One of the most important cultural practices here at Stow Acres Country Club is spraying our greens, tees and fairways. On average, we spray twice each week. We have two dedicated sprayers, one 175 gallon Spraytek DS175 for greens and tees, and a 300 gallon Toro Multipro 5700 for fairways. Given the volume of the tanks, and the precision with which the sprays are mixed, it can take upwards of an hour to fully load the sprayer. Each spray is typically 2-3 loads, which requires 2-3 hours or more of mixing and loading the spray. This season, we decided to change the process up a little.
We built a Pre-Mix Tank to facilitate mixing the spray while the spray technician is in the field treating the turf. The first step in the process was selecting a tank. We used a 275 gallon bulk fertilizer tank. 275 gallons of water, at 8.35 lbs per gallon, weighs 2300 lbs. With this in mind, we built a pressure treated stand of the same design as a hot tub deck. The stand also includes an area to stand on while loading the mix.
The tank was then modified to fit our design. We cut in a bulkhead with straining screen. The mix tank is powered by a 3/4 hp sump pump that drives a sprayer fill valve, in line strainer screen with bypass, and agitation nozzles to keep the products adequately mixed prior to loading. The tank is filled from our 120 psi South Course irrigation. An inline strainer screen filters the water before entering the tank. A custom aluminum fill hose frame was built and hinged to the tank. To facilitate the arm swinging without binding the fill hoses, we installed swing joints at both pivot points (upper and lower fill hoses). A platform was mounted to the tank cage with a cutout for the calibrated mixing cup.
Once we started using the mix tank, the time spent by the spray technician at the shop between loads has decreased from an hour or more, to only 5 minutes.
For more information on the mix tank, feel free to comment on this post, or contact me at JParker@StowAcres.com.
-Justin Parker, Equipment Manager