Best hose end sprayer/feeder?

ms_minnamouse(7a)June 24, 2011

I have two. A Gilmore that just bypasses the fertilizer in the jar and doesn't distribute it and a Miracle Grow one that only lets you use those Miracle Grow packets (unless you have a lot of time on your hands and mark the jar in 40 equal measurements).

I was looking at Amazon since their reviews are usually helpful but I don't trust them because my Gilmore one was given top ratings.

What hose end sprayer do you gardeners use that actually works??

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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

Are you trying to spray a liquid? Or are you spraying a dry fertilizer?

I use 3 Gilmour 499s. They all work very well and are very accurate. I test my water outputs with an EC and pH meter daily. I'm spraying Foliage Pro (liquid fertilizer) and vinegar.

That particular sprayer will *not* work with dry fertilizers. It's a siphon and will only draw up liquid from the tank it will not send water in to mix. That's how it stays accurate. The sprayers that will allow you to put dry fertilizer in there and then mix it for you are always going to output an inconsistent ratio of fertilizer:water.

If you have a gilmour like the one I'm using and you're trying to use it with a dry fertilizer then pre-dilute your fetilizer with water and then do the math on what feed rate to set the gilmour to.

If you're trying to spray a liquid and it's not working with the gilmour then I would send it back as yours is defective. I'm very happy with mine.

The only downside to hose-end sprayers is that they seriously throttle the flow of water. Mine takes my overall flow from ~10GPM to ~2GPM. That's the price for the accuracy.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 11:35PM
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Dry ferts diluted in water before spraying. Some day when I can afford Foliage Pro, I'll be using that but for now, I'm using up all my dry ferts.

Do the math on what feed rate to set it to? How? I don't like to think, it hurts me.

I'm considering buying whatever Home Depot has since they have a reliable return policy, given if returned within a set time period.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 12:55AM
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And just look at the review on Amazon for the Gilmore.

This review is from: Gilmour Select 'N Spray No Pre-Mix Sprayer 499 Teal/White (Lawn & Patio)
I Am Not sure what higher price sprayers have over this ... I bought this to wash My cloths put 5 cups of Tide with bleach fill with hot Water stir or shake set sprayer at 9 table spoons, Insert screws Into a sheet of plywood put caps over the screws, hang clothes on screws, It works just fine.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 9:19AM
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Just so you know, redshirt, I was not discounting your advice for the Gilmore. I was actually looking at it on Amazon and found the above review. Sounds like a good product (whatever you use it for ;-).)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 9:23AM
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Maybe I'll get that one then.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 5:31PM
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I want to get a sprayer and this year used the Roundup with the nozzle sprayer and do it couple times and next thing I know it won't spray. What am I doing wrong.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 8:09PM
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Miracle Gro discontinued the basic 'attach to sprinkler' garden feeder! They now make the stand-for-hours-with-a-plastic-gadget-in-your-hand sprayer.Who has time for this? I am looking for a knock off of the original. Any leads?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 6:27PM
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Easy Anita......Visit an ACE hardware store......they have a store brand with a standard male hose end under the selectable has a pretty good volume "flow-thru"....

I use mine between two sections of hose.....always resting upright in a concrete block......only occasionally filling the jar with fertilizer as needed.......

Of course with any sprayer that constantly adds water to the jar you can't be sure of exact "concentrations"......

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 7:05PM
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I only have the that came free with the large boxes of water soluble mixes. But I'm also looking for one so I can fore go the hand watering with pails. It doesn't have to be perfect but can't be horridly unreliable.

Redshirt: So you use the Gilmore 499 for container plants and measure Foliage Pro and vinegar? And you confirm it's accuracy daily with EC and pH meters? If so, I'll give it a try, too.

The 499 doesn't add water to the existing container (like MG device), it just siphons up some of the concentrate and then mixes it in the output stream?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 9:32PM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

That's correct. It's a siphon. It will not mix for you. Since I want .25 tsp of fertilizer and 1 tsp of vinegar per gallon of water what I do is fill the tank with 1 part water, 1 part foliage pro, and 4 parts vinegar and set the Gilmour to 1.5 tsp. Mine checks out and the rates are accurate.

If you don't have EC and pH meters then I would suggest you find some way to check at least one aspect of the output since your flow rate and psi might differ from mine. I've been told that these are important no matter what type of siphon system you're using (unlike dosmatic or dosatron style injectors). So you might take regular pH strips and see what color you get with known quantities that you test and then compare it to the Gilmour just to be sure. If it is slightly off (mine never has been) then you can adjust it up or down accordingly and then just keep it there.

Mine have been solid. When one of them leaked a little at the front I went to their website and filled out a form and they sent me a new one free of charge. I've been very pleased with them.

However they will eventually drive you crazy. The flow rate is 1/5th of what it is without the sprayer on my system. This makes watering take a *long* time. I'll be buying a dosmatic 1% when I can afford it. I did eventually get the extra part that supposedly makes the Ez-Flo work as the website claims it will and it is still complete trash. Don't go that route whatever you do.

Also if you tip them over the solution can leak out of the top (easy to do when attached to a hose if you set it down for a second).

Ignore what is below the line - it's to help people in the future who are considering a fertilizer injector:

Don't buy this fertilizer injector

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:41PM
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Well I don't want to be driven crazy... making me rethink that idea. Were they originally intended for foliage fert application?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 12:31PM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

I'm not sure what Gilmour intended them to be used for. I purchased mine to fertigate faster than I could with a watering can. They *are* faster than a watering can. They will certainly work if you want to foliar feed though you might want something that will give you more of a mist. These don't give a super-fine mist.

I found that there are limited options for fertigation:
1) Hose-end sprayers. These are accurate but in order to get the accuracy they significantly reduce the flow with a restricted venturi tube or similar. This allows them to work accurately for most people. These take ~5x longer to water, they cost ~$10-$20.

2) Source siphon systems - these include things like Hozon (~$15-$30) and Mazzei(venturi tube) injectors (around $100 by the time you get a bypass system installed). The Hozon and etc are all at set rates of like 16:1 or sometimes 20:1. Those ratios are too small for my liking. I'd have to refill a 5 gallon bucket with solution too often during the summer. The Mazzei injectors might work better. I didn't try one yet. I don't see how they could give full flow and inject at the correct rate. If someone has experience with them please let me know!

3) "Proportional mixing" systems like the EZ-Flo fertilizer injector. These do not work. They do not mix at the advertised rates. ~$65 wasted. You can waste another $25 trying to get it to work. It still won't work.

4) Dosmatic/Dosatron/Mixrite style pump injectors. These will work as advertised. I bought a Dosmatic 1% yesterday. It's still on the way. The unit itself was ~$260 shipped. It will also require a bypass setup which is another ~$20 if you build it yourself. They also have wear parts that will need to be replace yearly (for ~$10). They will operate at full flow and have adjustable injection rates. They go as high as $500 for some units with more options and higher flow/pressure rates.

I've basically tried all of these except the Mazzei style injectors and I'm landing on a dosmatic style system. By the time you try every other kind and find it lacking you've spent 3/4 the price of a dosmatic anyway. With a 500:1 injection rate (~1.5 tsp / gallon) I can water 2500 gallons from a 5 gallon bucket of concentrated solution. This is at full flow with perfect injection rates. It costs more and it makes a little pumping noise when you operate it but it will be worth it to me.

Ask yourself this: how much is your time worth to you? If you use a hose-end sprayer you will spend 5x the time watering. If it takes you an hour a day to water instead of 20 minutes that's 243 hours a year. Even if you only have to water once a day for half the year that's 121 hours saved. 3 whole work weeks.

This now sounds like a hard sell for a dosmatic but, shrug, I've tried everything else and got fed up. I'll make a video of my installation and show you the Ez-Flo that I had in there before.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 3:22PM
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Very helpful, thanks for taking the time to write that up. I'll try the cheaper Gilmore and if I start hearing voices or having nightmares about waterings then I'll probably go the Dosmatic route.

However, I have yet to research injection type systems for micro irrigation systems. Every year I make a few mistakes watering and kick myself for not going that route on the containers. The in-ground ones are easy enough to throw together, but I moved around my containers so much I've hesitated going that route.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 7:25PM
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