You want your garden or lawn to be beautiful, and to do that, you need fertilizer. The plants and grass require nourishment that they can’t get anywhere else.
Once you find the right product, you also need the best fertilizer spreader on the market to get the nutrients to the plants.
We talk here about the advantages of using a fertilizer spreader, as well as the types. Once you’ve got all of the information you need, you can learn about 12 different products. Then, we discuss the winner and tell you why that one is the best.
Table of Contents
- 6 Benefits of Using a Fertilizer Spreader on Your Lawn
- Types of Fertilizer Spreaders – When to Use
- The 12 Best Fertilizer Spreaders For Your Lawn & Garden
- Best Fertilizer Spreader Reviews
- 1. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard DLX Broadcast Spreader
- 2. Scotts Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader
- 3. Solo 421 Portable Chest-mount Spreader
- 4. Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader
- 5. Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 6. Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader
- 7. Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 8. Brinly BS36BH Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 9. Agri-Fab 45-0288 Tow Behind Drop Spreader
- 10. Spot Spreader Hand Spreader Shaker
- 11. Harris Diatomaceous Earth Spreader
- 12. Earthway 2750 Hand-Operated Nylon Bag Spreader/Seeder
- How to Choose the Right Fertilizer Spreader?
- How to Use a Fertilizer Spreader?
- How to Maintain a Fertilizer Spreader?
6 Benefits of Using a Fertilizer Spreader on Your Lawn
The fertilizer spreader might be the most important gardening essential. It’s capable of providing the right application and amount to the garden and lawn to keep it healthy. Some people may not be convinced that this is a quality product, and we want to change that.1
You get an even application of the fertilizer. This means that each plant or blade of grass gets some of the nutrients it needs. Plus, there is no fear of giving too much and harming the plants.2
Since there is equal distribution, you don’t have to worry about uneven feeding. You’re not going to see some plants flourish while others die.3
When you unevenly apply fertilizer, it can cause serious problems. Infestations and diseases can run rampant throughout the garden. This doesn’t happen when you use a fertilizer spreader.4
Most people want more precision. It’s easy to dump too much by hand or not enough. With the spreader, you make sure the fertilizer goes where you need it to be.5
It also takes less time to spread fertilizer with a spreader. You can get the task done faster, which means you can go on to other jobs.6
You’re going to find that you can produce more flowers, grass, or vegetables. The fertilizer can help your plants grow better. Plus, it maintains the soil’s balance and keeps it healthy, too.
Types of Fertilizer Spreaders – When to Use
There are four primary types of fertilizer spreaders. The one you need depends on a few things, such as the application type and size of your yard. We’re going to talk about all four options.
- Broadcast Spreader
The broadcast spreader is the most common option and can be called a rotary spreader. They are suitable for bigger areas, such as an acre or more. Typically, they spray around 3-4 feet, making the large job easy.
The idea behind the spreader is simple. You have a hopper at the top to feed the material to the spinning disk at the bottom. The fins on the disk disperse the material as it falls from the hopper.
- Drop Spreader
Drop spreaders often have a bigger hopper than the broadcast one. They drop the materials directly from the hopper. That means you get more precision for your fertilizer or seeding tasks.
You can push them right over a particular area, such as a strip of dead lawn or a row of the garden. Plus, there’s no worry that you’re going to throw the materials all over everything.
- Handheld Spreader
Handheld spreaders are some of the easiest to use, and they’re lightweight. You just put some materials into the hopper and turn the crank to disperse it all. Though they’re portable and easy to use, they’re not precise and don’t hold a lot.
- Pull Behind Spreader
The pull-behind spreader is heavy-duty and considered top-of-the-line, they’re bigger than broadcast spreaders. They can also be called tow-behind options and attach to an ATV or tractor. Usually, they use wheels to power the gears to turn the spreader disk.
If you’ve got a very large space, this type of spreader is essential. They’re made better and have a larger capacity.
The 12 Best Fertilizer Spreaders For Your Lawn & Garden
It’s important to get a look at all 12 products at once. You can then decide which ones you want to know more about and scroll down to read those reviews.
|Pictures||Fertilizer Spreaders||Capacity/ Coverage||Links|
|Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard DLX Broadcast Spreader||15,000 sq ft|
|Scotts Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader||1,500 sq ft|
|Solo 421 Portable Chest-mount Spreader||20 lb|
|Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader||130 lb|
25,000 sq ft
|Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader||130 lb|
25,000 sq ft
|Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader||2,500 sq ft|
|Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader||50 lb|
12,000 sq ft
|Brinly BS36BH Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader||175 lb|
3.5 cu ft
|Agri-Fab 45-0288 Tow Behind Drop Spreader||175 lb|
40,000 sq ft
|Spot Spreader Hand Spreader Shaker||80 oz|
|Harris Diatomaceous Earth Spreader||76 oz|
|Earthway 2750 Hand-Operated Nylon Bag Spreader/Seeder||25 lb|
Best Fertilizer Spreader Reviews
1. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard DLX Broadcast Spreader
The DLX broadcast spreader from Scotts uses the EdgeGuard technology, which is only available to this brand. That way, the product stays away from sidewalks, driveways, and other landscaping.
It is designed to always deliver the best results and can be used with any Scotts-brand grass seed or fertilizer products. You can also use it for your salting needs.
This product is already calibrated to meet your needs. It comes pre-assembled, so you can take it out of the package and use it immediately. Storage is also easier with the fold-down handle.
Of course, this spreader works well in large areas. The compact design makes it easy to store and use at will. You can put up to 15,000 square feet of lawn products into the hopper at one time.
2. Scotts Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader
If you have a tiny garden or lawn, you may want to choose the Scotts Whirl spreader. It’s handheld, which means you don’t need any other tools. This product is suitable to use all year long for fertilizer, seeding, weed-killing products, and salt or ice melt.
Of course, it’s designed to give you even, smooth coverage. You can adjust the arm support so that it is more comfortable to use for extended periods.
Though it looks small, it can hold roughly 1,500 square feet of lawn products. It’s designed for use with Scott’s brand options, but you can use it with almost any fertilizer or lawn-care products you already have.
There’s no need to push a cart or walk behind anything with this hand spreader. However, be aware that it can get heavy when you’ve got it full of material. Some people might need to fill it halfway only and fill it more often to get the job done.
3. Solo 421 Portable Chest-mount Spreader
Those who want a handheld spreader might want to consider the Solo brand. It actually features a chest-mount option, so you can get hands-free use. Just situate the spreader to the front of your body with the included shoulder strap.
When you’re ready, there are fingertip levers on the side to control how much material is given and the direction it sprays. Generally, you want it sprayed away from your body to protect your clothes.
The gearbox agitator is fully enclosed and corrosion-resistant. However, the outside is made of durable plastic to keep it lighter.
There’s a large opening at the top to allow you to fill it. You can hold 20 pounds of product. Plus, it protects you from dust or chemicals. However, it’s best to wear long sleeves and pants while working with this tool.
Of course, there’s a hand crank, which allows you to crank at the same rate you walk. Though it still requires more work from you, it’s a simple tool.
4. Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader
Those who want the full broadcast spreader are sure to like the Agri-Fab brand. The poly hopper is fully rustproof, so you can use it for a variety of materials. The rod gate control is solid and designed to go wherever you need it to be.
There are also pneumatic tires, which means they can go over any terrain. You don’t have to worry about sticks puncturing them, either. Ultimately, it’s safer to have pneumatic tires on any garden or yard tools.
There are an enclosed bevel and taper gearbox. This means you don’t have to worry about water damaging the components or debris getting inside.
This product holds up to 130 pounds of material to cover about 25,000 square feet. The steel rod control ensures that you can open and close it during the spreading process to adjust the flow.
5. Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
Those who have an even bigger yard may prefer the tow-behind broadcaster from Agri-Fab. It’s still a 130-pound capacity, but it can be hooked to the back of an ATV or tractor. That way, you can easily drive it along the yard or garden to ensure full and even coverage.
The rod control is highly durable and features precise settings. It’s also maneuverable, so you can put it right where you need it to go.
There is an enclosed gearbox, which has tapered gears. This indicates that it is going to work for longer periods and have a better lifespan. Also, you’re going to see more even spreading because of this tool.
The tires are very large and are pneumatic. That way, they are more stable on rough terrain. If your yard has a lot of holes or bumps, it’s going to ride over them smoothly while still putting out the same amount of fertilizer.
6. Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader
If you’ve got a very small garden or yard, now might be the time to choose a handheld spreader. The Scotts brand is battery powered, so you can use it easily. You don’t have to crank anything or depress the handle to get the fertilizer out of the hopper.
Use it all year long to spread your fertilizer, grass seed, and weed-control products. This hopper can cover about 2,500 square feet of yard. Plus, it has a 5-foot broadcast so you can cover more ground by standing in one spot.
Of course, all Scotts products use EdgeGuard technology. This means you don’t have to worry about spreading the material onto the driveway or on landscapes you don’t want to be fertilized.
This is an advanced spreader system and uses four AA batteries. You also get 23 different settings, which allows you to control everything. Of course, that means better accuracy in your handheld tool.
7. Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader
The Earthway brand has a commercial-grade walk-behind spreader. It’s of the broadcast variety and provides an even spread of the fertilizer or salt you’re using. There is a three-hole drop system to ensure that the spread pattern is more even.
Plus, you also get a feathered spreading for more accuracy. The drop rate of the fertilizer can be adjusted to meet your specific needs.
Of course, the gearbox is fully enclosed and heavy-duty. It’s not going to get blocked or clogged with time. This is even when you’re using it in damp or moist conditions.
This walk-behind spreader uses a diamond chassis and a steel bar handle. Therefore, it’s highly durable and is going to work for many years to come. There are also pneumatic tires, so they don’t go flat and can ride smoothly over bumpy terrain.
8. Brinly BS36BH Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
Do you want a tow-behind spreader to cover more ground and be easier for you to handle? If so, the one from Brinly might be ideal.
It’s extra large and dent/rustproof. Plus, it holds about 175 pounds of product, so you’re not constantly refilling the hopper.
Any parts that could come into contact with the fertilizer are made of heavy-duty materials, such as stainless steel and polyethylene. The gears are glass-filled nylon and fully enclosed for even more protection.
The auto-flow feature is patented and features pattern control. You can change the settings depending on the materials you’re spread. There’s also directional spread control to center the distribution and even out the pattern to get a balanced application.
The auto-flow technology also prevents materials from spreading once you stop the tractor or ATV. This eliminates waste and prevents the burning of the plants or grass as could happen if you put on too much fertilizer.
9. Agri-Fab 45-0288 Tow Behind Drop Spreader
Those who have large yards want a tow-behind spreader. The one from Agri-Fab is sleek and stylish, which makes you want to haul it behind a tractor or ATV. The hopper capacity holds 17 gallons of dry product or around 175 pounds. It can cover roughly an acre of land (40,000 square feet).
Of course, it is made of polyethylene, which is rustproof. This prolongs the life of the spreader and ensures that you can use it for many years to come.
The spread width is about 42 inches wide. It’s controlled, so you can be sure it’s going to let out just enough fertilizer where you need it most.
Plus, the agitator is made of galvanized steel for more durability. Plus, there are two pneumatic tires to smoothly transport the materials. This also indicates that you can ride over rough terrain without the risk of puncturing the tires.
10. Spot Spreader Hand Spreader Shaker
The Spot Spreader brand offers a shakable hand spreader that looks similar to a watering can or pitcher. It’s easy to use because you pour the materials from the bag into the container. Screw the top on and then spread wherever you need it to go.
It’s easy to pour large seed or salt bags into the spreader. Plus, it is efficient to use and lightweight. Of course, there is added weight when you add the materials.
Still, the handle is very strong, so it’s not going to break off with regular use. Also, it is easy to store because of its slim profile.
You’re not going to waste your fertilizer, salt, or seed with this product. While crank spreaders can cause stray grass to grow where you don’t want it, you’re in full control with this one. Carry up to 80 ounces of the material you’re spreading.
11. Harris Diatomaceous Earth Spreader
Those who want a simple spreader that works for fertilizer, seeding small patches of dead grass, and ice melt, might like the Harris brand. The top is adjustable so you can rotate it to adjust the hole size. This gives you plenty more control on how much material is released.
It’s made of extra-thick plastic. That means it’s going to be more durable and easier to hold.
Of course, the spreader is easy to fill because the opening is quite large. Use it to spread salt, diatomaceous earth, granules, seeds, and more.
There is also a scoop provided. You can fill the container more easily and faster. Plus, there is less mess because you’re not trying to pour directly from your material bag.
It holds about 76 ounces of material or 2 liters. Though this isn’t very much, it is designed specifically for spot treating and very small areas.
12. Earthway 2750 Hand-Operated Nylon Bag Spreader/Seeder
If you’re someone who likes ingenuity and uniqueness, Earthway has you covered. Its nylon bag spreader is suitable for wet and hilly terrain. The nylon is weather-resistant and collapses fully for easy storage.
Plus, the nylon protects the internal gears from the weather to boost longevity. You have access to flow rate adjustments and an on-off switch for easier operation. Plus, the plate oscillates to prevent clumping and ensure appropriate flow control.
The rocking agitator ensures that the material is spread evenly, and it works smoothly. Of course, the gearbox is high-speed to help you adjust the spread widths from 8 to 12 feet. Just change your crank rate.
That way, you get a feathered edge broadcast to make spreading easier. This product holds about 25 pounds of seed or fertilizer. There is also a contoured base to fit around the hip with an adjustable shoulder strap for portability.
How to Choose the Right Fertilizer Spreader?
Before you purchase a fertilizer spreader, you need to know how to pick one. You’ve got a few points to consider, and they can help you get the one that meets your lawn or garden’s needs.
- Lawn Size and Shape
Both the shape and size of the yard determine the spreader you need. Those with a uniform, the large lawn can use a drop spreader. They tend to be more precise and allow you to go over the yard similarly to a mower.
Handheld broadcast spreaders are suitable for smaller gardens or a strip of lawn. You can save money, and it’s easy to use and portable for such a small space.
If there’s a significantly large area to cover (over an acre), consider a pull-behind broadcast spreader. They allow you to cover more ground, and you don’t have to walk behind it and tire yourself out.
- The Terrain of the Lawn Area
If you’ve got a lot of hills, you may want a tow-behind or push spreader with pneumatic wheels. That way, you don’t risk damaging the tires and still get a smooth operation. Otherwise, handheld versions might be best on hilly or bumpy areas.
- Precision and Spreading
Clearly, you want the spreader to be as precise as possible. If it dumps clumps of fertilizer in one spot, it’s going to damage the plants or grass. It should evenly spread, which all of the ones we reviewed are designed to do.
Consider buying one that offers adjustments for flow rate and control. That way, you can set it to the right options for your lawn needs.
- Design and Durability
If you take care of the fertilizer spreader, you should be able to use the same one for years. Make sure you store plastic versions away from sunlight to prevent brittleness. Stainless steel or polyethylene is often best if you tend to use corrosive fertilizers.
Consider the working parts of the spreader. They should be made of highly durable materials so that they last a long time, as well.
- Your Budget
Fertilizer spreaders tend to be cheap, and you can find a decent one for a lot less than you think. However, when you require a pull-behind or want better features, high-end models are often best. They are designed to last longer, have more capacity, and are made with long-lasting materials.
How to Use a Fertilizer Spreader?
Make sure that you read the material’s instructions before putting it in the spreader. This tells you the spread rate and other important information. That way, you don’t spill or waste the product.
Once you’ve done that, you can set the spreader to that spread rate. If no information is offered, trial and error is the best choice here.
Test the spread first to see how much it dispenses and how far it goes. Then, you can fill the hopper with plenty of products. Make sure to do this on a sidewalk so that if there are spills, they don’t get on the grass or plants.
Walk using a steady pace – don’t go fast or slow. If you’re using a pull-behind spreader, drive at a slow and steady pace. This is the best way to ensure evenness.
If you’ve got to stop or turn, close the flow lever first so that more product doesn’t get released. Consider wearing a mask and gloves while doing this to protect from dust.
How to Maintain a Fertilizer Spreader?
The first step is to keep it lubricated, so oil the moving parts. Otherwise, they could get stuck over time. After using it, make sure you empty the spreader, brush out the bits, and rinse it thoroughly.
Let it dry before you store it in a cool, dry place. Try to keep it away from sunlight. You should also check it periodically for wear and tear. Replace those worn out parts as needed to prevent even bigger problems.
When it comes to the best lawn fertilizer spreader, we have a few winners. If you need a broadcast spreader, consider the DLX from Scott. However, if you want to hold more material, the Agri-fab spreader might be ideal.
Those with small areas to treat may like the Scotts Wizz, which has battery operation and EdgeGuard technology included. Another handheld option comes from Earthway. Since it’s nylon, you can easily protect the gears and fertilize quickly.