best fertilizer spreader

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This is our review of the best fertilizer spreader in 2022

While it’s true that you can get great results without one, a garden spreader makes applying fertilizer, seed, and weed controls to your flower garden incredibly easy. If you’re a gardener, you can learn to love it and have fun.

The secret is in the right tools. Let us help you find the best fertilizer spreader. If you’re in a rush, you can also confidently choose from our quick picks below or buy Scotts Classic Drop Spreader, the best fertilizer spreader in 2021.

Quick Picks

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Premium

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Brinly Black Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
The rust-proof hopper can hold up to 175 lb of seeds, fertilizer, and ice melts. Comes with an easy hook-up hitch to attach it to the tractor or ATV.

Best Overall

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Scotts Classic Drop Spreader
It has a large capacity hopper that can cover up to 10,000 sq ft area to spread grass seed and fertilizer. It comes with a 22-inch spread pattern.

Best Value

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Scotts EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader
Valued fertilizer spreader that is suitable for small to medium size yards. The compact design allows you to store conveniently and use to spray different products. 

Top Fertilizer Spreader For Lawn Care

Product

Name

Detail

Price

  • 50 lb storage capacity
  • 3 flow setting
  • 6 feet spread width

  • Weighs 1.15 lb
  • Cover up to 1,500 sq.ft
  • Comes assesmbled

  • 22 inch spread pattern
  • Cover up to 10,000 sq.ft
  • Pre-calibrated

  • 175 lb storage capacity
  • 12 feet spread width
  • Universal hook design

  • Covers up to 5,000 sq. ft
  • Precision rate setting
  • Pre-calibrated

  • 85 lb storage capacity
  • Covers up to 14,000 sq. ft
  • Enclosed gearbox

  • 35 lb storage capacity
  • Translucent tank
  • Adjustable padded strap

Our Top Pick

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With a capacity of 10,000 sq. ft to apply various lawn care products, the Scotts Classic Drop Spreader is a must-have for any lawn care service professional or do-it-yourself.

The large hopper delivers constant coverage of grass seed and fertilizer, creating a lush green lawn. The sturdy frame ensures stability and accuracy, while the 22″ spread pattern provides maximum coverage with every drop.

What is the best fertilizer spreader?

If you look at the best-selling spreaders on Amazon, you’ll see that their list differs a little from one another. Fertilizing and seeding your garden is an integral part of ensuring a successful growing season for your plants.

We find the Scotts Classic Drop Spreader to be the best fertilizer spreader that you can buy today.

Before you choose to buy any fertilizer spreader, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the different types of spreader available. It helps you determine what application method is best for your garden.

There are three most common types of spreader available, broadcast spreader, handheld spreader, and drop spreader. In addition, for a large size acreage or commercial application, a tow-behind spreader is available. 

broadcast fertilizer spreader

Broadcast fertilizer spreader

A broadcast spreader is used for applying dry or granular fertilizer for any medium to large size yards. This helps it to cover broad areas such as big yards, golf courses, and commercial landscaping.

It spreads the fertilizer in a broad, overlapping pattern that quickly allows you to get a consistent, uniform application. You can use it to apply granular fertilizer to the lawn preventing any issue of over-fertilization.

You can easily change the setting of the rotary spreader to control the opening width of the lawn fertilizer spreader located at the bottom of the hopper for year-round use. Then, as you walk around with a spreader, it spins and spreads the fertilizer pellets in your yard. 

Handheld fertilizer spreader

The handheld fertilizer spreader is great to use on small size gardens. This type of fertilizer spreader can be operated by one person and is especially useful for infrequent gardening. It gives you better precision as these are lightweight and easy to use.

A handheld spreader is either manually powered with a crank that you rotate with a hand or battery-powered. You can choose one which you find suits your needs. For example, it works great to apply fertilizers on your small flower beds, balcony gardens, or indoor plants.

man using fertilizer spreader

Drop fertilizer spreader

Drop fertilizer spreader looks like a broadcast fertilizer spreader but with a key difference. Unlike the broadcast spreader that spread the fertilizer granules around, the drop fertilizer spreader simply drops the selected amounts right at the ground.

You may need this drop functionality if you’re planning to apply fertilizers in only specific areas. While the broadcast spreader allows you to cover large areas that you can adjust by changing your walking speed, the drop fertilizer spreader only covers the area right under the hopper.

What to consider when buying Fertilizer Spreader

Spreader Type

You’ve three spreader types to choose from. For a small size garden, choose a handheld spreader, for a medium to a large garden, choose either broadcast or drop spreader.

Storage Capacity

The hopper storage capacity determines how large an area you can cover before stopping and refilling it. Choose a small storage capacity for a handheld spreader.

Spreading Precision

A precise spreading prevents the waste and allows you to fertilize every part of the yard where you intend to fertilize. Drop spreader has the best precision ability.

Have a question about buying a fertilizer spreader? Contact us

1. Titan Attachments Broadcast Spreader

Best commercial fertilizer spreader

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Are you tired of the constant refills while spreading? Have a large area to cover? The Titan broadcast spreader has a 50 lb drum capacity quickly filled from the top.

This heavy-duty broadcast spreader with a large drum capacity is perfect for those large jobs where you got to use different lawn care products. It’s a great choice for any lawn care professional.

It’s easy to use, required minimal maintenance, and is built with durable materials to make it last longer. In addition, three adjustable settings let you control the amount of fertilizer you put on your lawn or garden.

The 13-inch rubber-made tires are mounted on a rugged, welded steel frame, built for years of dependable use. It gives you approximately 6 feet of spread width to cover a large area in each pass. This allows you to get the job done faster without needing to do multiple passes.

The rear guard prevents fertilizer granules from hitting you while spreading. The plastic cover for the drum prevents rain and moisture from getting inside it. The removable lump breaker keeps the granules separated, making it easy to use.

The attachments are more durable than many other options on the market, meaning they will last you several seasons. With this spreader, you can be sure that your lawn will have all the nutrients it needs without interruption.

See More Information about: Titan Attachments Broadcast Spreader

Pros

  • Large drum capacity for large lawn
  • Stable and large wheel tires
  • Three incremental settings flow control
  • Lid over the drum to keep moisture out

Cons

  • Some assembly required
  • Need a calibration

2. Scotts Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader

Best Hand Held Spreader

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The Scotts Whirl is a handheld spreader perfect for small yards and can be used with many lawn products. It weighs only 1.15 lb that makes it easy to use around flower beds and edible gardens. The adjustable arm support gives comfort in holding and using a spreader without feeling too tired operating.

You can use it to fill any leftover areas after using a rolling spreader. The hopper capacity is enough to cover up to 1,500 sq. ft of space. The dial adjusts easily to suit the need for different products such as fertilizer and seed spreaders.

You can use it year-round to weed, feed, seed, and even apply ice melt. The hand-powered spreader means you can use it anywhere without any worry. Overall, it’s lightweight for easy use and features durable construction with a hand crank for easy spreader operation.

The ergonomic grip handle makes it a perfect choice as it’s easy to hold without getting tired for an extended time. Now, all you have to do is walk around with it as you control your lawn’s treatment.

See More Information about: Scotts Whirl Hand-Powered Turf builder Spreader

Pros

  • Simple and lightweight, compact size
  • Sturdy construction for bumpy lawns
  • Small area coverage
  • Easy dial adjustment

Cons

  • Not suitable for large yards
  • Have to tilt while using

3. Scotts Classic Drop Spreader

Best Walk Behind Spreader

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If you’ve got a big yard and want to tackle lawn care tasks efficiently, then the Scotts Turf Builder Drop Spreader is for you. It has a large capacity hopper that can hold 10,000 sq. ft of different lawn products, including grass seed, fertilizer, and weed control.

The large hopper delivers constant coverage of grass seed, fertilizer, and weed control products, creating a lush green lawn. The heavy-duty frame ensures optimum stability so you can mow different heights with confidence. At the same time, the 22-inch spread pattern delivers maximum coverage and accuracy.

This high-capacity spreader is pre-assembled and ready to use, with an easy-to-read calibration dial. The sturdy and stable build allows you to use this spreader in even the most demanding of conditions.

The easy-to-adjust release trigger and adjustable cutting width make it easy to customize based on your lawn’s unique needs. In addition, the spreader gives you uniform coverage to keep your property well maintained.

Large plastic wheels make it easy to push around even at the uneven surface. The heavy-duty frame provides you with maximum stability.

This classic drop spreader is an excellent choice for the seasoned gardener who wants to take his or her lawn management to the next level of precision.

See More Information about: Scotts Classic Drop Turf Builder Spreader

Pros

  • Large capacity hopper for any type of lawn
  • Wide uniform spread pattern
  • Pre-calibrated push along the spreader
  • Comes fully assembled

Cons

  • Slips on wet grass or rough terrain
  • Poor shipping packaging

4. Brinly Black Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader

Brinly Spreader for Large Yards

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Are you tired of spending hours on your knees to spread seed, fertilizer, ice melt, or other lawn care products? Then you’ll be happy to know that the Brinly Black Tow Behind spreader is here for you.

The high-capacity hopper holds 175 lb of seeds and fertilizers to maximize the spreading time than refilling the hopper. The durable polyethylene-made hopper is rust and dent-proof and won’t fade in the sun.

The rubber-made large wheels are smooth to move on uneven surfaces. The gears are made of glass-filled nylon and are fully enclosed with a nylon gearbox for additional protection. It’s the perfect spreader to cover large yards of 1 acre or more.

For a professional landscaper, this tow spreader will do the job faster and more accurately at a steady pace than other spreaders available in the market.

It’s easy to calibrate, has a patented autoflow with directional spread control, and includes a hopper cover for easy material loading. The universal hitch allows you to connect to a riding lawn mower or lawn tractor.

The spreader also includes a clear hopper cover with easy elastic on/off to keep the material fresh and dust away from the driver. With this spreader, you can count on professional results to make your life easier while saving you time maintaining a yard.

See More Information about: Brinly Black Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader

Pros

  • High-capacity broadcast spreader
  • Adjustable drop rate
  • Easy to reach locking to calibrate spreading
  • Elastic cover to keep moisture out

Cons

  • Difficult to calibrate
  • Weak hopper spring

7. Chapin Chest Mount Hopper Lawn Spreader

Best For Everyday Use

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If you’ve got a lawn to take care of, the Chapin Chest-Mounted Spreader is the perfect tool for the job. The efficient design allows you to wear it on your chest comfortably while walking.

The enclosed hopper keeps seed and other materials dry and free from exposure to the elements. The side baffle allows you to control the width of the spread easily and makes it easy to accommodate a variety of materials. The lightweight and comfortable design spreader are easy to use, and it can hold up to 35 pounds of product in reserve.

You can set the size of the opening, adjust the direction of spread, and cover a larger area without tiring as quickly. This chest-mounted spreader is also more environmentally friendly than a traditional handheld spreader.

There’s no more spilled product, and there’s less wasted time as it requires less effort to apply the product. In addition, its quick and easy adjustments are perfect for various products. You can wear them over a wide range of clothing options.

It’s also the most comfortable chest mount spreader available. It has a padded carrying strap that won’t dig into your shoulders and makes it easy to balance.

The wide mouth opening allows easy filling and clearing. The trigger release valve makes it easy to control the gate setting to control the flow rate and makes it easy to accommodate various materials.

See More Information about: Chapin Chest Mount Hopper Lawn Spreader

Pros

  • Wide mouth opening
  • Enclosed box
  • Padded carrying strap
  • Hand crank control for even spread

Cons

  • Might be heavy for some
  • Assembly instruction not clear
pushed broadcast spreader

What do you need to know when choosing a fertilizer spreader?

For a gardener, choosing the best spreader can be a challenge. There are so many types and functionality of spreaders available that it can become overwhelming. You should look out for the following features when choosing a fertilizer spreader.

Spreader type

When you’re deciding on a spreader, you want something that can deliver fertilizer evenly, which means finding one that has adjustable settings on the hopper.

If you’ve got a small garden, a handheld spreader works better, but for large size yards, you may either want to choose a drop or broadcast fertilizer spreader.

If you’re a commercial landscaper or live in the countryside with a large yard, you can choose a tow-behind spreader, but it will cost you more.

Fertilizer storage capacity

You can buy a spreader with different storage capacities. For example, some spreader models can hold more fertilizer than others, and some may be better suited to certain gardens and landscapes than others.

The large storage capacity spreader usually comes with wheels that hold the heavyweight of fertilizer. For a large yard size, you can buy a spreader with a capacity of above 60 lb.

Handheld spreaders usually come in small storage capacity to make them easy to use and operate. You can get away with choosing a 5-10 lb handheld spreader for small size yards.

Applicator propulsion

Broadcast and drop spreaders come in a push or walk-behind wheelbarrow type of configuration. These have a pair of wheels attached to a bucket that you push around. For larger yards, some models allow you to connect with a tractor or lawnmower.

These are often made with durable but lightweight plastic buckets mounted on a steel frame with wheels. These are great to use on spacious lawns with no tight corners.

The handheld spreader you can hold with a free hand or can be mounted on the chest with an adjustable strap. It gives you better precision during fertilization. You can visually see where the granules are being applied and adjust accordingly.

Spreading precision

When you’re spreading fertilizer, you want it to reach every part of the yard where you intend fertilizer to be. Therefore, precision is vital as it allows you to apply the right amount of fertilizer without missing any coverage area.

The uneven and over-fertilization could also result in an improper use of fertilizer. Sometimes, excess fertilization could damage your lawn permanently. A highly precise spreader with adjustable spreading settings gives you more flexibility when applying fertilizer.

We recommend that you choose a handheld spreader for its better precision and easy-to-use functionality. Their one-handed operation also makes it easy to use while being pretty affordable too. Although the broadcast spreader is less accurate than other spreads, it can still work well in most applications.

The more expensive model of spreaders can be adjusted to spread fertilizer at a specific rate. However, inexpensive models don’t usually have this feature. Therefore, you want to check that the settings are easy to read and can be switched around without any difficulty.

Build quality

We have seen many innovations in the fertilizer spreader design and build quality over the past few years. Some notable changes have been the material used in the construction itself, such as fibers, reinforced plastic for better durability of hoppers, and lightweight but stable metal frames.

But a good build quality spreader usually costs more than one that is made of flimsy materials. So it may seem to go with a cheaper option to save some money, but it may become more costly in the long term as you have to replace it frequently.

Pay attention to the build quality of the reservoir and material used in the construction. For example, the frame should be solid with no weak joints, and the wheels should be sturdy and easy to push around.

Ease of use

Gardening tools can be a pain to use, but some telltale features indicate a tool is easy to handle. For one thing, the weight of the spreader is essential. The heavy spreader can wear you out while working and is harder to lift or move around.

You should also check out the handle—it should be comfortable in your hand and shouldn’t cause any stress or fatigue to your hand. If you can’t get a spreader handle to fit comfortably in your hand, and you end up having to struggle to use it, you’re more likely to give up on your yard work.

What size spreader is best for your lawn?

When you’re looking to buy a spreader, you should choose the right spreader size. This all starts by first knowing the size of the yard.

After you find out the yard size, compare it with the maximum storage capacity of the spreader. This will give you some idea about the spreader size that you should buy.

If you’re physically fit, you can choose a large capacity spreader that reduces the time for stopping and refilling, but it will make you get tired. Follow these guidelines when deciding what type of spreader may work better in different situations.

Broadcast fertilizer spreader: Use on medium to large size yards. It’s most effective to cover lawn size above 5,000 sq. ft.

Drop fertilizer spreader: Great to use on medium-sized yards between 1,500 to 5,000 sq. ft size.

Handheld fertilizer spreader: It’s perfect to use on small gardens under 1,500 sq ft or if you need to apply fertilizer on container gardening, indoor, patios, or balcony planters. You get the most precise application, but it’s not suitable for large size yards.

How to use fertilizer spreaders the right way?

Before you start using a fertilizer spreader, you need to prepare your garden for planting. The fertilizer is best applied when there is no rain for a couple of days after application.

This is more important if you’re applying weed and feed granules as the rainwater may dilute herbicide effectiveness or wash away the fertilizer.

The use of a spreader depends on its type. You can refer to the instruction manual of the spreader for the correct way to use it. Follow these steps when using a fertilizer spreader.

Step 1: Setup the spreader based on the fertilizer type, spreading pattern, and distribution pattern. You need to determine the pace to allow uniform fertilizer distribution.

Step 2: Check the spreader opening to make sure it’s closed and load the fertilizer in the bin.

Step 3: Choose your fertilization path in a single direction pattern making sure you don’t overlap your way. This will prevent any leftover patch or over-fertilized area.

When using a broadcast spreader, you can first move in a crossing pattern. Then, for the second pass, reduce the spreader opening to half and move in the perpendicular direction of the first pass.

Step 4: Visually inspect after application and check if there is any bare spot left. You can cover these areas separately. Edges and tight corners are often the missed areas.

Step 5: You need to clean up the spreader after use. This prevents any rusting of the frame or clogging up the spreader opening. Wash it with a garden hose and let it dry. You can apply rust-proof machine oil to wheels and spreader mechanisms.

What setting do you put the fertilizer spreader on?

Many factors need to be considered when deciding what setting to use on a fertilizer spreader. The spreader setting refers to the pounds of fertilizer released from one pass of the spreader.

The number is usually referred to as in-lb per 1,000 square feet. The first number represents the number of pounds of fertilizer released per 1000 sq. feet of area. The second number tells you the feet that the spreader will travel in one pass.

You should choose the spreader setting depending on how much fertilizer you want to be spread in every 1,000 sq. ft. 

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