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June 4, 2006

Fun With Sprayers

Today was supposed to be an easy day. Ha.

Got over to the vineyard around 9 AM to spray Rely herbicide in the rows to keep the weeds down. Prior to spraying however, I had to do a quick walk through of the grow tubes to ensure none had blown off, or had vines exposed through the seams. That took about an hour, then it was time to get spraying. I hooked up the spraying rig, drove over to the neighbor's to fill the tank, then came back to the vineyard to mix the Rely. Got my protective gear on, hit the switch for the pump and nothing. The pump was running but nothing would come out of the sprayer. After working on it for 30 minutes, I resolved it was dead (probably bad valves inside from the chemicals). Well isn't that lovely, now what?

I already had $75 of Rely mixed in to the tank, so I wasn't about to just pour it out to work on the pump. So I decided to head down to Winchester to Tractor Supply to get a new pump. Once there, it became clear that buying the replacement parts would quickly become more expensive than a new sprayer, thus I just got a 30-gallon deluxe Fimco to replace the 25-gallon one. Back to the vineyard, now the fun part was figuring out how to get 25 gallons (200 lbs) of herbicide into the new tank without 1) covering myself with it or 2) spilling it all over the ground. By carefully lining up the drain spout of the 25 with the opening of the 30 I drained half, then picked up the 30 and put it in the cart, then poured in the rest. Not too big of a mess. Yeah right.

Thus, three hours wasted screwing around with the sprayers, so I only got to spray the established rows, which means I'll have to spray the new planting next weekend. Please don't rain, because if I put it off another week I'll have a weedy disaster on my hands...

Posted by Stephen at June 4, 2006 4:35 PM