If you want to take the best care of your lawn or garden, then you know that you will have to use fertilizer and seeds to make it as thick and full as possible. The best way to distribute these materials is with a spreader, which makes it easy to spread tiny granules over a large surface.
Whether it’s seeding in the spring, fertilizing in the summer, or winterizing in the fall, a good spreader will help you maintain the perfect landscape all year long. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best fertilizer spreaders on the market today. Each one of these can help you cultivate a proper lawn and take care of your yard easily and efficiently.
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As we’ve seen spreaders come in all shapes and sizes, so you will want to choose one that fits your needs based on the square footage of your lawn or yard. Most models will be measured by weight, but brands like Scotts will give you the coverage area to provide you with a better idea of how much you can do with one pass.
Along with the size of the spreader will be the type you use. Technically speaking, there are three basic models from which to choose, although you could consider a tow-behind model to be different from a push unit.
For smaller yards or gardens, a handheld spreader is the best way to go because you don’t have to worry about overspreading and you can get better control with your coverage. The main downside with handheld models is that they are tiring because you have to carry them and usually operate them manually. However, some devices are battery-powered to allow you to get better distribution without wearing your arm out.
This is by far the most common spreader type, and it refers to the way that it distributes the granules. These models shoot them out (broadcast them) within a certain range so that you can get an even layer of coverage. Broadcast spreaders usually allow you to set the distribution level and range for better control, and some even give you the option of making them one sided so you can walk along the edge of your lawn without any issues.
These spreaders come in several varieties, including handheld, push, and tow-behind models. Push spreaders are best for small or medium areas, and towing units are ideal for large swathes of land.
This type of model is designed to drop your material directly onto the ground, rather than shooting it out in a spray. Drop spreaders are perfect for when you need a thick layer of coverage, such as when you are reseeding or de-icing an area. Usually, these units are pushed rather than towed to ensure even distribution.
For most spreaders, they work with manual controls to make things simpler and more convenient. Usually, this takes the form of a trigger that you either hold down or lock into place. The benefit of using manual spreaders is that you never have to worry about running out of juice and you can use them longer and in any weather condition.
On the flipside, some models can either run on battery power or be plugged into a vehicle such as a riding lawnmower or tractor. Electric spreaders usually have better results because they can control the flow more evenly, but they are liable to break down or run out of power.
So far, we’ve seen lightweight spreaders that are designed for small areas and households. But what if you have a lot of grass to cover?
In that case, you want a large model that can cover a wider area in far less time. Tow-behind spreaders are popular for this reason because you can mount them to your riding lawnmower or ATV and get the job done without having to exert yourself.
In this case, we’re looking at the Agri-Fab 45-0463 Spreader. As it holds up to 130 pounds of material, you can cover up to half an acre in one sweep, making this ideal for landscapes that are one acre or less. This model is also designed to work with riding lawnmowers so that you can cut and fertilize your grass at the same time. Best of all, the broadcast range is twelve feet.
One of the best features about this spreader is that it is electric and has an on/off switch that you can pull up to the driver’s seat, enabling you to turn it on or off at your leisure without needing to stop or get out. To keep things running smoothly, the gearbox is fully enclosed, and you get a precision knob control to ensure that you are getting the right coverage each time.
If you’re in need of a large-scale spreader that can cover a vast area, then this tow-behind unit from Brinly is your best option.
Holding up to 175 pounds, it can distribute across a full acre of land or 43,500 square feet. This machine is built for large landscapes and can handle them all with ease.
As far as performance goes, this unit comes with directional spread pattern control so that you can decide where the material goes and how thick your coverage is. The gearbox is fully enclosed for longer life, and it uses stainless steel components to avoid rusting. Finally, this spreader comes with heavy duty tires and a high ground clearance for better results and more stability.
Next, we have another push behind spreader from Earthway. At first glance, you may think that this unit is identical to the one above, but some key differences set these two devices apart.
Both can hold up to fifty pounds of material and use pneumatic tires for stability, but the C22HD has a few tricks up its sleeve.
Durability is the main selling point of this model, with a twin-tube chassis and stainless steel components that are resistant to rust or breaking down. The gearbox is fully enclosed, and the handlebar is curved to give you more options for pushing. It’s also adjustable depending on your height.
Otherwise, this unit also comes with the “Ev-N-Spred” system and has a high ground clearance for better results. Finally, you get a ninety-day money back guarantee.
This next spreader is designed for anyone who wants to seed or fertilize their lawns in the easiest way possible.
The size of this model is not big enough to cover a huge area like the Agri-Fab one above, but it’s also not small enough to be a push spreader either. Thus, you can mount this device to your mower or ATV and start working immediately.
This spreader can hold up to eighty pounds of material, and the unit operates at 570 rpm with a twelve-foot broadcast range. This means you should be able to get your whole lawn covered in no time as you are casting a wide net and moving at an even speed the whole time.
Best of all, the controls can be hooked up to the driver’s seat for maximum convenience. Another nice feature of this spreader is the fact that it comes with a rain cover so you can work in all conditions.
For the most part, spreaders are designed to spray your material outward in an even flow, much like a sprinkler system. However, if you need to drop a thicker dusting of seeds or fertilizer (or anything else) evenly, a drop spreader is the best way to do it.
The way it works is that the material falls out of the bottom as you push it, allowing for a thick, even spread every time.
With this particular model, you can cover up to ten thousand square feet at a time, making it ideal for larger properties. To help you get the job done as quickly as possible, it comes with a large 22-inch spread pattern so that you can cover your lawn in fewer passes. This unit is also trigger activated for your convenience. Overall, if you are in need of a drop spreader, this is a fantastic model.
We’ve already seen what one handheld spreader can do, but if you want something a bit more cost effective and that can cover a wider area, we have the Garden-Outdoor Earthway 2750 Spreader.
This is a manual handheld model, meaning that you have to crank it for it to work, but the precision gears make sure that you aren’t tiring yourself out too soon.
To help you carry this spreader and the 25 pounds of material you’re spreading, it comes with a shoulder strap to keep your arms from giving out. The spreader itself uses an oscillating shut-off plate to ensure an even flow and reduce the number of clogs overall. It also has a gearbox with a high rpm to give you a better spread and ensure you can cover more area in less time. Finally, the bag has a zipper on it for easy filling and to make sure you don’t spill on accident.
As far as garden product brands go, Scotts Turf Builder is by far one of the most widely recognized and respected. That being said, this Mini Broadcast Spreader is a great way to seed or fertilize your lawn without having to exert a ton of effort.
As we will see, there are various spreader designs, but this is one of the most common as it is easy to use and works wonders for home landscaping.
When it comes to capacity, Scotts takes a slightly different approach than most other spreader brands. Instead of measuring by weight, they signify how many square feet you can cover with one full load. In this case, you can seed or fertilize up to five thousand square feet of yard, which is more than enough for most homes.
One of the best features that comes with Scotts Spreaders is the EdgeGuard Technology. With other models, you have to be careful when spreading around the edge of your yard as you can toss pellets onto the sidewalk or your patio area. This way, however, you can close off one side so that you can walk along the edge and spread on the lawn only, thus saving you time and making everything more convenient.
Finally, this spreader comes with a precision control knob so that you can calibrate the correct amount every time. Whether you need a thick covering or a light dusting, this spreader will do it all.
While push spreaders are the most commonly used by homeowners, there are times where you have a smaller area to cover, and you want to get more precise results.
In this case, a handheld model will be ideal because you can control exactly where the material goes and ensure a full spread every time. The Scotts Wizz Spreader is one of the better handheld models, and it’s easy to see why.
This particular unit can cover up to 2,500 square feet of yard, and with its comfortable grip and locking trigger mechanism, you can do all of that in one sweep without getting too tired. The broadcast range is about five feet, which gives you more control over smaller areas.
Unlike other handheld models, the Wizz is battery operated so that you don’t have to spread the seed yourself manually. Simply turn it on, pull the trigger, and you’re on your way. This unit also has a precision control knob to ensure that you get proper coverage every time.
Next, we have another push spreader, but this time from Earthway. This model is bigger than the Scotts one, meaning that you can cover more area in less time and with more convenience.
This particular model holds up to fifty pounds of material, which should be able to cover roughly six thousand square feet or so.
To help you get the best results, this unit comes with a proprietary “Ev-N-Spred” system to ensure that your granules don’t clump together and distribute the whole time uniformly. To activate the spreader simply set your depth and flow rate and pull the trigger on the handlebar.
To give you more stability, this spreader comes with thick pneumatic tires and a higher ground clearance so you can navigate over uneven terrain with ease. Also, the gearbox is fully enclosed to ensure a longer life for the product. Finally, you get a ninety-day money back guarantee with purchase.
We finish off this list with another push model; this one from Master Gardener. This unit is similar to the ones we’ve seen by Earthway, in that it holds fifty pounds of material, uses a trigger integrated into the handlebars, and has thick pneumatic tires for stability.
Overall, this is a relatively basic model which gets the job done well.
Other features of this spreader include a rain cover that is included, high ground clearance, and micro adjust controls for better results and more precision with your spread.
When looking at these spreaders, you’ll notice that there are different types for various lawn sizes. Thus, we can’t say that any one of them is objectively better than the others, so we’ll narrow it down to the best large scale fertilizer spreader and the best small-scale unit.
For big yards, we recommend the Agri-Fab Tow Behind Spreader as it can provide enough coverage for a full acre (two passes) and it’s not so big that it will be cumbersome or hard to maneuver. As for smaller yards, we recommend the Scotts Mini Broadcast Spreader as it has all of the features you need and some extras you didn’t even know you wanted.
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A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!