Top 5 Best Fertilizer Spreader Reviews – Everything You Need To Know
The best fertilizer spreader will make it easier for you to take care of your garden. However, it may not be easy to choose the spreader for you as there are different models available in the market today.
This article aims to provide you with information about the types of fertilizer spreaders, as well as fertilizer spreader reviews to help you decide on the one that suits your needs.
- 1 Types of Fertilizer Spreaders
- 2 Top 5 Fertilizer Spreader Reviews & Our Ratings
- 2.1 #1. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader
- 2.2 #2. Scotts Easy Hand-Held Broadcast Spreader
- 2.3 #3. Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 2.4 #4. Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, (Up to 10,000-sq ft)
- 2.5 #5. Earthway 2050P Estate 80-Pound Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 2.6 Difference between Broadcast Spreader and Drop Spreader
- 2.7 How to Apply Lawn Fertilizer with a Spreader
- 2.8 Conclusion
Types of Fertilizer Spreaders
Rotary or Broadcast Spreader
This is used to spread dry fertilizers. It can deliver even coverage. You can also use it for spreading salt on winter ice and reseeding your lawn. This type of spreader can quickly cover large areas. It is primarily designed for farming properties.
The broadcast spreader discharges the product onto a disk that propels in a semicircle in front of the device.
The walk behind broadcast spreader covers more open areas. It can release products in an arc of about 3 feet around its hopper.
The pull behind or tow behind broadcast spreader is ideal for spreading fertilizers, grass seed, or a combination of products on large lawns, sports fields, and meadows. Most of these models are also called ATV spreader because they are built to be attached to ATVs or lawn garden tractors.
Hand-held Fertilizer Spreader
This is spreader designed for small lawns, used for spreading into a hard-to reach patchy area of the ground. This handheld type is used in areas that the traditional spreader can’t reach. This includes areas near patios and walkways, wherein the handheld spreader can cover with greater accuracy.
Drop Fertilizer Spreader
This spreader is used mostly for granular materials or uneven products, such as compost or mulch. You must work it in straight, overlapping lines. Every pass of this spreader covers half of the earlier pass.
Liquid Fertilizer Spreader
This spreader works with the use of a garden hose and connecting it to a canister that has an adapter nozzle. The canister holds dry fertilizer that will be quickly dissolved. A liquid spreader is ideal for light fertilizing tasks. However, it is not as accurate as the broadcast and drop fertilizer spreaders.
Top 5 Fertilizer Spreader Reviews & Our Ratings
#1. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader
Weighing 15 pounds, this is the smallest walk behind spreader from Scotts. However, small as it is, it can still do big things – as it can hold about 5,000 square feet of lawn-care product.
The EdgeGuard on this spreader casts only about 2 feet wide, ensuring that the fertilizer does not go sidewalks, waterways, driveways, and landscaping. It can cast about 4 feet wide without the EdgeGuard. Although the EdgeGuard is removable, you can keep it on as it does not obstruct spreading.
This spreader features a side blocker that you can turn from one side to the other.
- It has more controllable spread, which means less material is wasted.
- Easy storage as the handle folds down.
- It can cover 1/3 of an acre with only one refill stop.
- It comes completely assembled.
- Controls are easy to use.
- It is steady to use although it is lightweight.
- Seed drip can easily be adjusted.
- Easier to use compared to a hand-held spreader.
- The wheels are thin and fragile.
- It is difficult to use on uneven surface because the wheelbase is only 12 inches.
- It is not adjustable and too short for a person who is at least 6 feet tall.
- The trap door sometimes sticks when handling salt and snow.
#2. Scotts Easy Hand-Held Broadcast Spreader
This is one of the cheapest hand-held broadcast spreaders. It has five application settings, allowing 5 different uses – light fertilizer, heavy fertilizer, grass seed, and bigger pelleted products like ice melt.
The EdgeGuard feature of this spreader helps lead the material to where it should go and away from the user for added safety.
If there are clumps in the material, manually break them apart before filling the hopper as the spreader is likely to clog so easily.
If you want to avoid cross contamination of chemicals within the hopper, this is the ideal spreader for such uses.
This spreader is manufactured using rustproof materials. Agitators and gears are made from durable plastic, which can help control the product flow. Although it may not be as durable compared to other spreaders, the cheap price makes it a great bargain.
- Great for small lawns.
- Works well for applying ice melt, seed, or other materials for small areas.
- The agitator and hopper are rustproof.
- It can hold up to 1,000 square feet of lawn-care products.
- The ergonomic design prevents the user from having wrist pain and fatigue.
- Great value for the money.
- Not as durable as other spreaders.
#3. Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
This tow behind spreader has features that are not on other spreaders in at the same price point. It has a large rustproof hopper that can carry about 130 pounds of lawn-care products and can cover an area of about 25,000 square feet. This feature can save you time from refilling when you are spreading on large acreage lawns.
It is designed to have a commercial gearbox for even spreading, easier maintenance, and longevity. Compared to other spreaders, it can endure more rugged use. You can have a precise application whenever you use it because of its easy-set controls and pro style.
When disassembled, you can put the parts back together on your own because it comes with easy to follow instructions. After that, simply fill it up and it will work perfectly.
- Reliable coverage of about 10 feet spread width.
- It has large air-filled tires that have a wide wheelbase for easier steering and stability on every type of ground.
- The universal hitch is suitable for any lawn tractor.
- After several uses, the plastic wing nut that is meant to hold the open/close lever may slip open more than it is set for.
#4. Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, (Up to 10,000-sq ft)
This drop spreader features a simple design and easy operation. It works through a dropper that is right at the bottom of the device.
With its width of 22 inches, it provides ample coverage, particularly when you are reseeding your lawn or laying new seed. The size of the dropper will lessen the number of rows needed to cover the area.
The hopper is wide, so you can easily fill it with products. If your yard has lots of shrubs and trees, this is the ideal spreader to use because of its lightweight design.
Apart from seed, you can also use it to spread fertilizer. It has large tires, allowing the spreader to go over rough grounds with only the slightest resistance. The green plastic has arrows molded, so when you need to pause or stop to rest, you just need to align the arrows with the paths that the wheels made in the lawn. This practical feature allows you not to miss or overlap rows.
- This spreader comes fully assembled.
- It can hold a huge number of lawn-care products that can cover about 10,000 feet of ground.
- Its 22-inch spread pattern ensures precise application and maximum coverage.
- The durable frame is made from metal, which offers stability.
- It is lightweight, so you can easily maneuver it.
- Tends to slip on wet lawns and other damp terrains.
#5. Earthway 2050P Estate 80-Pound Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader
Because of its durable tires, this Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader is easy to use on any type of terrain. The tires measure 10 inches in width and have high flotation and deep treads. They are meant to be Light Truck tires, which can easily deal with the most uneven, roughest lawns.
This spreader is made from heavy-duty tubular steel frame. The plastic hopper can hold up to 80 pounds of products. This spreader also features a 3-hole drop to assure even spread. It has a controller that you can easily adjust for varying rate of spreading. The quality gearbox has enclosed gears. It can spread fertilizer, salt, lime, etc.
- It is easy to assemble.
- The hopper efficiently drains, leaving behind little or no unused product at all.
- Compact and lightweight design.
- This spreader is well-balanced and easy to push.
- Ideal for home use (pest control, fertilization).
- Great for de-icing products.
- Works well with pelletized or granular products.
- The height of the handle makes it hard for taller people to use this spreader.
- It does not have an edge guard to keep products from being discarded to patios, sidewalks, flowerbeds, and to users.
- No screen to keep chunks from blocking the feed chute.
Difference between Broadcast Spreader and Drop Spreader
Depending on their needs, most customers consider either the broadcast spreader or drop spreader as the best fertilizer spreader. The primary difference between these two types of spreaders is the accuracy of application.
As the name implies, a broadcast spreader scatter fertilizer from the sides and front of the machine in a fan-like direction to quickly cover a large surface.
The spread pattern of a broadcast spreader depends on the size of the holes and speed of the user. The further the product is distributed, the thinner the spread becomes. Because of this, users should pay attention to make sure they create overlapping passes across the lawn for even distribution.
The primary drawback of using a broadcast spreader is that it scatters the fertilizer all over the place. It is not an accurate process, and this leads to wastage.
A drop spreader drops the lawn-care product between its wheels. It spreads fertilizer or seeds in even rows and you can control where the product goes. The drop spreader is known for its precision.
The product drops only where the user walks. The length of the wheels of the drop spreaders determines the spread pattern, so the user should overlap their tracks every time they cross the yard.
The main disadvantage of using drop spreaders is that it covers less area on every lap compared to broadcast spreaders. This adds to the time necessary to sufficiently fertilize or seed a lawn. Nevertheless, most fertilizer spreader reviews show that more homeowners choose a drop spreader because of its precision.
Simply put, broadcast spreaders work faster, but drop spreaders are more precise.
How to Apply Lawn Fertilizer with a Spreader
Now that you have a good idea on which fertilizer spreader to use on your lawn, it is time to learn how to use it.
For best results, here are some guidelines on applying lawn fertilizer with a spreader:
- Check that the spreader is turned off before applying fertilizer.
- The spreader has a spreading rate that you can set as indicated package instructions.
- Do not load the spreader on the lawn; do it on a walkway or driveway to prevent the fertilizer to be spilled on the lawn.
- Begin spreading.
For a rectangular lawn:
- Begin by creating two “header strips” on both sides of the lawn. This will be the area to turn the spreader on and off.
- Travel between the ends, and then turn the spreader off upon reaching the header strips. Upon beginning again, move the spreader before opening it.
- If you are using a drop spreader, keep in mind that the wheels should overlap the wheel tracks in the lawn from the previous pass to cover every strip.
- If you are using a broadcast spreader, overlap the end of every pass with the end of the previous pass to avoid any missed strips.
For lawn with irregular shape:
- Make a “header strip” around the end of the lawn.
- Travel in the longest direction, and turn the spread off upon reaching the header strip.
Fertilizer is an important substance used in the garden and landscaping industry to provide plants, flowers, crops, and trees. Adding fertilizer is necessary so that the soil and the plants get the nutrients they need.
That said, these fertilizer spreader reviews will help you choose the best rated fertilizer spreader for you.