Best fertilizer, drop, lawn, broadcast & grass seed spreader

Sometimes even Mother Nature can’t provide all the goodness in your soil, and you need some extra help. That’s where fertilizers come in. Much like the name suggests, they have all the essential nutritious munchies your soil needs.

The soil must be fed right to more fertile and rich and bear good crops. Even if you use the best fertilizer in the market, you won’t yield optimal results if the technique is incorrect. That’s why we bring you the full details on the best fertilizer, including drop and broadcast models. We’ll also get into grass speed spreaders out there and how to use them.

garden tool

What is it used for?

The current state of the soil in the world is alarming, with severe deficiencies of the essential nutrients of zinc and manganese. As long as they rely on manual work, farmers who opt for fertilizers can also not increase fertility or production yield.

Since the scattering is uneven, the nutrition is received in some parts and not others. As a result, the production yield is low.

fertilizer spreader

With these devices, you can aim for accuracy and high area coverage. And guess what. You can even let the laborers focus on something more important as the spreader will take this task off your hands.

This may seem like a menial task in farming. Since the population is increasing and resources are depleting, preservation and enrichment of the soil are of utmost importance. It is only with a high production yield from good soil that can meet the global agricultural demands.

green fertilizer

Can you spread fertilizer without a tool?

Although lawn professionals advise against it, manually spreading the fertilizer without a tool is possible. Since the fertilizer can irritate skin and even be poisonous if ingested, you should wear gloves before doing the job.

Ideally, you should start the process in the morning when the soil is dewy but not drenched. Take a bucket full of fertilizer and start from one corner. Walk-in reverse as you continue in a sweeping motion with your hands. Reverse the process again when you finish one line to spread in a perpendicular motion.

Types

When it comes to choosing the best one for the purpose, there are plenty of options in the market. Let’s learn about the various types to know which best fits your farm needs.

Types
DropRotary
PneumaticLiquid spray
fertilizer spreader seen from above

Drop

This is for those who love precision and want to cover a small area of land quickly. It features two wheels and a wide opening through which the fertilizer is dropped. Through this technique, the fertilizer can cover the area more precisely. However, it is more time-consuming than the other rotary or spray spreader alternatives.

Rotary

Also known as a broadcast model, this beauty has a rotating disk to help roundly distribute the solid fertilizer through the hopper. The ‘broadcast’ refers to the act of spreading several fertilizer feet away and around the machine. Therefore, it’s no wonder that they can cover three times the area of their width with each movement.

But of course, there’s a catch! Covering more area in a short amount of time also means less accuracy. It means room for double coverage or leaving some portion completely unfertilized. At such low cost and maintenance, these are worth the price.

Pneumatic

It’s time to bring out the big guns! These mean machines may look scary, but they are ideal for large farms. They have been designed for the inter-row distribution of huge areas of land. The capacity of holding fertilizer is very high and makes for fewer refill runs. It usually comes with four or more dispensers that precisely cover the desired area. The best part is you don’t even need a large transport strip since its frames can be folded horizontally and vertically.

Liquid spray

This might be your best bet if you’re looking for a quick fix. These work through a hose connected to a canister. The canister will usually contain dry granulated fertilizer, which will dissolve in the water that will flow through the hose. The result is the fertilizer mix being sprayed out through the nozzle. Of course, these kinds are only good options for a small piece of land. They’re also good for a quick job in case of emergencies since they lack the accuracy of rotary and drop models.

What to look for

spreader

It’s a good idea to list your needs before you go shopping. How big is the area you want to cover? Would you prefer something semi-automatic or completely manual? Do you prefer a liquid spray or the dry granular type? Let’s cover these points in detail below.

What to look for
CapacityLevel of precision
Types of materialsEase of use
Individual partsStorage needs
Scott fertilizer spreader

How much can it hold?

You’ve got your ideal spreader, but it doesn’t hold too much fertilizer. Now you have to waste your precious time refilling the canister twice or more times in one session. Big farm owners are more likely to face this scenario and thus must choose one with a suitable holding capacity. Here’s a reference for your benefit

You’re all set with a handheld option for small lawns and farms up to 1,500 square feet. But if you’re in the range of 1,500- 5,000 square feet, it’s best to go for a simple walk-behind one. In the scenario that you have to cover something in the range of 5,000-20,000 square feet, you need something bigger. Get your hands on a walk-behind spreader to avoid multiple pit stops.

What can it help with?

It is not just how much and how far when it comes to capacity. The question is also how many types of materials the machine can handle. Can it handle sand and compost? Will it be able to do powdered lime? Always match your fertilizer type with the capacity of your choice of the tool.

How precise is it?

Precision is always better than a handheld manual one when it comes to precision. The drop spreader is the most precise of the various types but doesn’t promise speed. If you’re looking for a quick job and can live with less accurate results, broadcast models are your go-to. You can calibrate the broadcast’s settings and walk at an even pace for better precision for even coverage.

budget fertilizer spreader

How easy is it to use?

If you’re a beginner, it is best to choose one with the least complex functions and ease of maintenance. For instance, a novice farmer will have a tough time using a pneumatic model.

How should the individual parts be made?

Look for a good quality material like polypropylene in a hopper. The steel handles should be rust-free for longer life.

The wheels should be at least between 8-10″ with good quality plastic. It ensures it’s durable enough to roll over the tough bits and bumps in the lawn. For the best control, you should opt for a 12″ wheel size.

tool that helps with seeding

How much storage capacity do you have?

This point is the most neglected. As farm owners rush to buy their equipment, they often forget to take heed of their storage capacity. If you’ve bought yourself a huge pneumatic device but have no storage space, you’ll be forced to keep it in the open. It’ll be prone to damage and rust.

Make sure you have a storage barn and take measurements if required before going shopping.

What to look for if you’re buying a second-hand one?

Look for signs of rust and corrosion. If you spot any, that indicates the improper maintenance and washing out of the spreader after each use. Alternatively, it could also mean the device was left out in the open rather than being stored indoors.

It’s important to check the hopper and see if it lines up with the frame in a parallel manner. See if the joints between the hopper and frame are intact, as hasty work would have led to pressure on the joints.

You should always take it for a test run and check the gearbox’s oil. If the oil is cloudy or brown, it’s time for a refill. Ideally, the oil should be clear and enough to last a lifetime.

What is the best fertilizer spreader?

We’ve got a list of the best fertilizer spreaders lined up for you to make the best choice. Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly options or going all out, this list will certainly help you make a final choice.

Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard

The namesake of this mean machine is its best feature – the edge guard. It lines up with the edge of your farm. It doesn’t spread any fertilizer onto unwanted areas like the driveways and streets. Apart from this, this push model can cover a farm as large as 5,000 square feet. Small to medium lawns and farms are a perfect fit!

It has easy storage with foldable handles and comes fully assembled for your total comfort.

NameScotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard
Country of OriginChina
Domestic ShippingItem can be shipped within U.S.
Item Weight10.9 pounds
Product Dimensions19 x 22 x 22 inches

Pros

  • We tested it out, and it does cover 5,000 square feet.
  • You can get a bigger model that covers up to 20,000 square feet.

Cons

  • Some of the other products on this list cover a bigger area.
Sale
Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard 
28,624 Reviews
Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard 
You can trust Scotts.

Titan 50 lb. Broadcast

You can guess this heavy-weight machine through the name. It can hold a whopping 50lb, which means fewer refill runs! The best part is the variety of materials it can work with. It is compatible with everything from grass seeds to regular fertilizers.

Since it’s made from high-grade plastic and steel, the body is light enough to tackle uphill but sturdy enough to handle rough terrains.

NameTitan
Item Weight25 pounds
Package Dimensions25 x 15 x 15 inches

Pros

  • We love the different positions to allow different flows as you work your way across an area.
  • It even worked with sand when we tested it.

Cons

  • Assembling the device was tedious.
Titan 50 lb. Broadcast
402 Reviews
Titan 50 lb. Broadcast
The 50 lbs drum is great.

Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast

This is one for the big farms, with its large coverage capacity of up to 14000 square feet. It is a tow-type or pull-behind model. It means it can be attached to a tractor or lawnmower to do its job. The pros include its sturdy steel frame. It has a large width of up to 10 feet and an 86 lb capacity. It is a great attraction for big farm owners to minimize refill runs. The 3-year warranty is also a plus in case of any breakdowns or repairs needed.

NameAgri-Fab 45-0462
Item Weight35 pounds
Product Dimensions48 x 27.1 x 33.6 inches

Pros

  • The spreader feels very solid.
  • We love the height of the handlebar.
  • There’s a great option to calibrate the spread

Cons

  • It may be too big for a lot of people.
Sale
Agri-Fab 45-0462
1,081 Reviews
Agri-Fab 45-0462
Here it is.
tool to spread fertilizer

Scotts Snap System

This one is exclusive for use only with the Scotts Snap Pac Fertilizer. Its popularity is owed to its snazzy HandyLock technology and Scott’s signature touch. It’s the trusty EdgeGuard.

The instructions are simple. You only need to snap and lock the Snap Pac and start the work! This super-easy guide makes it ideal for beginner farmers and gardening enthusiasts.

The best part is that the Snap Pac will reseal on its own once you’re done, with no product wastage.

Pros

  • Scotts is a very popular brand.
  • It’s very easy to assemble.

Cons

  • We struggled when we tried using larger seed types.

Spyker Ergo- Pro series

Nothing speaks brand loyalty like Spyker. A specialist in the underlying technology for over 150 years, Spyker has a model for every kind of farmer.

A recent innovation is an Ergo-Pro series that Spyker admits to being a pricey investment. It’s the last spreader you’ll buy in your lifetime. Reviews suggest the high price is worth avoiding the hassle of buying average equipment once a year.

For instance, the walk-behind 80 lb SPY- 1P model has an ergonomic handle design for user comfort. It is even compatible with several materials like ice melt, salt, seeds, and fertilizer.

Pros

  • It feels like you’re driving a luxury car when you use it.

Cons

  • It is pretty heavy.

Field-Tuff AS-80ATV12 Receiver-mount ATV

An ATV is a handy All-terrain vehicle, usually in pull-behind design to maximize the area covered. This is why it often comes in a larger size than push-behind units. ATV dot com suggests the best ATV spreader is the Field- Tuff 80ATV12

Not only does it feature an overall diameter of 12 feet. Even a rainy day also can’t stop you from your tasks. It features a rain cover to keep all your materials completely dry, even on the go. What’s more? All the controls are within reach of your seat. That is exactly why this model has also been labeled the best 3-point model by garden hugs.

Pros

  • It was easy to mount on an ATV.

Cons

  • You can’t use it without an ATV.

Andersons Pro International 2000 Rotary

Founded as early as 1947, the Anderson brand focused on turf health for several decades. They boast state-of-the-art facilities and millions of investments in innovations like their Dispersing Granule Technology.

The Model 2000 Rotary features a unique spiral cone feature that ensures accuracy and no spillage in unwanted areas. The Pneumatic tires are durable and highly versatile. The hopper cover and enamel finish making it a runner-up in the league of long-lasting models. It’s right after the Spyker ergo pro series.

Earthway 2150 walk-behind

This is a high-tech commercial model with multiple uses. Not only can it work on up to an acre of land. Users of any height can also easily control the machine thanks to the two-position adjustable heights. A three-hole drop system allows for precise dropping and spreading with minimum pilferage. The tires even feature rust-proof rims, so you know this machine isn’t giving up on easily.

The gearbox is stated to be a beauty. Of professional-grade use so that it might outlast a generation of farmers!

Scott’s whirl hand-powered

Don’t think we forgot the small farms and gardens! This small but nifty machine might weigh only 1 lb but is extremely versatile. It can do everything from ice melt to seeds. Since the body is plastic, there is no chance of corrosive damage.

The most attractive feature is its convenient usage. Once you’ve filled the hopper with the goods, push the trigger and twist the handle to get going. To cover evenly over your farm, twist at a steady pace and walk slowly at a consistent pace.

There is no assembly required, and you can get working as soon as it is delivered!

Pros

  • You’ll get a good workout in.
  • I’m pretty sure my forearms doubled in size from using it in a small yard.

Cons

  • It’s not as convenient as some of the other products.

Solo 421 portable

Here’s another one for the small farmers with a whopping 20 lb capacity. This means the machine can do both narrow and broad-spectrum work. It makes it one of the top choices for a hand helder model. There are no chances of wear and tear on the gearbox since it is completely sealed inside the machine.

One nifty advantage this model has over the wheeled competitors is its ability to reach areas where wheels won’t allow. This makes it perfect for small to medium gardens and farms.

Pros

  • It’s much more pleasant than the other manual option.

Cons

  • It might take some getting used to having it up against your belly.

FAQ

What kind of fertilizer spreader is best?

The answer lies in your type of lawn and your needs entirely. A broadcast or rotary spreader is best if you have a large lawn area to cover. A rotary spreader will cover accurately and make sure to reach the farthest corners of your lawn. While if you have a smaller area or want to cover the area around driveways, a drop spreader might be more precise. A drop spreader won’t waste your product as well.

Which is better – drop or rotary spreader?

A drop spreader is for those who would like precision. Suppose you are willing to invest time in walking around lines and covering each area evenly. In that case, a drop spreader is ideal for you. But for comfort, most will prefer a rotary spreader as it does the job fast and spreads far and wide. A large farm needs a rotary spreader. A smaller lawn area needs a drop spreader.

What is the best way to spread fertilizer?

Regardless of which fertilizer spreader you use, the technique is important. It can be drop or rotary units. The correct technique includes walking at an even and steady pace to cover the lawn equally. For this purpose, a broadcast spreader will ensure you aren’t left with some unfilled rows in between.

Do I really need a broadcast spreader?

Unless you wish to spread fertilizer manually with your hands, you need a broadcast spreader. But don’t worry, as the handheld type broadcast spreaders can be bought for just $15. Larger broadcast spreaders can be bought starting at just $30. This is a must for larger lawns as you won’t end up with unfertilized areas in your field.

Are handheld fertilizer spreaders any good?

A handheld spreader is a good buy for you if you’re starting in farming. It’s easy to use and highly portable. You’ll learn the basics of farming with handheld spreaders. A broadcast or drop spreader is a better option if you have a large lawn and wish to dive right in. The reason is simple. Handheld spreaders aren’t as precise and cannot certainly cover large areas.

Scotts spreader is one of the most popular spreaders out there. Learn how to operate one easily with our steps below.

How to use Scott’s spreader?

  1. Adjust the settings.

    The back of the fertilizer spreader will have indications as to which setting suits it best. Use that to adjust the setting on your spreader.

  2. Fill the hopper.

    Open up the package and fill up the hopper to start spreading.

  3. Turn on edge guard.

    This setting directs the fertilizer away from sidewalks and bushes where you don’t want the fertilizer spreading.

  4. Start walking.

    Start walking at a steady pace and ensure the pace is uniform throughout the run.

  5. Turn off the edge guard.

    Turn off the edge guard. Start spreading back and forth on the longest side of your lawn. Your spreading paths should be 5 feet apart to avoid waste of product by too much spreading.

  6. Put away the remaining fertilizer.

    You can empty the hopper back in the bag and store it for later use. Now your lawn can be used as normal again.

That’s it, folks!

Now that you know how to go about picking the best one for your lawn, head to the market and start shopping! If you’re still confused, you can also choose from our list of top 10 spreaders of every kind. There are great ATV and push-behind ones.

If you’re new to farming and gardening in general, remember to consult a professional. Calibrating your first spreader is important. Or you can start with a pre-assembled handheld option until you get the hang of the larger machines.