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How to prevent fertiliser and herbicide from clogging sprayers

When you begin to apply liquid fertiliser or herbicide after it has sat in your sprayer for a while, it may tend to clog. There are simple ways to deal with clogging, so it never happens again. After conducting some basic research, we identified that although this is a common problem for anyone that uses a liquid fertiliser or herbicide sprayer, nobody has published and helpful ways to fix the issue. In this article, we summarise on 7 ways to prevent your sprayer from clogging when applying liquid fertiliser and herbicide.

When will liquid fertiliser or herbicide begin to clog?

That’s a great question and entirely depends on what you’re spraying. Some fertilisers and chemicals will be fine to sit in your tank for a week while some will clog up your sprayer within 24 hours. This question will also depend on the quality of water you are using. Dirty polluted water will encourage clogging if debris is in your tank.

“If you made a big batch and then sprayed some 10 days ago and then another bit 5 days ago and then another bit today…I could see that causing issues. Most herbicides state that you are to use it within a certain time period. I try to make only enough for that days spraying.”

If you think you’ll need to leave fertiliser in your sprayer tank for more than a day, then we suggest you follow these 7 steps to prevent your sprayer clogging:

1) Be very careful when mixing fertiliser and chemicals – Liquid fertiliser and some herbicides are ok and can be applied at the same time… some will make a huge mess. If in doubt, make sure you consult the chemical companies.

2) Clean your sprayer – This is the most important part of keeping your sprayer clog-free. Keeping your sprayer clean will always eliminate problems like chemical clogging. If you are finished spraying, WASH YOUR TANK OUT! To learn how to properly clean the tank on your sprayer, watch this video.

3) Keep your fertiliser or herbicide moving – If it rains and you have to let your herbicide sit in your sprayer for a couple of days, take the time to agitate or mix the liquid in your tank each morning – even if you’re not spraying, this will help to stop ‘clumps’ from forming and blocking your sprayer.

4) Clean your nozzles regularly – Fertiliser and herbicide will often clog up your spray tips first as these are at the end of your spraying system.

5) Remember to use clean water – Clean water free of insects or debris will eliminate a lot of the clogging. Always use clean water when you are mixing with herbicide. Hard water and water with foreign minerals can react badly with some herbicides.

6) Check your filters – It’s important to check your filters after each day to ensure no objects or clogs of herbicide are trapped.

7) Store your sprayer correctly – Store your sprayer out of direct sunlight. If you are in below freezing temperatures, this will also negatively affect the herbicide and liquid fertiliser.

Although these tips will help eliminate clogging in your liquid fertiliser or herbicide sprayer, you may still have problems if you leave chemical in your sprayer for more than a week. If you have any other tips that have worked for you, we’d love to hear what they are.

For more help and advice contact a member of our team today on 01778 562810.

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