Thursday, August 7, 2014

How to Use a Garden Pump Sprayer - Tips for Beginners

I have been gardening for 25 years without a pump sprayer. My recent $20 purchase is a game-changer! Gone are the days of using a small squirt bottle to spray soapy water on those pesky aphids until my forearms ached. What took me so long?

The advantage of this type of a sprayer is that it gives you a continual stream of solution when you press the lever.

There are so many uses for a pump garden sprayer. Besides using soapy water to kill soft bodied pests, it can be used for foliar sprays like applying baking soda to melon vines to prevent mildew. It can be used to spray Epsom salts to treat chlorosis. I've used it for Neem oil. My fuschia plants love a little misting of water on a hot day too. 

At our local hardware store there were several sizes with different options. I chose a 2 gallon sprayer because I don't want to carry too much weight, and the one gallon size seemed too small. After using it for a while, I think the 2 gallon size is perfect for me.

Here's how it works.

Remove the lid, 
and put in your Epsom salts or whatever you are using. 
Fill it with water to the level indicated on the side of the bottle then screw on the lid tightly. The handle rotates clockwise to lock so it won't move up and down. Turn it to the left to unlock it. Now the handle can move up and down. 
Pump it multiple times until you can feel the pressure build up (it gets harder to pump), then push it down all the way and turn the handle clockwise to lock it so it won't move up and down. 
Now that the handle is locked you can use it to carry the sprayer. It's pressurized and ready to go.

My sprayer came with different nozzles. 
This one puts out a fine spray and is adjustable to spray harder or softer. 
The blue nozzle has larger holes for watering with a gentle raindrop action.
The pieces come apart so you can clean out any clogs. Take care not to get any debris like grass clippings in the bottle which can clog the sprayer.

Mine came with two wands so once the tips are put on, the wands can be easily changed from one to the other.
The yellow part is the trigger and it can be slid forward to lock it in the open position giving you a steady stream with no effort. 

My forearms love that!


  1. I like your blog a lot. Its informative and full of information. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Nice and informative content!!

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