8 Best Fertilizer Spreaders for Your Lawn – Reviews and Advice
Are you looking for an easy way to apply fertilizers to your lawn or garden? Then you should turn to a fertilizer spreader. This is because fertilizer spreaders are easy to use and ensure that you miss no spots. We will be writing about these appliances and we will also be reviewing some of the best fertilizer spreaders too. So, if you are interested in learning more about the fertilizer spreader, continue reading this article.
Types Of Fertilizer Spreaders
There are different types of fertilizer spreaders you can choose from and we will be highlighting them below.
The Drop Spreader
The drop spreader is the ideal spreader for granular types of materials. It is also suitable for uneven materials like mulch or decomposed materials. One of the reasons they are suitable for these types of material is because they have a large hopper. Also, drop spreaders are accurate and they can push the materials over a specific place and in a specific pattern. With drop spreaders, you do not have to worry about dispensing the contents of the spreader all over the place.
There are two common types of drop spreaders and they are; push along and pull-along. Push along types of spreaders is small in size and they are usually operated manually. Ideally, this type of drop spreader is used in small gardens, areas or farms. The pull along type of drop spreader is usually attached to vehicles like lawnmowers. They are bigger than their push counterpart and they are mostly for large scale or commercial use. Finally, if you have dead patches on your lawn, drop spreaders are ideal for fixing them.
Handheld spreaders are the easiest types of spreaders to use. Not only that, they are the lightest too. To operate these devices, first, you need to pour whatever you want to spread into the hopper. Next is to turn a handle, knob or crank to begin spreading. Easy right? We think so too. Unlike the drop spreader, the handheld spreader is not known to disperse fertilizers or seeds evenly. Also, handheld spreaders are only ideal for small areas or gardens. This is because they have very limited capacity.
Rotary Or Broadcast Spreader
If you want to spread fertilizers or seeds over a large area quickly, then you should be looking at a rotary or broadcast spreader. The rotary spreader works by dropping the contents of the basket on a fast-spinning disc which then spreads them all over. However, one thing about this type of spreader is that it has little or no control. And you might find yourself spreading contents to places you do not want them to be.
However, there are some models of these spreaders that have a guard feature that controls how it spreads its contents. Also, with rotary spreaders, you need to constantly be on the move to get an even spread.
How To Choose The Best Fertilizer Spreaders?
There are different things to consider when choosing a broadcast spreader. These factors will help determine if you’ll be going home with a good fertilizer spreader or a bad one. Check out these factors below.
Capacity Of The Spreader
The first thing to look out for is the capacity of the spreader which is the size of content it can hold at once. The reason for this is to ensure that you get the right size of the spreader for your use. If you are going to use the spreader on a tiny garden of not more than 1,000 square feet, it is advisable to go for spreaders in that size range. Also, if the area of use is big, you should be getting a larger spreader that will suit your needs.
You can either decide to go for steel spreaders or plastic spreaders. Both of these types of spreaders have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, steel spreaders are susceptible to rust unless it is stainless still. The plastic spreaders, on the other hand, don't rust but they tend to get brittle when exposed to harsh weather condition. If you are going for steel fertilizers, make sure it is stainless steel because stainless steel doesn’t rust. Also, if it is plastic, go for thermoset plastics as they are weather resistant.
If you will be going for broadcast or rotary spreaders, choose the ones with guard features. The guard will help minimize or eliminate dispersion of the spreader’s contents to unwanted places.
Not all fertilizer spreaders have a warranty or guarantee but it is assuring if a product has one. This is because a warranty helps to give the user a relative assurance of the quality of the product they want to buy. If it is possible, we advise that you should go for fertilizer spreaders with warranties.
Top Pick and Reviews of Best Fertilizer Spreaders
We acknowledge that it won't be easy choosing a best fertilizer spreader with the thousands of fertilizers spreaders out there. This is why we have put together 8 of the best out there and reviewed them for you
1. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader - OUR TOP PICK
When it comes to anything fertilizer, then the ‘go-to’ brand is the Scotts Company. They have a long history of producing quality products. Their Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader is no different. Besides, it is one of the best fertilizers spreaders you will ever find. It has a walk-behind design which makes it easier to use than hand-held spreaders. Not only that, it features the Scotts’ patented EdgeGuard technology which is useful for those that do not want the fertilizer to dispense outside the lawn.
Furthermore, you can use this fertilizer spreader to spread grass seeds, weed killer, or any lawn food. Besides, this spreader works perfectly with all Scotts’ fertilizers and lawn seeds. This is why we recommend buying Scotts’ products to use with it. However, this is not to say that other products won’t work with this spreader. But, when using this spreader with other products, you need to follow the details on the pack to choose the right dispersal settings.
Also, this broadcast spreader can cover up to 5,000 square feet of grass at once. Besides, if your lawn is bigger than 5,000 square feet, you can always refill the spreader to re-use. Again, we like the fact that the spreader comes fully calibrated and ready to run. But, regardless of how good this product is, it has a flaw which can be a problem for many users. The insides of the spreader’s wheels collect some of what it is spreading. Because of this, a good portion of the spreader’s contents goes to waste.
2. Scotts 76565 Turf Builder - Best Drop Spreader
The Scotts 76565 Classic Drop Spreader is another impressive product from the Scotts Company. It is also a walk-behind type of spreader which is easy to use. It comes fully calibrated which means you can begin to use it immediately after buying with no hassle. Also, it has a large capacity as it can cover up to 10,000 square feet of land. With this, you have a relative assurance that this is one fertilizer spreader that is big enough for most gardens.
Furthermore, it has a heavy-duty frame that assures that the product stands the test of time. Besides, this spreader is also covered by a warranty which means you’ll get a free repair if it has a quality issue. Not to mention, its sturdy frame also improves its stability. Again, the spreader has a 22-inch spread pattern. In light of this, you will be covering more ground and repeating fewer runs while using it. Moreover, you can spread lime, grass seed, and weed killers, among others with this fertilizer spreader.
However, we do not like the fact that its wheels do not have a good grip on wet surfaces. Not only that, tall people might find the spreader’s handle short. All in all, the Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader is an amazing product which we’ll recommend to everybody.
3. Scotts Wizz Spreader - Best Hand Held Fertilizer Spreader
The Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader With EdgeGuard Technology is another Scotts product that makes our list. However, it is different from the last two because it is handheld. First, this spreader runs on battery and it comes with 4 AA batteries. The batteries last for a while but we advise that you get rechargeable batteries. This is to avoid the need of having to buy new batteries at all times. Also, this spreader is lightweight as it weighs 2 pounds which is partially due to it being made from plastic.
Worthy of note is that regardless of it having a plastic frame, it is also durable. Not to mention, it is also a versatile machine. It can be used to spread seeds, weed killers, lawn feeds and ice melt. But, you need to set the control dial on the spreader to suit the size of the content you want to spread. Besides, it comes with 23 different settings to make it a more accurate tool. Also, it can cover up to 2,500 square feet of grass which we can all agree is on the lower side.
Furthermore, it features the Scotts’ EdgeGuard Technology. With this technology, rest assured that the contents of the spreader won’t spread accidentally to places you do not want. One final thing to note is that it tends to clog when dispensing bigger materials.
4. Earthway 2170 Commercial 100-Pound - Best Commercial Fertilizer Spreader
The Earthway 2170 Commercial 100-Pound Broadcast Push Spreader comes next on our list. It makes the list due to many reasons but we were particularly impressed with its frame and capacity. It has a heavy frame that is known to be able to withstand impacts and last a long time. Not only that, it has a double-coat paint which also ensures that it retains its bright, red colour for a long time. Also, with a 100-pound capacity, you will be spreading more fertilizers on your lawn at a go.
Furthermore, it comes with Eartway EV-N-SPRED settings. This helps in dispensing even fertilizer solutions to your plants. Because of this, you won’t be overspreading on one part and under spreading on another part. Again, this is a versatile spreader as it can spread grains, seeds, fertilizers, and ice melts. Besides, it also comes with a manual that helps to ensure that you have the right settings for each size of contents you want to spread.
However, worthy of note is that this spreader doesn’t come pre-assembled and, assembling it can be a daunting task. Besides, assembling the spreader can take up to 2 hours. Also, there are situations where bigger contents clog the spreader. Finally, it comes with 13" pneumatic tires which have a good grip. Not only that; these tires also make manoeuvring easy.
5. Agri-Fab 45-0502 - Best Push Fertilizer Spreader
The Agri-Fab 45-0502 Broadcast Spreader is a commercial fertilizer spreader. It has a 130-pound capacity which makes it ideal for a large expanse of land. Also, it is a push from behind type of spreader with wheels. It has large wheels with strong frames which make the spreader ideal for manoeuvring difficult terrains. Besides, with its strong frame, rest assured that this spreader will last a long time. Again, it also has a limited 3-year warranty which also gives the user a relative assurance on the product's quality.
Worthy of note is that you can attach the spreader with a lawnmower for ease of use. Also, it is designed to spread an equal amount of fertilizers to the crops and grass. With this, the plants will grow at an even pace. Again, it has a closed commercial-grade gearbox that has aluminium gears. These gears are capable of working multiple hours a day for years without developing faults.
Finally, the assembly instructions can be confusing and it can take you up to 3 hours to put them together. However, when you finally assemble the spreader, you won't have any reason to complain again.
6. EARTHWAY PRODUCTS 199435 Earthway 3100 - Best Broadcast Fertilizer Spreader
This Earthway 3100 Hand Crank Broadcast Spreader is not like the other fertilizer spreaders on our list. It comes with straps that let the user carry and attach the spreader on his or herself. Besides, this spreader is lightweight and it has a capacity of 40lb. With this, you might need to make multiple runs to cover the length of your garden or lawn. Also, it is designed to give an equal output of the contents of the spreader. In light of this, whether it is grass seed, fertilizer, ice melts or weed killers, you will be getting an even distribution.
Furthermore, it has a powder-coated chassis which helps to protect the spreader from rust. It also has an Easy Operator Shutoff and easy to reach setting controls. These features help to make usage of this spreader seamless. Worthy of note is that the Earthway 3100 Hand Crank Broadcast Spreader is a heavy-duty tool. Rest assured that it will handle your entire vigorous spreading chore. Not to mention, it also has a heavy-duty rain cover that makes it possible to use the spreader in the rain without worry.
7. Solo Inc 421 Portable Chest-Mount Spreader
The Solo 421 Portable Chest Mount Spreader is ideal for small scale use. This is because it has a capacity of 20 pounds. Also, it is designed to be carried on the shoulder and its low-weight helps in making sure it isn't uncomfortable for the user. Besides, it also features a cross body adjustable strap that helps in improving the comfort of the user. Not only that, but the strap also helps to protect the spine from injury.
Furthermore, the opening of this device is quite large which makes it easy to pour contents into it. Moreover, the large opening also makes it easier to clean. Also, it has a fingertip lever that controls the direction and volume of what you want to spread. For durability purpose, most of the parts of the spreader are made from durable plastic which will not rust. The metal parts, on the other hand, are made from stainless steel. So, rest assured that this is a fertilizer spreader that lasts long.
Finally, we need to add that if you have a bad back or poor walking posture, avoid using this spreader to avoid compounding your problem.
8. Spot Spreader Hand Spreader Shaker
The Spot Spreader Hand Spreader Shaker is the last on our list but not because it has the lowest quality. It has a capacity of up to 80oz which means it is only ideal for use in a small garden. Also, the spreader is durable and the manufacturers also placed a lifetime money-back guaranty on it. With this, you have an assurance that you are buying a quality product.
Besides, it is also easy to use as all you need to do is to pour in what you want to spread through the large opening. Also, it has a screw top that ensures that the content of the spreader doesn’t spill. With this spreader, you can spray salt, fertilizer, weed killers, and even seeds. However, make sure the seeds that will go into this spreader are small to avoid clogging. Finally, it delivers even drops of its contents which means you won’t be overspreading with this tool.
How To Use A Fertilizer Spreader Effectively?
Below are some tips to help you use your fertilizer spreader effectively:
FAQs about fertilizer spreaders
There are lots of unanswered questions about fertilizer spreaders. However, we have taken it upon ourselves to answer the most common ones below:
Can you use a fertilizer spreader to spread grass seed?
Answer: Yes you can
Which is better between a drop spreader and a broadcast spreader?
Answer: It all depends on usage. If you are looking for an accurate spreader, then, you should go for a drop spreader. On the other hand, if you want a spreader that can be used to cover a larger ground quicker; you should choose a broadcast spreader.
How do you keep fertilizer spreaders from rusting?
Answer: Wash and store in a cool dry place after each use.
There’s no reason why you should buy multiple fertilizer spreaders before getting the best one. This is why we have taken the pain to review some of the best fertilizer spreaders you will ever find for yourself. Check each one of them out and we are sure you will surely find one that tickles your fancy. However, before making any buying decision, we advise that you go through our buying guide. This will help you make a better decision on the type of fertilizer spreader you want. Finally, we included some tips and FAQ in the article and we hope you learn a lot from them.