Keeping a lawn looking lush and green doesn’t have to take a lot of time or expensive maintenance techniques. In fact, having a bit of knowledge about your yard and basic care can make it easy for DIY homeowners to keep it looking its best through the growing season. A regular feeding schedule is one technique no lawn enthusiast can ignore, and applying the proper fertilizer at the right time goes a long way towards a healthy property.
Keeping your lawn fed isn’t a laborious process. However, it’s tricky to ensure it is fed at the right rate and spread properly for root uptake and to avoid any burn. The best lawn fertilizer spreader can help make this process quick and efficient. The following fertilizer spreader reviews and buying guide highlight the various options, including broadcast spreaders with large hopper capacity and hand spreaders, based on the specific needs of your lawn and property.
A spreader can also be used as a seeder or seed spreader for overseeding in the fall or salt for driveways and paths in the winter.
Backyard Boss Top 5 Best Fertilizer Spreader for 2022
|Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader||Check The Price!|
|Scotts Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader||Check The Price!|
|Chapin 8620B Tow-Behind Spreader||Check The Price!|
|Brinly BS36BH||Check The Price!|
|BioLogic 6324 Chapin Outfitters Handheld Broadcast Spreader||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
When it comes to broadcast spreaders, we have quite a bit of experience! Besides spreading seed and fertilizer on my own yard, as well as ice melt on the sidewalks and driveway, I’ve used quite a few spreaders for commercial purposes as well. When I was a restaurant manager, it was my job to spread melt on the sidewalks and parking places with a handheld spreader to ensure the safety of our customers.
Likewise, when I worked as a landscaper for home-builders, it was my job to spread seed with a push spreader and create lawns after the homes were built and the equipment was removed from the property. However, I have never used a tow-behind!
Best for Average to Large Yards
This push spreader with big 130-pound hopper is perfect for yards of just about any size.
What We Like: This unit meets all the requirements for small and larger jobs and is made in the USA.
The Agri-Fab push broadcast spreader has a huge capacity and can hold up to 130 lbs of fertilizer or other spreadable substrates. The 10 to 12-foot spread allows you to make fast work of your job without having to stop and refill. The solid, compact frame is easy to store, and durable pneumatic tires can cover rough terrain with ease.
This is a wonderfully versatile choice for all-season use and is the perfect solution for larger areas that are behind fences and gates or are inaccessible to pull-behind versions. Optional kits for cover protection, shields, and screens are also available.
Who Should Buy It: This spreader is a great choice for covering small, medium, and large areas and can also be used with a wide variety of materials, including feed, seed, and ice melts.
Best for Small Yards and Gardens
A convenient handheld spreader that is designed with small lawns and gardens in mind.
What We Like: As far as lightweight and easy-to-use fertilizer spreaders go, there are few as versatile as the Scotts Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader.
The Scotts Whirl spreader is a handheld unit made for spreading feed and seed on small areas. It is light and mobile, weighing approximately a pound and a half. When fully loaded, the spreader covers up to 1,500 square feet. Not only does it work with seed and feed though, but it also works well with ice melt during the cold winter months. The only real downside to this spreader is that it is smaller than others. That said, it is the very same factor that makes it so appealing to those who only need a small unit.
Who Should Buy It: For those looking to seed or feed small sections of their properties or who have small yards and gardens, this unit could be perfect for you.
Best for Large Yards and Small Commercial Jobs
Built with a large 150-pound hopper capacity, this Chapin broadcast spreader is perfect for small commercial jobs and large yards.
What We Like: For small commercial jobs or medium to large yards, the Chapin Tow Behind Spreader is a reliable workhorse.
The Chapin 8620B Tow Behind Spreader has a large 150-pound hopper capacity that covers around a half-acre, or slightly more, per load. The unit is long-lasting, with a powder-coated steel frame. It has a spiked auger, an enclosed gearbox, and features like auto-stop and precision control flow.
It also comes with big 14-inch pneumatic tires for even easier use. One drawback, however, is that the unit is not designed for use with lime-based products.
Who Should Buy It: If you are a landscaper or have a decently large yard, this tow-behind spreader could be just right for your seeding, feeding, and ice melting needs.
Best for Large Properties and Estates
If it's a tow-behind with a large hopper that you're after, few provide a better solution than the 175-pound Brinly broadcast spreader.
What We Like: This Brinly tow-behind spreader may be produced by a newer brand, but it has one of the largest hopper capacities in the industry. It is perfect for residential and commercial work.
The Brinly BS36BH Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader is a new kid in town, but by all appearances, it is soon to be one of the most popular kids on the block. The unit comes with one of the largest hoppers, with 175 pounds of space for feed, seed, or ice melt. It is built with heavy-duty construction, including glass-filled nylon gears.
It is easy to calibrate and has smooth spread pattern control and a patented auto-flow. It comes with a hopper cover as well. Oh yeah, best of all, it has a wide 12-foot-wide spread and works with practically any ZTR or ATV.
Who Should Buy It: If you have a massive yard, garden, or pasture, or you are a professional landscaper, few units offer as much versatility as the Brinly BS36BH.
Best for Home and Garden Use
Looking for a handheld broadcast spreader, but need one with the biggest capacity possible? You may have just found it in the BioLogic 6324 Capin Outfitters Handheld Broadcast Spreader!
What We Like: This unit is a beast for a hand-held broadcast spreader. It has a big 25-pound capacity and a sturdy shoulder strap to help bear the weight.
With a larger capacity than most hand-held broadcast spreaders and a shoulder strap to boot, this unit is a real-time-saver when it comes to seeding and feeding around the home and garden. The spreader has a bag from Mossy Oak and is commercial-grade in general.
The gears are made from metal, meaning they won’t break down after a season or two. Further, it is easy to use and made for all-season use as well. And, unlike many spreaders, this one is quick and easy to calibrate the flow rate via a simple adjuster.
Who Should Buy It: If you’re looking for a great tool to help spread fertilizer or seed but don’t have an ATV or mower to pull one and don’t want to push around a hundred pounds or more, this one is well worth your consideration.
Keeping Your Lawn Healthy
Like any other plant, your grass requires water, sun, and nutrients to look its best. Because of its fast growth, it also needs a regular trimming schedule to stimulate root growth and nutrient uptake. Watering schedules should also be based on the type of grass you grow, as should fertilizer and weed killer use.
Grassroots use up the nutrients they come in contact with. Due to their vigorous, long-season growth patterns, you should provide the vitamins and minerals it needs to thrive through the growing season. You can choose from natural or synthetic products to provide this feed.
Fertilizer Purpose and Use
Soils hold nutrients as organic matter decomposes and insects work through the substrate. But they can only hold so much, and when a healthy root system is actively using up nutrients, it is only a matter of time before the soil becomes depleted. You can help keep this from becoming a problem by getting on a good fertilizer schedule that helps provide what your grasses need at certain times of the growing season.
Not only do the seasons help dictate fertilizer use, so does the type of grass you have. Luckily, problem-solving grass types are easy with the help of a local Extension Office, and fertilizer manufacturers provide the information you need through their website and upon the bags of their products.
What Is a Fertilizer Spreader
A fertilizer spreader, in short, is a product that helps evenly distribute your fertilizer of choice over a lawn. Fertilizer is found as both pellets and liquid and is considered effective in both forms when properly applied. A pelleted option is often more sought after and more popular with homeowners due to the wide range of spreader options that make the application highly efficient without creating overlap, which can result in burnout.
Because of this, we will concentrate on the various types of pelleted fertilizer spreaders. We prefer broadcast spreaders because they are faster, but drop spreaders, which leave the fertilizer between the wheels, are more precise around flower beds.
The best fertilizer spreaders have advanced features, like adjustable spread width, to provide complete control of the spread of your product, and are often useful for other seasonal applications.
These spreaders are very simple in design and use a hopper to hold the fertilizer and some distribution opening that depends on gravity to feed the pellets through. Many use a rotary plate that can be turned manually or by gears attached to wheeled axles to help broadcast your pellets in a wide radius. Most also use dial control to help you control the amount of fertilizer being spread at any given time.
Types of Fertilizer Spreaders
Although all spreaders are similar, they come in different designs to meet the specific needs of your lawn. While you’ll want a broadcast spreader for spreading fertilizer, a drop spreader might be the better choice for other applications. Spreaders can be handheld, pushed, or even pulled behind ATV vehicles or tractors.
They also come in many sizes, with some able to hold hundreds of pounds of fertilizer in their hopper. Most residential models for home use provide an approximate 10 to 100-pound ability and allow you to choose between radius spread rate and compact designs for getting easily through yard gates and fences.
Broadcast Spreaders are fertilizers spreader that distributes fertilizer in an omnidirectional pattern. As you push the spreader along with the soil, fertilizer will cover a decent area rapidly and consistently. Broadcast spreaders are compatible with an array of different granular products, including, but not limited to, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides.
Typically, a broadcast spreader is equipped with a professional-grade guardian mechanism in the rear that deters any fertilizer from hitting whoever is operating it. Broadcast spreaders are perfect for bigger lawns and gardens because they have a long proximity range for shooting granular particles around efficiently. All that needs to be done is a quick configuration of the preset dial, and viola, it’s ready to go.
With an almost self-explanatory definition, drop spreaders distribute fertilizer by ejecting it from the barrow in a downward direction. Drop spreaders are a bit more precise with the placement of your fertilizer and are a valuable asset when it comes to not wasting any of your granular product, regardless of how fast or slow you are pushing it.
While we can use drop spreaders in smaller fields or large areas, they are best on more narrow paths like driveways and different corridors around your home.
Sprayers are devices that distribute liquid fertilizers and are reliant on a dominant calibration strategy, depending on the materials being used. Sprayers come in various shapes and sizes and can be used for different purposes. We can connect bigger sprayers to tractors for larger gardens and industrial operations, while the smallest models can be carried around and used sparingly in specific locations.
Drop Vs. Broadcast Fertilizer Sprayer
While both drop fertilizers and broadcast fertilizers are incredible and essential tools to add to your shed, everything comes down to the project at hand and what form of labor you intend on partaking in. Broadcast spreaders are great for handling larger areas because of their uniform distribution and plentiful releases, compared to drop spreaders which deposit fertilizers directly underneath its barrow.
Due to the drop spreader’s precise expulsion, you can also avoid cross-contamination or wastefully dispersing fertilizer where it isn’t wanted. Since drop fertilizers and broadcast fertilizers are completely different in their processes and purposes, it is important to plan accordingly before embarking on a fertilizer spreader journey.
Advantages of Using a Spreader
Every professional gardener or avid farmer is acclimated to using a spreader of some sort. Spreaders can cut your gardening time down to a fraction of manually spreading the seeds, and definitely is a godsend for anyone who has undergone that struggle. Spreaders are also manufactured for many specific (and daunting) tasks, so they are brilliant partners for several reasons. If you are looking to cover enormous plots of land or acreage, broadcast spreaders are the perfect tool since they allow you to be in control of your fertilizing applications.
Handheld spreaders or “backpack” type spreaders will give you the precision and conservation of materials, which can be a great help in regards to quaint pieces of land. The most important thing about owning and using a fertilizer spreader is the efficiency it will incorporate into your agricultural needs, which will allow you to scale your garden into a bigger operation or simply maintain the roughage and greenery you currently care for.
How to Choose the Best Fertilizer Spreader
If you want to get the most out of a fertilizer spreader, you must first think about the scope of your project. For example, if you use a broadcast spreader near your driveway or sidewalk, you risk staining the concrete with fertilizer or wasting it unnecessarily on unfruitful surfaces. You also want to consider what type of fertilizer works best for your garden.
Knowing the benefits and differences between granular fertilizer and liquid fertilizer, and their overall composition is an important factor because different products will affect your garden differently. The worst situation is to add too little or too much fertilizer to your garden simply because you are unprepared. Most spread below to one of three categories, so a little due diligence goes a long way! Each spreader is equipped with its benefits, drawbacks, and specificity, so consider each possibility carefully before making an irrevocable mistake.
Since there are various models from which you can choose, you need to consider a few of the following details to ensure you are getting a product that works well with both your choice of fertilizer, as well as yard size.
Make sure you know how much square footage of lawn you need to cover with fertilizer. Also, consider how much time you want to spend on this. Broadcast spreaders, amongst the most popular type of spreaders, vary in their ability in how wide they can cast the pellets.
You can use many spreaders for much more than just fertilizer. Grass seed, ice melt, and even certain types of organic composts and mulches can be used in them. Also, hoppers can be used to transport gardening materials from one area to another on the property.
Fencing and Building Constructions
Be sure your choice of spreader can get in and out of where your lawn is located. Also, consider proximity to buildings and even walkways. Some spreaders have features to help block the flow of fertilizer in one direction to avoid waste or even over-fertilization.
To make your job easier, look for controls such as dials for fertilizer concentration and handle control to stop the flow when you turn or pause in your work. Others are designed for uneven terrain and have sturdy parts for rough use and larger tires for easy travel.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I know which spreader is best for me?
If you are finding it difficult to choose a spreader that works for you, your best bet is to think in terms of your space. The circumference of your garden or field will determine which one of the three types of spreaders is appropriate for your land. Next, if you feel as if you know little about spreaders but think it would be good for your yard, set aside a few hours for research.
The fact is, you’ll be using this tool throughout the entire year, especially during the growing season. So being fully prepared to get the best out of your spreader straight out of the box will be an accomplishment within itself. Once you become a master, you’ll uncover all the intimate quirks that bring a little more enjoyment to taking care of your plants.
2. What is the proper way to fertilize my lawn?
Begin by familiarizing yourself with NPK levels and how to apply the correct amount during the regular and peak seasons. For lawns specifically, nitrogen (The “N” in NPK) is the factor you want to pay most attention to, as it should include a controlled time-release mechanism that distributes the perfect amounts at the perfect time.
During the growing season, it is essential to add fertilizer to your lawn at a higher rate. Knowing when and how to give your soil the proper nutrients is paramount.
3. What are the benefits of adding fertilizer to my soil?
Adding fertilizer to your soil ensures that your plants, grass, and trees are getting the correct and proper nutrient profile they need. Fertilizing your soil will increase the growth rate of your plants while also protecting your greenage. By enhancing the sustenance your soil provides to every root planted within it, fertilizer will also increase the yields of your crops if you fancy yourself the farming type. If you up the ante and use organic fertilizer, you can help to reduce soil erosion while remaining eco-friendly.
Fertilizing your soil will also raise the pH value and fight off any acidity that is attempting to bring harm to your garden or field. The goal is to have the fertilizer evenly and methodically add nutrients to the ground and contain microorganisms that help build more topsoil. However, there are many options from organic to inorganic or granular vs liquid, so please do your research before you survey your property.
How We Picked
To create a list of the very best easy-to-use broadcast fertilizer spreaders, we took a deep dive into the home and garden realm. First, we looked at major retailers like Home Depot, Lowes, and Amazon for product descriptions as well as customer reviews and ratings. After gathering a list of potential products, we weeded out everything but the best.
To do so, we looked at such aspects as type, hopper capacity, ease of use, design, flow control, coverage area, and more. We stand firmly behind the final five spreaders that ended up on our list. Whether you are looking to seed a small yard or fertilize a large garden or pasture, we’ve included a unit for you.
Our Pick of the Best Fertilizer Spreader for 2022
Fertilize, reseed, spread insect control, or get amazing ice melt coverage – these spreaders can do it all. Whether you have a small yard or a large one, these various options are excellent considerations for you to review. If you want a healthy lawn, you need to feed it properly, and these spreaders are amazing ways to save on time and ensure your fertilizer is spread correctly.
Our top pick is the Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader. It is a push-type spreader, so there is no need to carry anything. Likewise, you won’t need a tractor or ATV to use it either. The capacity is large enough to cover big areas, and the construction is heavy-duty. Even more, it is made for all-year use and is produced right here in the USA.