Spraying?

If you've been following me for a while, you have heard me talk about weeding, planting, pruning, raking, mole and mouse removal -- pretty much anything having to do with gardening. What you don't read about too often is spraying, because I rarely do it.


So when a company contacted me a month ago about their plant sprayer, my first thought was to ignore (delete) their message. My second thought though was about my broken pump sprayer and the fact that powdery mildew will soon be here, so I replied instead. A couple of weeks ago I gave their product a try.


***

I should say that I had doubts about this product from the start, from the original email even. I'll get to that in a minute though -- let's take a look at what they sent me. The product is the PreGro plant sprayer system:


I call it a "system" because it's not a one-piece sprayer, but consists of several components: glass and plastic bottles...



...a spray handle...


...and the main component, the "power unit":


This is the part that I had trouble with. In my research it looked like an aerosol can, and that's what made me hesitate: I'm not a fan of "disposable" products. Sure, many things come in containers that need to be recycled, but I'm accustomed to human-powered sprayers where the "power unit" is my hand or arm.

I even expressed these doubts in my original email to the PR firm, saying that I could never get behind a product that had a disposable item as its main component. I was assured that the product was "reusable over and over again". Sigh.

This company (Preval) seems to specialize in painting applications, and to me it looks like they're trying to expand into other markets (like gardening). The "touch up" wording on the plastic bottles indicates that they're trying to repurpose. I applaud them for that, but I'm not sure it works.

Let's get to it. I don't spray insecticides or other poisons, but since I have trouble with powdery mildew on my monardas (bee balm) every year, I figured I'd treat them with the milk mixture.


Another concern was the small size of these bottles...


...but I filled up a few of them partially with milk...



...and the rest with water. I used roughly a third milk and 2/3 water -- apparently the ratio isn't overly important.

The monarda was ready for spraying...


...so I jumped in.




Observations:

  • It was very nice not having to pump to pressurize a sprayer or squeeze a pump trigger!
  • The spray mist is very fine and light. Probably too light for this task, as the bee balm patch is quite large.
  • The small bottles lasted quite long, which means that I used a lot less milk solution than normal. Is that good or bad?
  • The fine mist was less disturbing to the insects (including bees). They didn't like it, but didn't flee in a panic as they do when I use a heavier spray.
  • Good thing the air was completely still this morning, as even the slightest breeze would have made this useless I think.
  • The maximum angle is 45ยบ, so you can't easily spray the underside of leaves.
The power unit lasted for three bottles and a bit of the fourth -- just about the 18oz. that was advertised.



My conclusion: If you need a very fine spray that you need to direct with precision, or need very controlled leaf coverage, this could be a good solution for you. If you have to spray a large plant or it's breezy, this is probably not the best answer. It might be very good to use indoor plants though. The main problem though is the "power unit": the waste (even if recycled), the ongoing expense of buying new ones, the chance of running out of "power" before the job is finished.

I just don't see it as a good solution for me, and will stick to hand-powered sprayers for the garden.
I will give it another try indoors this winter, if my overwintering plants show their usual aphid/whitefly/mealy bug problems under the lights.

At least for outdoor use, I'm sticking to the old favorites...


Has anybody used these products for their original application: painting? I'd love to hear what you thought.

I received everything shown here at no charge, but was not compensated in any other way for writing this review.

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outlawgardener  – (July 23, 2015 at 9:08 AM)  

Power unit (chuckle - I have the mentality of a 7th grade boy.) That part of this assembly is disposable and you have to keep buying more, right? The fine mist does seem more appropriate for painting. Just got a new old-fashioned pump sprayer for baking soda, dish soap, etc. and it works like a charm.

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