When you're ready to treat weeds in the lawn or add fertilizer to your flower bed, the Ortho Dial 'N Spray is intended to do both. It is designed to be used with concentrated liquid pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers. Instead of mixing garden products with water, you fill its tank with concentrate and attach it to a garden hose. The siphoning action of the hose does the mixing.
Fill the Sprayer
To ensure your Ortho sprayer works correctly, fill it at least one-fourth full with concentrate and use a hose no more than 50 feet long. The sprayer's total capacity is 32 ounces, so fill with at least 8 ounces of concentrated liquid to create sufficient internal pressure and activate the siphoning action. If the sprayer becomes clogged during use, screw off the top and remove the siphoning tube from the top. Soak the top and siphoning tube in a bucket of fresh water for 10 minutes to soften the blockage. Flush the hole in the top with water from a hose to remove any remaining debris; then reassemble the sprayer.
Dial the Mixing Ratio
The Ortho Dial 'N Spray emits about 2 gallons per minute of water and concentrate combined, at 45 pounds per square inch of pressure. To get the right amount of pesticide or fertilizer out of the sprayer and onto the plants, it's important to mix water and concentrate at the mixing ratio recommended on the product's label. Do this by setting the dial on the sprayer to the amount of concentrate recommended for 1 gallon of water. If the label says to mix at 1 tablespoon of pesticide per 1 gallon of water, then set the dial to 1 tablespoon. If the label says to mix at 4 ounces of fertilizer per 1 gallon of water, then set the dial at 4 ounces. As water travels through the spray head, it pulls concentrate from the sprayer at the rate the dial is set to for each gallon of water that passes through.
Walk at the Recommended Rate
How much concentrate reaches the lawn depends on the rate at which you apply it. The application rate is determined by the mixing ratio of water to concentrate and how long you allow the solution to spray on the intended area. To apply at the correct rate, first calculate the size of the area to be treated in square feet. If the label recommends applying 4 ounces of pesticide per 1,000 square feet and your lawn is 2,500 square feet, then add 10 ounces of concentrate to the sprayer. Set the spray pattern to the fan setting to cover a wide area. Apply the product by moving across the lawn at an even pace using long, sweeping motions. Gauge your progress by stopping after you have treated one-fourth of the lawn. Check how much concentrate is left in the sprayer. Adjust your speed so the sprayer will empty at the same time you finish covering the lawn.
When using the Ortho Dial 'N Spray, wear all safety gear, such as eye protection, shoes that cover your feet, long pants and long sleeves, indicated on the label of the product you are applying. Do not use the same sprayer to apply pesticide and fertilizer because residue left in the sprayer can harm plants it is not intended for. Use different sprayers for different chemicals or wash the sprayer thoroughly with warm, soapy water between uses. Allow it to dry before using it again.
Diana K. Williams
Diana K. Williams is a certified Master Gardener, has more than a decade of experience as an environmental scientist, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and environmental studies from the Ohio Northern University. Williams is a winner of Writer’s Digest Magazine's annual writing competition.