With homeownership, comes regular maintenance. If you have a nice big backyard or even a small one covered with grass you want it to be kept healthy-looking. You want your home to maintain a certain amount of curbside appeal you want your surfaces to be in tip-top condition for your family and visiting friends.
Keeping your lawn looking its best will take some work but there are tools and equipment out there that can help keep this chore in line. Why pay a professional landscaper just to get your grass looking lush when you can spread fertilizer yourself?
With a lawn fertilizer spreader, you can apply fertilizer to your yard easily and save money by not having to employ a professional. With a spreader, you will have control over the amount of fertilizer you are spreading so you will reap good results once you follow instructions. What’s the best fertilizer spreader for your needs?
Fertilizing is important even when your lawn looks healthy. The truth is that soil can only hold so many nutrients at a time. As your grass goes through various growth cycles the nutrients in the soil will become less available.
During this time the nutrients are taken up by the roots and into the grass. To help your grass to get the adequate nutrition it needs as it goes through its growth cycle you can add fertilizer.
Adding fertilizers is not a routine task that you have to do every month. So even though it can be time-consuming, especially for those with bigger yards, it is not something that you have to do as frequently as say mowing the lawn.
At various times throughout the year, you can give your grass the nutrients it needs by applying fertilizer.
As it relates to what times and how many times per year you need to fertilize, this is all dependent on the type of grass you have. Different grasses will require different fertilizer schedules.
But that is an easy task, with just a little time, research, and reading you can easily find which fertilizer and fertilizer schedule will be the best option for your grass. It is also worth considering to choose a specific pet safe fertilizer when you have dogs or cats around in your household.
Do I Need a Spreader?
A fertilizer spreader will make a huge difference. It will help you get your yard work done without hiring a professional. It will also help you to cover more land faster than trying to do it all on your own.
No matter what size your yard is, you can find a spreader to meet your needs. Spreaders not only help you to get fertilizing done quickly and in a less costly manner but also help to evenly distribute the fertilizer. This ensures that your entire lawn is getting the right amount of essential nutrients.
Your fertilizer spreader can be used when it’s not time to fertilize. These can be multipurpose tools for those that do a lot of planting or yard maintenance themselves. You can even use your fertilizer spreader to distribute seeds! They can also be used to distribute compost and even ice melts.
So do you need a fertilizer spreader? If you want a bright, healthy lawn and garden then yes you do. If you take your gardening seriously and want to take care of your garden lawn space all through the year, then yes you need one.
There are a couple of options to choose from; push forward, handheld and trail behind. We will cover more about these further down in this buying guide. But for now, let’s look at the advantages of a fertilizer spreader to really tell you why you need one
Advantages of Fertilizer Spreaders
A fertilizer spreader is a very useful gardening tool. They can help you maintain a healthy lawn and garden. They allow you to easily and evenly distribute the essential nutrients your yard needs to remain healthy.
They can also be used to distribute compost, weed killer, spread seeds, ice melts, and anything else you may want to distribute on a larger scale. When it comes to applying fertilizer, the advantages of using fertilizer spreaders include;
Preventing fertilizer burn
If you have ever tried to disperse fertilizer manually you know it is hard to distribute evenly. When you do this manually you end up with patchy grass and sometimes fertilizer burn.
With a spreader, your fertilizer is always evenly distributed so you don’t have to worry about fertilizer burn.
Why would you choose to manually fertilize or seed your land? Using a spreader offers you a more accurate and efficient way to fertilize or seed.
Because spreaders offer you more accuracy and efficiency in applying fertilizer, they do help to save time when applying fertilizer.
Types of Fertilizer Spreaders
There are a couple of different types of fertilizer spreaders in terms of how they are operated. You will find three major types of spreaders; handheld fertilizer spreaders, push spreaders, and tow-behind spreaders.
This type of spreader is ideal for small yards or for areas that are difficult to reach or maneuver. Use this for your corners and flowerbeds. This type of spreader is very easy to use and control.
You can find both manual and battery-powered options. They are the most affordable type of spreader and won’t need too much storage space.
This type of spreader is ideal for medium-sized to large lawns. You will find these with hoppers of different sizes to accommodate different types of products.
These are very easy to use and control when you get a top-quality option. Those made from poor quality tend t note be durable but, don’t worry, there’s none of those here.
If you will be fertilizing more than an acre of land this is the option you should go for. These are the most expensive but a good option is definitely worth the investment.
Tow Behind spreaders are attached to your mower or tractor and are towed just as the name suggests.
Spreaders with this method of spreading allow for large areas of land to be covered. Broadcast spreaders are great for not just spreading fertilizers but also ice melts and seeding. This type of spreader is the primary choice for farming lands. You can find these in “push” models or as “tow behind” models. Most of these are designed as “tow behind” so you can attach them to a lawn tractor, a lawn mower, or any type of similar vehicle.
Lawn spreaders that use this method are the best kind when you are using granular products that are uneven.
These come in different sizes so they can be used for home use or for farms depending on their size. These can be used to spread heavier things such as mulch and compost.
What to Look For in a Lawn Spreader
To choose the best lawn spreader, you have to know what to look for. Do you need a broadcast spreader, a mini broadcast spreader, or a drop spreader?
Do you need a spreader with a large capacity, or do you need a heavy duty spreader? Here are some of the things you need to look for when choosing a lawn spreader.
Capacity and Coverage (in sq foot)
The capacity and coverage of a spreader speak to how much fertilizer it can spread in one go. This is important since you don’t what to be refiling the hopper multiple times during your run.
You want to check the hopper size of the spreader you have your eyes on and ensure it can hold enough to spread across your land with no or as few refills as possible.
The prices differ based on the type of spreader. Handheld spreaders are the most affordable options ad two-behind spreaders tend to be the most expensive. In each category, the more expensive options may provide a better quality product in terms of durability.
When you are spending your money you want to ensure that you are spending it on a product that will last the test of time.
You want a spreader that is durable, made from sturdy materials, and can manage all the stressors of working outside. All the spreaders here are made with durable materials.
How to Use the Best Fertilizer Spreaders?
How you use a fertilizer spreader all depends on the model you purchase. The size of the spreader and the terrain you are using will also affect how you use it. For the most part, all fertilizer spreaders work in the same way.
You add the fertilizer to the hopper and then you take them around the land, whether by pushing them forward or moving them with some type of machine or vehicle. Pay attention to the user manual of the specific spreader you purchase and follow the instructions for use.
Best Fertilizer Spreaders Review
Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader
This is a push spreader from Scotts Turf Builder with a capacity of approximately 23 lbs and a spread pattern of 5 feet. These specs allow the Scotts Ruf Builder EdgeGuard Mini to provide coverage up to 5000 square feet.
With an edge guard, this mini broadcast spreader offers a very accurate rate of distribution, allowing you to fertilize only the areas you need to be fertilized.
This Scotts Turf Builder fertilizer spreader is easy to use with an on/off handle and a dial to control the spread rate. It is a great choice for grassy areas that are narrow and for smaller lawns.
It is a great option for those who want a spreader that can be used to spread ice melt on their walkways during winter. This allows it to be a good investment as it can be used all year round. It is designed with a compact footprint so that it will not take up too much storage space.
It also features a foldable handle to improve its ability to be stored in small/tight spaces. When you purchase this spreader you get a fully calibrated and fully assembled product that is ready to use.
- Great Value
- Small storage footprint
- Spread rate control
- Good for year-round use
- May not be ideal for spreading small seeds
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader
This Push drop spreader from Scotts has considered a heavy duty one thanks to its frame. It is built in a way that makes it extremely stable. It has the capacity to cover up to 10,000 square feet per load.
It has a spread width of 22 inches and weighs around 12 lbs. It is ideal for users with medium-sized lawns or pieces of land. It will manage tight curves and heavily landscaped areas with ease.
Scotts classic drop spreader comes out of its packaging fully assembled and ready to use. The manufacturer notes that it is calibrated but we found that it still needed to e calibrated prior to use. It is built with high-quality materials to ensure durability.
It has a very sturdy frame and will work in the toughest conditions. It is a good choice if you are looking for a precision application. It will help you to evenly apply fertilizer but may take a couple of passes due to its spread width.
This multipurpose tool is ideal for spreading fertilizer or for seeding. It can be used all year round so it is a great investment if you are into yard care.
- Great Value
- Small storage footprint
- Spread rate control
- Good for year-round use
- Not properly pre-calibrated
Agri-Fab 45-0530 Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
The Agri-Fab 45-030 is a tow-behind broadcast spreader with a large capacity of 86 lbs and a spread width of 10 feet.
This gives the broadcast spreader the ability to cover ¼ acre of land or 14,000 square feet per fill. It is the best fertilizer spreader that can meet your residential needs whether for your home lawn or for a small to medium-sized garden.
This tow behind spreader is made with a strong steel frame, and the drive and lever are also metal. The drive is what determines the speed at which the fan moves and by extension how the product is distributed.
Its hopper is made from a poly material as well as the enclosed gearbox and spreader plate. It is outfitted with 10-inch pneumatic tires. It is operated via a cable flow control and can be outfitted with additional accessories such as a deflector kit, grate, and hopper cover.
The tow behind the spreader does not come totally preassembled so you will have to perform some assembly tasks. You will also find a video instruction guide that will help you with the process.
- Great Value
- Small storage footprint
- Spread rate control
- Good for year-round use
- The adjustment mechanism is finicky
Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader
This is another fertilizer from Agri-Fab and the best broadcast spreader when it comes to capacity. This particular model is a push spreader with a capacity of 130 pounds. A full hopper can cover up to ½ acre of land. The spreader has a 10 to 12-foot spread width and features pneumatic tires with the ability to tackle rough terrain. Its frame is solid and compact.
It is an ideal choice when you have to cover a large area and is a good option if you don’t want to opt for a tow behind. Agri-Fab Push Broadcast Spreader is good for all-season use and is built to be long-lasting while comfortable to use. It can be maneuvered easily even with a full hopper on smooth terrain. Rougher terrain will prove hard to maneuver with a heavy hopper load.
You will find the broadcast spreader is an easy to use lawn fertilizer as the spreader rate is easy to change. There is an on/off lever that stops the product from falling out immediately when pushed.
There is an included clip inside that rotates to ensure that there is no clumping of spreadable material. Once done. The unit is very easy to clean, just blow it over with a garden hose and you are done.
- Easy to operate
- Multi-use spreader
- Great for use all year round
- Does not come assembled
- Doesn’t handle very rough terrain
Titan Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader
This option from Titan is one of the broadcast spreaders with a 50-pound capacity. It is an ideal choice for all-season use and for large lawns. The unit is well designed for rough areas and remains very maneuverable over rough terrain and in use in tight spaces.
Perfect for all-season use, this push broadcast spreader can be used with a variety of materials to get almost any gardening job done. You can use this to spread fertilizer, seeds, compost, mulch, or ice melt. It is a unit you can put to full use throughout the year so you don’t have to worry about not getting your money’s worth.
The unit features an upright hopper that is built to be durable. The tires are pneumatic tires, fit for working on rough terrain. Titan Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader is very user-friendly thanks to comfortably placed handle controls and high-quality axles.
You have the ability to adjust flow settings so you can choose how fast to spread your material of choice. The handle can be adjusted to make your task more comfortable. The unit is built with a compact design so as not to take up too much room.
- Year-round use
- Great for rough terrain
- Adjustable handle
- Adjustable flow settings
- User-friendly specifications
- Assembly can be difficult
Lesco Push Spreader
The Lesco 092807 is another of the products that made our list of best fertilizer spreaders. This push spreader features a hopper capacity of 50 pounds. This fertilizer spreader is designed as a push model.
It is easy to use and is best suited for residential purposes. It is built with an enclosed gearbox that ensures that the gear system is protected from debris and dust. Its frame is made with powder-coated steel carbon for strength and aesthetics.
The frame is built in this way to prevent damage from outdoor elements. Its durable tires allow for smooth operation even on less than even terrain.
This is a great choice if you are considering venturing into the turf care, lawn care, or landscaping business. Lesco is a John Deere company and as such this spreader is built to the type of quality standards you would expect from John Deere.
This push spreader does not come pre-calibrated and requires calibration. The product does come with calibration instructions but these are a bit technical. The overall assembly itself is quite easy and you will feel the sturdiness of the spreader right away.
- Good for all-season use
- Built to withstand the elements
- Runs smoothly on rough terrain
- Stops dropping product prematurely
- Does not come pre-calibrated
Solo 421 Portable Chest-mount Spreader
The Solo 421 is a unique fertilizer spreader. It is a portable device that is designed to mount to your chest. This is by far the best fertilizer spreader you can find if you are looking for a portable option.
It is made specifically for small gardens, decorative flower beds, and the like. It is most suitable for use with solid chemicals. Due to its design, it is a lot easier to maneuver than wheeled varieties of fertilizer spreaders for these smaller areas where wheels will damage plants.
The Solo 421 spreader has a capacity of 20 lbs. It is quite easy to control and you don’t have to worry about wheels and terrain. Anywhere you go, this fertilizer goes. It has a screw-on cap that prevents any waste and spillage.
You are protected from any product placed within the device once the cap is securely in place. This can be used for fertilizer, grass seed, rock salt, or sand. The chest-mounted design allows it to be easily stored by hanging it on a wall.
The spreader is lightweight and easy to carry around on your chest without causing strain on your back or shoulders.
- Easy to use
- Easy to carry
- Not the best for large spaces
Scotts Whirl HandHeld Spreader
If you are looking for the perfect handheld spreader for your small yard, look no further than the Scotts Whirl. This handheld spreader unit is great for all-year-round use and will fertilize, seed, treat weeds, and apply ice melt. It offers smooth coverage of up to 1,5000 square feet.
It is designed to be comfortable for the user and features arm support which is adjustable to meet your height requirements. The spreader is adjustable to accommodate different types of products.
You will notice numbers on the gauge. Setting it at 1 – 2 will allow you to seed. When fertilizing you want to set the gauge at 2 – 4 and for ice melt, you will want to set the gauge to 5.
The opening size is dependent on where the gauge is and affects how well the product gets out and in effect how evenly you are able to spread your product.
The crank of the Scotts Whirl hand powered spreader is designed to turn very easily and will not stick even if you are turning slowly. The control trigger moves smoothly and the port opens and closes just as smoothly.
You have complete control over the spreader, you control your walking speed, you control the cranking speed, you can change the spread pattern and you can control the rate of flow of the product.
- Easy to Maneuver
- Easy to store
- Easy to Transport
- Not suitable for larger tasks
Spot Spreader Handheld Spreader
This spreader from Spot spreader is nice for all those who just have a small space that they need to care for. It is great for the homeowner who is trying their hand at gardening.
It can be used not just for fertilizer but can also be used to seed, salt, melt ice, or add earth food. The design is simple – it is basically a big salt shaker with different opening sizes that can be adjusted based on what product you have added inside. It has a capacity of up to 80 0z so you can add as much or as little product as you need to.
It is well made and super easy to utilize. The container is secured with a screw cap, once you place your product inside, you simply secure the cap and get on with the job. The device itself is lightweight and features a strong handle.
You control the spread entirely with this unit which can be a plus or a negative. It makes salting outdoor staircases, walkways, and driveways super easy without having to get out any heavy machinery.
- The handle is not detachable
- Great for small and simple tasks
- Multipurpose seed fertilizer
- Made with commercial-grade materials
- Lifetime warranty
- Won’t evenly spread smaller grass seed
- Can be heavy if completely full
Brinly P20-500BHDF Push Spreader with Side Deflector Kit
This push spreader from the Brinly brand is one of the best fertilizer spreaders with a 50-pound capacity. With your purchase of this spreader, you get an included deflector. This can be used on one side to control the flow of the product.
This is very useful when applying product alongside a driveway or along a property border. The deflector prevents overspray and product waste and also helps to save time.
This Brinly spreader is easy to maneuver thanks to its pneumatic turf tread tires. They are quite durable and large allowing the spreader to be used on your lawn even if your yard is not entirely flat.
The gearbox is fully enclosed in a rust-resistant enclosure. The shaft is made from stainless steel and the agitator is as well. This helps to reduce maintenance and as such reduces downtime.
Its frame is made tough and features a powder coating to help protect it and provide you with a long-lasting unit. The hopper won’t crack or dent thanks to its heavy-duty poly makeup.
Calibration is easy and the controls are easy to reach as well as make the unit easy to operate. There is an included manual that provides you with information on the different settings that can be used with different fertilizer brands such as Scotts etc.
- Easy and fast calibration
- Well made from top quality materials
- Controls are easy to reach
- The unit is easy to operate
- Feed slows down after 20 feet
Conclusion and Buyer’s Advice on the Best Fertilizer Spreader
If you are charged with the care of a lawn or any plot of land you may want to consider a broadcast spreader that is dependable.
We have included the best fertilizer spreaders from each category including push spreaders, tow behind spreaders, and handheld spreaders. Our picks are all items that are great for use all year so you will get your money’s worth with any purchase of the products above. Use them for fertilizing and also for seeding and to apply ice melt in the winter.
We recommend the Scotts Turf builder but remember the best choice will always be the one that best meets your needs.
So consider your needs and make a choice and remember you always want a unit that will provide you with even spreading so you can spread your fertilizer evenly. Which one will you be choosing today?