5 Pro Tips for Choosing the Best Sprayer Nozzles for Any Application
Want to try your hand at farming? Are you planning to do some gardening in your back yard? Having a hard time picking out the correct sprayer nozzles?
In 2014, the National Gardening Association found that 35% of American households grow food at home or in a community garden. That’s about 42 million households growing their own food. According to the same study, the largest participation came from younger households.
There is no doubt that growing your own food in a back garden is cheaper than buying from the supermarket. Community gardening is also a productive way to bond with the community. Still, you want to grow quality foods.
Choosing the wrong spray nozzle can cost you your time, effort, and money. This is why you should know how to pick the best spray nozzle for your chemical applications. Read on below for professional tips on choosing sprayer nozzles.
1. Know Your Nozzle Types
Different types of nozzles will spray different amounts, coverage, and uniformity of application. There will also be different amounts of potential drift depending on the type of nozzle. There are three common types of nozzles:
- Flat fan nozzle or broadcast sprayer nozzle
- Cone nozzle
- Streaming nozzle or flood nozzle
For broadcast and band spraying, use the flat fan. If you want a spot, directed, and air-assisted spray, choose a cone nozzle. Streaming or flood nozzles are the most suitable for applying liquid fertilizer.
Depending on what crop or plant you are spraying, your nozzle type will be different. A sprayer for fruit trees will have a different nozzle compared to a sprayer for vegetable crops.
Still, the nozzle type isn’t the only factor to consider when picking out a sprayer nozzle.
2. Pick the Perfect Pressure
Droplet size will vary depending on the nozzle. A nozzle that uses higher pressure will have a smaller droplet size. In contrast, a spray nozzle with little pressure will produce bigger droplets.
We classify the sprayer tips with a color code. The classification also categorizes the droplet size, range, drift potential, and retention.
The smallest droplet size will have excellent retention on difficult leaves but also a high drift potential. Its classification is extremely fine and the color code for it is purple. On the other end of the spectrum, the black code has the classification of ultra-coarse, large droplet size, low drift potential, and very poor leaf retention.
If you’re getting rid of garden pests, your nozzle pressure will vary with the pesticide. Contact fungicides and insecticides need to have fine droplet sizes. Some contact herbicides need fine droplets for spraying to have retention on leaves.
Most used are medium droplet sizes. Systemic herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides are good for them. Systemic, residual, and soil-applied herbicides use coarse droplets to cut spray drift.
3. Use the Right Materials
Nozzles for sprayer also come in different materials. The different materials have different resistances to different chemicals. The materials include:
- Stainless steel
All these materials are resistant to some level to corrosion from chemical components. Check temperature limits and oxidation as your spray nozzle wears. Also consider other factors like a chemical attack, abrasion, and cost.
Some fertilizers can eat away aluminum spray tips and could cause corrosion. Stainless steel is best suited for high pressures. Ceramic and plastic are resistant to abrasion.
Brass is the least durable nozzle material. Plastic nozzles can last two to six times longer than brass nozzles. Stainless steel lasts four to six times longer than brass while ceramic lasts 20 to 50 times longer than brass.
If you are going to use many chemicals, it’s best to buy spray nozzles that would suit all the chemicals. If you will have fertilizers that corrode aluminum, then get a spray nozzle of a different material. Also, take note of proper cleaning procedures for different material.
4. Apply the Correct Nozzle Size
The nozzle size will have an influence on other factors. Your water volume and travel speed will affect your nozzle size. Your nozzle size will affect travel speed range at different pressures.
This is the part where you need to do some computations. There are mobile apps and websites available to help you with these computations. All you have to do is input information like sprayer type, sprayer presser, and amount of liquid.
Once you figure out the computations, you look at nozzle charts from the manufacturers. There are also charts and catalogs online for determining the nozzle size. Some manufacturers will recommend the nozzle type and calibration for you.
5. Keep Other Sprayer Nozzles on Hand
You want to keep more than one spray nozzle tip and spray nozzle around. This will be helpful if you plan to spray more than one type of chemical. This advice will also help if you are taking care of many types of plants or crops.
This way, you can switch from one nozzle to another whenever you have to. If you have a boom, you can also place different nozzle types on them. You may need to buy more sprayer components to set up your boom.
With your collection of nozzles, always remember to spray with moderation. A 2014 survey found that 21% of organic samples in retail food had chemical residues. Even though these residues have almost no immediate effect, it’s still better to cut them out as a whole.
Spray with the Perfect Nozzle
Those are our 5 pro tips for anybody out there who is seeking the right sprayer nozzles for the job.
Now that you’re familiar with the spray nozzles, you can learn more about the safe application. Get to know what product you’re spraying and if you’re spraying in favorable conditions. Even if you’re doing casual gardening, it’s still better to have knowledge about what you’re doing.
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