The use of granular and liquid fertilizers is undoubtedly one of the biggest discussions relating to lawn care that’s occurring. Some prefer liquid fertilizers because they are efficient and provide greater consistency. In contrast, others who are used to the traditional fertilizer bags would rather stick to granular fertilizers, which work for them as well.
Comparing granular fertilizers and liquid fertilizers is like comparing grapes to blueberries. Each serves its benefits, and its functionalities are dependent on your lawn’s needs. While most persons would rather choose one of the two, it is now becoming a frequent practice for granular fertilizers to be spread with liquid fertilizers.
That is, the granular fertilizer is distributed and covered with a coat of liquid fertilizer simultaneously. Fertilizer spreaders like the Z-Spray make this seemingly impossible task a reality.
Z-Spray Spreader Settings Chart & Guide
The Z-Spray fertilizer spreader comes with both spray (for liquid fertilizers), and spread (for granular fertilizers) functionalities. Both functions can be increased or decreased, and this allows you to spread and spray at the same time.
Spray System: The Z-Spray is equipped with everything you will need to apply the correct amount of product to your lawn. A speedometer is present to determine your ground speed, distance traveled, and the surrounding temperature.
The liquid spray system comes with standard lavender-colored air-injected tips that are factory-set to apply liquid materials at 1/3 gallons per square foot, at a speed of 5mph and pressure of 40psi. These tips are capable of spraying different volumes and this can be achieved by changing the ground speed and/or the pressure.
The machine is capable of using tips from ¼ to 1-gallon size as such, you can purchase alternative tips for your Z-Spray. Do refer to the table below for some general guidelines to calibrate your sprayer to your desired drop rate.
Note: This table should only be applied when using air-injected tips. Using other tips would require different calculations.
|Tip Color||Speed (mph)||Pressure (psi)||Gallon/1,000 sq. ft.|
|Yellow||5||40||0.27 (¼ )|
|Red||5||40||0.54 (½ )|
|Brown||5||50||0.76 (¾ )|
To determine the liquid quantities per tank, understand what tip you have on your machine. Some products recommend 1.1 to 1.5 oz, per 1,000 square feet. For this product, you can use 1.3 (median value of 1.1 to 1.5).
If you are using lavender tip (1/3 gallon), multiply the above number (1.3) by 3 and then multiply the product with the number of gallons you need to put in your tank. That is;
1.3 (median value of 1.1 to 1.5) × 3 (1/3 gallon tip) × number of gallons needed.
If you are filling an 18-gallon tank, your equation would be this:
1.3 × 3 × 18 = 70.2 ouches, to be mixed with 18 gallons of water.
The throttle valve, located on the left side of the manifold assembly, adjusts the pressure. You either turn clockwise to increase the pressure or anti-clockwise to decrease it.
Spreader System: The granular spreader system of Z-Spray comes in two sizes. A 220lb hopper is standard on the Z-Spray Max and Mid models, while the 120lb hopper is standard on the Junior model.
Thanks to the hydraulic drive system, the spread pattern is not dependent on the ground speed. Your machine can vary spread widths from 3 to 5 feet, and this pattern can be increased or decreased. The ideal pattern intersects the fertilizer pattern back to the tire tracks and the spray pattern boom to boom.
The spreader motor control determines the speed of the impeller in front of the machine. The control is numbered 1-10, and these numbers can be used as a reference. The maximum size opening will be determined by the rate adjustment on the hopper speed dial will determine the maximum size opening.
The diffuser adjustment allows the user to control the magnitude of the spread pattern. The spread pattern should be set to twice the width of the spray pattern, to allow you to spread and spray simultaneously. For instance, the Junior and Mid models have a spray width of 8 feet.
The spreader width should be set to 16 feet and spread back to the tire tracks. This spray pattern will match boom to boom.
Z-Spray Spreader Machine Operations
Starting the Unit
Turn the ignition key to start the unit and apply the full choke. Once the unit has started, release the choke first and then, the brake.
Driving the Unit
Push the joystick forward to move the unit forward. To back up the unit in a reverse direction. If a turn is desired, push the joystick opposite to the direction that you want the unit to turn to.
That is if you want the unit to turn left, push the right joystick forward while keeping the left slightly behind the right. By so doing, you are allowing the right tire to turn more than the left. Do vice versa to turn the unit to the right.
Operating the Liquid Pump
To turn the liquid pump on/off, you can do so from two different locations. The first and common on/off switch for the pump is located on the control panel. There is another foot switch located on the left side of the footplate, which also allows the operator to turn the pump on/off.
Press down on the footswitch when you want to turn on the pump and release the footswitch when you want to shut off the pump system.
Operating the Spreader System
When using the spreader system, there are 3 cables that are used to operate the hopper door: the far-left cable, the middle cable (the diffuser), and the lower right cable (deflector shield).
Pulling on the far left cable will open the hopper door and allow the product to fall on the spinner. This cable limits how wide the door will open and how much granular product will come out. The hopper rate dial can make adjustments as to how wide the door opens.
The diffuser cable (middle cable) controls the spray pattern. Turning the cable knob anti-clockwise will loosen the cable lock and allow you to adjust (pull out or push in) the cable. Adjusting the cable allows you to spread granular product heavier to the left, consistent in the middle, or heavier to the right. Once you have adjusted to your desired pattern, turn the knob clockwise to lock in the position.
The lower cable on the far right hand is the deflector shield cable. This cable allows you to lift and drop the deflector shield. During normal spreading operations, the deflector shield stays up and out of the way. If you want to close off the left side and use the deflector shield, push in the cable, and the shield will drop down, blocking off the granular product on the left side.