination. Not only does this prolong the life of the sprayer, but it can also keep leftover chemicals from getting sprayed somewhere you don’t want them. 

As you can see there are several different uses for a common lawn sprayer. The key thing to remember is to use it safely and avoid cross-contamination. If you are the do-it-yourself type then a lawn sprayer can be a versatile tool that helps you to care for your property.

Shane Blomendahl

I have more than a decade of experience using, building, studying, and testing sprayers in several applications. With the knowledge I have gained I want to provide straight forward and detailed answers for DIY homeowners, farmers, and commercial turf and tree care pros.

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