Tank mixing. Right Products, right order.

C - Clean tank

After a long lull … I have managed to spend some great time with some talented people at some amazing golf courses, both in the UK and in Europe. Part of that has been with a great group of course managers, as we’ve set-up some user trials for an exciting new product for launch pretty soon; we have had some amazing feedback and great banter  from all the course managers involved.

One of the common themes through this busy spring period has been tank mixing. Its getting to that part of the season where people are looking to switch to mainly foliar feeds, and also when Primo programmes are starting in earnest, and maybe the herbicide is making an appearance from the chemsafe too.

It can all make for an extremely complex mix so,  sadly,  at this time we do get the odd call about a spray mix which… let’s say did not work that well!

So it got me thinking about what is the best way to mix chemicals in the sprayer to get the most effective spray on your turf.

Firstly, it is  important to think about that you want from each product that you put in the tank, and where you want it to end up. Practices do crop up of mixing penetrant wetters to help move moisture through the soil, for example, in a tank mix with Primo and foliar feeds that you want to stay on the leaf, so clearly something is going to be compromised.

Also some products work better at higher water volumes, such as wetting agents, and some are more effective at a lower volume to increase spray retention on the leaf,  eg. foliar feeds. Such differences are not an ideal tank mix, in my opinion.

You have to consider if you can justify the time and cost of separate applications with the different targets, but given the value of products being applied and the desire to get the best from them that you can, it could certainly be worthwhile. Look at the priority of what needs to be applied most urgently, but as a rule I’d advocate apply the wetting agents and feeds that you want to get down into the soil first, and then the foliar target with a second application.

So once you know what you want the products to do and you have selected products you want to spray – is there a good order to put them in the tank. Well yes there is!

If you look at the plan below …..  try to follow the wwwWALES formula, which I think is a great guide to making sure you put the right products in the right order.

Capture

Its pretty simple and a clear process, provided you know the formulation and the product quality is good; the label or at least the MSDS should give the information you require. However, one of the challenges can be with some of the more obscure products used in spring mixes, particularly with nutrition and trace elements. Even water quality or temperature could have an impact. If you have any reservations, do a jug test or mix in  a bucket to check compatibility.

So next time you are thinking about your next spray mix:

  1. Think about what you need to achieve from the spray
  2. Do the products all complement each other, as well as being compatible
  3. Put them in the tank in the right order to ensure you get the best possible result

For more, visit the Greencast Application Zone.

Happy spraying

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