Which spraying technique should I use?
Will you be spraying shorter or taller plants? Are your plants growing in rows or beds or do they cover an entire plot? Shall you be directing your spray downwards, laterally or upwards? Or are you simply spot spraying a few plants?
We explain the basics of how to knapsack spray so that you can choose the right technique for your current spraying task.
Use this spraying technique to spray crops, under 50 cm tall, for example: young tomato plants; cotton; sorghum; potatoes; sweet potatoes; rice; maize; wheat; barley; oats; soybeans; cassava; and sugar beet.
When spraying downwards, pull the sleeves of your coverall or shirt over the outside of your gloves. This will help to avoid spray mix getting inside your gloves and onto your hands.
Basics of spraying downwards
This spraying technique can be used to broadcast spray or direct pesticides over a crop row or between crop rows.
- Move forward at the constant speed that you used to calibrate your knapsack sprayer.
- Hold the nozzle steady and at the right height.
Allow your nozzle to do its work to apply the pesticide dose and spray mix/water volume in the swath and drop size needed. Do not swing the nozzle from side to side.
In more detail
Use this spraying technique to spray crops up to 2 m high, for example: coffee; vines; cotton; tomatoes; maize; sorghum; sugar cane; bananas; oranges and apples.
Tuck your gloves inside your sleeve when spraying laterally to prevent spray running down the inside of your gloves. It is better practice to seal the join between glove and sleeve with tape.
Many bushes, vines and small trees up to 2 meters high are grown in rows. If you are using a knapsack sprayer to apply insecticides and fungicides, then you will have to spray both sides of the row.
Use this spraying technique to spray tall crops 2 m high or higher, for example: tall tomatoes; apples; oranges; bananas and dates.
When spraying pesticide upwards, you greatly increase the risk of contaminating yourself. Make sure that you are wearing the right PPE. Wear your gloves outside of your sleeve to prevent spray drops rolling down your hands and underneath your sleeve. Better practice is to seal the join between glove and sleeve.
Basics of spraying upwards
Spraying pesticides safely when you have to project the spray upwards is a challenge; drops of spray may fall back down over you or clouds of fine spray drops may drift downwind. Follow the advice on your pesticide label carefully on:
- how to reduce the risk of drift
- the PPE that you should use.
If you are spraying bushes or trees with dense, waxy, overlapping leaves, you may need to:
- start at the bottom of the canopy and
- direct the pesticide spray up and into the foliage so that the drops reach under the leaves.
Spot spraying weeds