Choosing A Lawn Fertilizer Spreader For A Lush Lawn

By Alex Williams | Lawn & Garden

Jun 07
woman fertilizing lawn

Is your once pristine lawn beginning to take on the white, brown and weathered look that often comes after a long winter (or water shortage). Are you itching to return your grass to its deep, dark green and healthy hue? If so, a great lawn fertilizer spreader is going to be absolutely essential. A quality lawn fertilizer spreader will allow you to fertilize and seed large areas of your yard, without any mess or missed spots.

To help you get started, below we have reviewed a few of the most popular and best-selling spreaders currently available, along with the pros and cons associated with each product. We have also included a Lawn Fertilizer Spreader Buyer’s Guide, in which we will highlight all the things you should look for—and the factors you should consider—when purchasing one of these handy outdoor spreaders.

Best Lawn Fertilizer Spreaders for the Money (2018)

Last update on 2018-08-20 at 02:03 / Affiliate disclaimer / Images via Amazon Product Advertising API

Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader

The Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader is designed with the Scotts patented EdgeGuard technology. When this feature is engaged, it will block off the right side of the spreader pattern, which in turn prevents the fertilizer product from spreading onto non-lawn areas. Although made with Scotts lawn products in mind, the spreader will also work with most lawn foods and seeds, and can fertilize areas up to 5,000 square feet.

The Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader comes ready to use right out of the box, and is fully calibrated with no assembly required. Homeowners can use the spreader to apply both grass feed and fertilizer in nearly every season to keep their lawns thick and lush year-round.

Spreaders like the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader help to provide even fertilizer coverage of the lawn, with no spots missed. This helps to prevent weeds, dead spots, disease and unwanted pests. It can also be used to spread granular grass seed and even ice melt on driveways and walkways during the winter months. Its small, compact size makes it very easy to store and extremely portable, which is why many landscapers rely on this helpful product.

Pros

  • Compact. The Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader is the smallest spreader offered by Scotts—the premium name in the lawn care industry.
  • Efficient. The mini broadcast spreader can cover more area than some of the other spreaders in this class.
  • Easy Set. With an easy-to-read dial, the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader is easy to set for a wide range of lawn situations.

Cons

  • Uneven spread. Some users have reported that the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader gives off an uneven spread.
  • Needs regularly cleaning. The fertilizer can sometimes get stuck to the wheels of this Scotts spreader.
  • Not good on uneven ground. Although the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader works great on flat lawn surfaces, it struggles on uneven ground and slopes.

Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader

For very large lawns and outdoor areas, the Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader is a must. With a 130-pound hopper, the spreader is able to carry and spread more fertilizer or grass seed in a single load—up to ½ acre or 25,000 square feet in one load. The durable and very convenient on-off control is rod linked and precisely calibrated for applications that are very accurate. For user convenience, the on/off control can be accessed right from the seat of the tractor, making it easy to cover large areas without wasting any seed unnecessarily.

The Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader comes complete with an aluminum-beveled gear for durability, and the oxidation-proof poly hopper and spreader plate increases the lifespan of this very fairly priced spreader. The enclosed gear box, which also helps preserve the durability of the spreader, is uniquely designed with tapered gears for even spreading over any type of surface. Even better, the product comes with tires that have a large diameter and a wide wheelbase, which gives the spreader more stability and control over rough terrain.

Pros

  • Sturdy. The strong and steady body of the Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader makes it very sturdy and durable.
  • Easy to Assemble. With great instructions and only a few moving parts, this tow-behind spreader is very easy to assemble.
  • Covers a lot of ground. With its ability to carry up to 130 pounds of fertilizer and seed product, the Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader can cover up to 25,000 square feet or a half-acre.

Cons

  • Bulky. If you have a very large area to cover, the Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader is definitely the spreader of choice, but due to their bulk and heft they are not recommended for smaller areas.
  • Need tractor. Those that purchase this spreader will need to have a riding lawnmower or some other type of tractor to pull it.
  • Leaves Residue. According to some users, the Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader leaves a lot of unwelcome residue at job’s end.

Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader

One of the best characteristics of the Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader is its patented Ev-N-SPRED system—a system that ensures even fertilization. Its durable construction enables it to stand up to any job, and when properly cared for it can last for over a decade or more. The spreader boasts a strong, heavy-duty frame and a 175-pound load capacity. Its 13-inch pneumatic tires allows it to cover all kinds of terrains, including slopes and even ground.

The dual position adjustable height lever on the Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader allows users to adjust the machine to the perfect height; and the T-speed lever offers complete operator control and the very best in comfort. The body of the spreader is treated with a durable epoxy powder coating, which enables it to resist rust and oxidation for the life of the machine. It is also designed with a convenient debris screen that keeps the product—fertilizer or grass seed—from clumping during the spreading process.

Pros

  • Even spreading. Thanks to the proprietary EV-N-SPRED system on the Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader, it can evenly cover all lawn surfaces without any missed spots.
  • Good Control. The maneuverability and precision of this spreader makes it very easy to control, particularly around corners.
  • Durable. The sturdy body of the Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader makes it very long lasting.

Cons

  • Tough Assembly. Many users have complained that the Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader is difficult to assemble.
  • Difficult instructions. While some spreaders come ready to use out of the box or, at the very least, with clear assembly directions, the instructions for this spreader are not very clear.

Lawn Fertilizer Spreader Buyer’s Guide

One of the great things about Lawn Fertilizer Spreaders is they are very simple in construction and extremely easy to use. However, before purchasing one of these products, there are several factors to consider. Below we have highlighted a number of these characteristics.

The Different Types of Lawn Fertilizer Spreaders

There are two general types of Lawn Fertilizer Spreaders: Broadcast Spreaders and Drop Spreaders. Here we will define both of these types:

Broadcast Spreaders

Also referred to as rotary spreaders, broadcast spreaders are usually the spreader of choice for people who have very large lawns or a lot of acreage on their property. These spreaders can cover a very wide area; however, it can often be difficult to control the spread pattern with these devices. Below are just some of the traits associated with broadcast spreaders.

  • Broadcast spreaders can throw seed up to eight feet from the spreader
  • Users must walk at a very steady and controlled pace to effectively cover their lawn with a broadcast spreader.
  • To get even coverage, you may often have to walk over the same area twice
  • With broadcast spreaders you can occasionally throw grass on non-lawn areas, forcing cleanups after the job is completed.

Although not very accurate, broadcast spreaders can save a lot of time when fertilizing or seeding very large areas.

Drop Spreaders

Perfect for home use, drop spreaders are very accurate and efficient and perfect for smaller lawns. As their name implies, drop spreaders merely drop the seed from the bottom of the spreader, ensuring that every section of your lawn is covered evenly. However, to ensure even coverage, users will need to be very careful that they go over every part of their lawn, or risk striping. Some of the characteristics associated with drop spreaders include:

  • The Fertilizer containers on drop spreaders are typically shaped like a bucket.
  • Drop spreaders usually are mounted on two wheels.
  • They are great for smaller spaces—lawns under 5,000 square feet
  • Drop spreaders are definitely the best tool when fertilizing or seeding around trees, shrubs and other obstacles.

Styles of Lawn Fertilizer Spreaders

All Lawn Fertilizer Spreaders are either broadcast spreaders or drop spreaders. They are available in three different “styles”: push spreaders, tow-behind spreaders and handheld spreaders.

  • Push Spreaders. Also known as walk-behind spreaders, push spreaders typically have two or four wheels. As the wheels turn, they engage a mechanism that spreads the seed or fertilizer.
  • Tow-Behind Spreaders. As the name suggests, tow-behind spreaders have two wheels and are designed to be pulled by a lawn tractor. These spreaders have a lever that, when engaged, will drop seed as the person towing it steers the spreader.
  • Handheld spreader. Usually a broadcast spreader, a handheld spreader dispenses the seed or fertilizer via a hand crank, as the person using it walks over the area to be covered.

What to Look For in a Lawn Fertilizer Spreader

Strong Container

Look for a Lawn Fertilizer Spreader that has a strong and durable container. The container is the part of the spreader in which the seed or fertilizer is loaded.

Durable Frame

The frame or body of the Lawn Fertilizer Spreader that you elect to purchase should be durable and strong, especially for larger spreaders like the tow-behind models. Look for spreaders with steel tubing for large jobs.

Easy to Adjust and Use

The spreading mechanism that dispenses the seed or fertilizer should be fully adjustable and easy to use. Look for spreader mechanisms that are rust-proof and clog-proof with easy-to-read settings for best results.

Easy to Follow Instructions

The instructions on how to assemble and use your new spreader should be easy to read and easy to follow. Most home spreaders will come nearly completely assembled, but larger spreaders will require quite a bit of assembly before use.

Whether you have a small lawn or lots of acreage, by following this Buyer’s Guide you should be able to pick out just the right spreader for your job.

top image credit: dcwcreations (DepositPhotos)