Battle of the hose-end sprayers : Chapin G362D vs. Ortho Dial N Spray

Battle of the hose-end sprayers : Chapin G362D vs. Ortho Dial N Spray

Spraying herbicides or nutrients using a pump sprayer can be very time consuming , labor intensive,  and getting complete coverage is problematic even when using a marker dye. Hose-end sprayers  – though not appropriate for all situations – can make the task much easier and faster. Two of the most popular hose-end sprayer on the market are the Chapin G362D Professional All Purpose Hose End Sprayer and the Ortho Dial N Spray Multi-Use Hose-End Sprayer. Having used both of them, here are my impressions of these products.

Chapin G362D Professional

The Chapin sprayer , coming in at just under $20 at Lowe’s, is a metal body sprayer that can hold up to 32oz of concentrate. Mixing ratio is adjusted by turning the metering dial at the top, and conversion from teaspoons to tablespoons is done by inserting416dqbdvsgl-_sy450_ a small brass converter into the siphon tube. The sprayer features a removable spray deflector which creates a wide and somewhat coarse spray pattern.

Having used  the Chapin sprayer to spray glyphosate before renovation, I have found that  suffers from a few major issues:

  • In what I’m assuming is an attempt to keep the concentrate bottle vertical, the bottle and nozzle assembly rotates independently from the handle. This makes it impossible to spray at an angle and very difficult to get into hard to reach areas or in situations where you can’t walk on the grass, like after seeding.
  • The sprayer seems to have problems metering out concentrate. After spraying half the yard, I realized that none of the concentrate had been extracted from the bottle. Stopping briefly and then resuming spraying magically resolves the problem, but reliability is an issue.
  • The droplet size created by the deflector is very large, which is less than ideal when doing foliar applications. A finer spray can result in more even coverage and better coating of the grass blade.
  • There is significant space between the bottom of the siphon tube and the bottom of the bottle, which means there will always be a good amount of concentrate left over at the bottom.

Unfortunately, while the build quality appears to be good, the design of the product is flawed. These design issues make its use in lawn care challenging if not outright frustrating.

Ortho Dial N Spray Multi-Use Hose-End Sprayer

The Ortho Dial N Spray, coming in at just under $11, is a hose end sprayer made entirely out of plastic. Like the Chapin, it features41tg2wmb16l a 32oz  concentrate bottle but it is also compatible with large Ortho concentrate bottles – just attach the sprayer directly to the bottle. It features 3 spray patterns : shower, fan and jet. The metering dial is located in the side of the sprayer and features 14 settings.

At first touch sprayer feels cheaply made. It is all plastic and you can actually feel the two sides trying to come apart slightly as you
push the trigger. The concentrate bottle attaches to the body of the sprayer somewhat loosely, adding to the “cheap” feeling. However, upon first use, the Ortho proves to be a good performer. The fan nozzle produces a finer spray than the Chapin, though still more coarse than I would like. The metering is solid – the concentrate gets sucked out evenly and consistently. And since the sprayer body is one piece, you can tilt and spray at an angle. Unfortunately, the shower and jet nozzles don’t seem to have much use in a lawn care setting, though they could come in handy for other tasks.

Bonus: an empty Bayer Fungus Control bottle

687073012705After spraying the contents of a Bayer Fungus Control Ready-To-Spray bottle, I decided to hang on to it to see if it could be re-used. The bottle produces an excellent spray with perfect droplet size, and is a consistent performer. After having re-used it for about 20 applications, varying from fungicide to iron, the thread on the bottle wore off to where it could no longer be re-used. While it lasted, the “free” Bayer bottle was the best performing “hose-end sprayer”.

The winner

Unfortunately, both the Chapin and the Ortho sprayers suffer from flaws. The Chapin, at double the price of the Ortho, is sturdy but unusable due to design flaws. It thus gets a 1 star rating. The Ortho, while not as sturdy, does a good job at half the price and so receives a 3 star rating. Maybe Bayer can turn their RTS bottle into a standalone hose-end sprayer? One can only hope.

Mulching leaves on your lawn

Mulching leaves on your lawn


Note : the article below was written by fellow lawn care enthusiast MorpheusPA and is being reproduced here with his permission. Head on over to his blog for more great tips on lawn and garden care : The Green, Green Grass of Home

So what do leaves do? They raise the organic matter percentage in the soil, provide fall food for your worms and micro-arthropods living in your soil, encourage bacterial and fungal activity in the soil, and mulch the soil for winter. Lawns that have been leaf mulched will retain their green color further into winter, green up faster in spring, and generally show greater health than lawns that receive no mulching.

1-24MulchLeaves2REBECCAHow much should you use? Close to 300 pounds per thousand square feet disappears into the grass in a few days if well-chopped, but applications certainly do not have to be made at that rate. This study shows the results of mulching 150 to 450 pounds of leaves into the soil, and effects are generally excellent.

But isn’t leaf litter ugly? Well, yes. The above study states that leaf litter at the highest application resulted in leaves still left on the lawn in spring. However, if you have a rotary mower it becomes easy to render the leaves invisible. With the very large amount I’m using, I mow slowly four times over the area to reduce the leaves to bits smaller than the nail on my pinky (and I have small hands!) By the time I complete the task, almost no visible litter remains–99% has fallen into the grass and becomes invisible. The remaining 1% disappears with the next rainfall.

What’s the NPK ratio of leaves? About 0.8-0.35-0.2 according to this source, but don’t worry about it. Trees extract almost all the chlorophyll and nitrogen and place it in root storage for the winter. Since there is a small amount of phosphorus in the leaves, mulching them is better than allowing rainwater to percolate through them while they sit on the street as the phosphorus enters the waterways and causes algae blooms that aren’t good for lakes and streams. The reason leaves are mulched isn’t to feed the lawn but instead to provide additional organic material for the soil.

Isn’t it more work?  No, not unless you import leaves.  It’s far easier and faster to mulch the leaves your trees drop into the lawn than it is to rake and discard them.

How much at once?  To avoid smothering your lawn, try not to chop up more than about an inch of leaf litter at a time.  That may mean mowing a bit more often under your trees, but the results are worth it!