Best Fertilizer Spreader Reviews and Buying Guide 2017
A sprawling green lawn in perfect condition sets off any garden, large or small.
Keeping your grass in peak condition is not easy, though. You will need the best fertilizer and a solid spreader in order to make light work of the job at hand.
Everyone needs food in order to survive and thrive. Your lawn is no different. Although the process of photosynthesis will result in most of the sustenance being provided, it never hurts to give nature a helping hand.
And if you want to fertilize your garden properly, you’ll need to get yourself a good spreader unless you want to invest a great deal of effort into performing this task manually.
- 1 Our Pick For Top 5 Fertilizer Spreader
- 2 What Is A Fertilizer Spreader?
- 3 What Are The Different Types of Lawn Spreader Good For?
- 4 Tips For Using A Fertilizer Spreader
- 5 What To Look For…
- 6 5 Best Fertilizer Spreader
- 6.1 1) Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader
- 6.2 Pros
- 6.3 Cons
- 6.4 2) Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 6.5 Pros
- 6.6 Cons
- 6.7 3) Earthway 2150 Commercial 50-Pound Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 6.8 Pros
- 6.9 Cons
- 6.10 4) Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader
- 6.11 Pros
- 6.12 Cons
- 6.13 5) Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader
- 6.14 Pros
- 6.15 Cons
- 7 Wrap-Up
Our Pick For Top 5 Fertilizer Spreader
Broadcast or Drop?
Coverage in square feet
What Is A Fertilizer Spreader?
There are 3 main types of spreader:
- Tow-Behind Spreader
- Push Spreader/Walk-Behind Spreader
- Handheld Spreader
Whichever type you choose, the basic principle remains the same. A bin or hopper holds whatever lawn care product you want to spread. In this case, it’ll be fertilizer.
As you move on around your garden, the fertilizer will drop down through one or more openings and onto the grass.
You can generally control the amount of the product expelled using the application rate control.
In effect, a lawn spreader is just another labor-saving device that will allow you to take care of heavy maintenance in no time. This will free you up for the more enjoyable aspects of gardening.
What Are The Different Types of Lawn Spreader Good For?
We’ll look briefly now at the various types of spreader available and what kind of conditions they are best for dealing with.
This is a wheeled model with a very large capacity.
Tow-behind spreaders are designed to be pulled along behind a ride-on lawn mower or an ATV.
The spreading mechanism is kicked into action by the turning wheels.
With some of these advanced tow-behinds, you’ll also get an aerating attachment meaning you can multi-task and save even more precious time.
If you have an extremely large grassed area, a tow-behind lawn spreader is definitely the smart choice.
Push Spreader/Walk-Behind Spreader
This more basic piece of equipment is also wheeled and operates in much the same way as the tow-behind variants. You don’t need any kind of vehicle and simply carry out the job manually.
The mechanism works in exactly the same fashion.
If you have a medium lawn or a reasonably large but not excessive garden, think seriously about this type of spreader. Just make sure that you are equipped to deal with the physical work involved before deciding on this option.
If you are looking for a highly compact model for smaller gardening needs, opt for a handheld spreader.
These are operated by a crank and, although small, are still highly effective. They are also great for taking care of any bare patches on your lawn.
There’s no right or wrong choice of fertilizer spreader. Focus purely on which will best serve your personal requirements.
Tips For Using A Fertilizer Spreader
Using a lawn spreader is pretty simple stuff but here are a few handy hints to simplify it further…
- When you are loading the spreader, do this over the driveway rather than grass
- Maker sure you calibrate the spreader following the instructions for the model you choose
- Pay close attention to the recommended distribution rate and pattern
- Always move around with the spreader at an even, controlled pace
- If you are turning or stopping, make sure you close the opening
- Remember that crisscross patterns make for the most effective fertilizer spreading
- Make sure you clear away any surplus from the driveway or sidewalk when you’re done
- Wash and clean your spreader thoroughly after each use. Many lawn care products can provoke rust if you skip this step
What To Look For…
Price is always a key factor when you are buying new tools for your garden.
The good news is that lawn spreaders are not especially expensive.
Think carefully first about the type of spreader that’s the best fit for your garden and then focus on those models that fall within your budget.
Broadcast Spreader or Drop Spreader?
Broadcast Spreader or Drop Spreader?
In addition to the different models mentioned above, you also have a choice in how your spreader works.
There are 2 key variants, broadcast spreaders and drop spreaders.
- Broadcast Spreader: If you want to spread your fertilizer over large areas in double quick time, broadcast is the way to go. Your fertilizer will fall from the hopper onto a revolving disc and from there will be distributed over the lawn. One snag with the broadcast variety is that they can flick the material into a neighbor’s garden if you’re not careful. Look for models with a guard that blocks part of the pattern of distribution. You can then work around the edges of your garden worry-free
- Drop Spreaders: Drop spreaders are much more accurate in terms of their delivery system. As the name suggests, the fertilizer simply drops down and onto the lawn. The downside is that the distribution pattern is pretty small so you will need to make more passes. Make sure you align the passes correctly so you don’t miss patches or end up with striping on your lawn
Aside from considering price and the different styles at your disposal, lawn spreaders are really pretty simple pieces of equipment.
Read plenty of user reviews to get an idea of what customers like and dislike then choose your lawn spreader and put it to work!
We’ll now explore top 5 fertilizer spreader reviews to make this task even easier for you…
5 Best Fertilizer Spreader
Broadcast or Drop?
Coverage in square feet
First up is a fertilizer spreader from a household name in the garden world, Scotts.
It’s a mini broadcast model coming in at an extremely keen price so it’s great for all budgets.
The EdgeGuard technology patented by Scotts ensures that none of your fertilizer ends up being spread where it’s not wanted.
You’ll enjoy best results from this spreader if it’s used in tandem with other Scotts products. This is not essential but will maximize efficiency.
The oversized hopper is good for enough product to service areas up to 5000 square feet without needing to refill it.
With no assembly needed, you’ll be up and running without a hitch.
There are a few drawbacks including a broadcasting mechanism that tends to clog and no accurate rate calculator.
Overall, though, if you are looking for a bargain lawn spreader that won’t let you down, give the Turf Builder a try.
- EdgeGuard technology ensures your fertilizer is not spread into neighboring gardens
- Very cheap so suitable for all buyers
- No assembly necessary so good to go straight out the box
- Substantial hopper that will hold enough fertilizer for 5000 square feet
- Pre-calibrated so no need to mess around
- Lightweight and easy to store away
- Broadcasting mechanism is plastic so it can clog up
- No rate calculator
- Fertilizer can collect in open areas of wheels
Another broadcast spreader is up next, this time the 45-463 from the well-respected manufacturer Agri-Fab.
If you have a vast lawn and a vehicle to tow your spreader behind, this model garners consistently great feedback.
Controlling the machine is extremely simple. The rod for the On/Off control is built to last and the settings are ideal.
The gearbox is enclosed and you’ll be able to spread your fertilizer evenly exactly where you want it.
With the ability to carry up to 130 pounds of fertilizer or your other lawncare products, this really is a beast of a machine. You’ll be able to cover areas up to 25,000 square feet.
The large tires will cope with uneven terrain and the wide wheelbase offers superb stability.
If you have ambitious fertilizing needs and want a no-nonsense workhorse that’s built to last, you can’t go far wrong with Agri-Fab’s 45-0463.
- Very easy to control so totally user-friendly
- Awesome for fertilizing huge areas of grass with little effort
- Spreads fertilizer evenly fuss-free
- Huge capacity for 130 pounds of lawncare products
- Great value for money
- Hopper cover, grate and deflector not included
Earthway offer a walk-behind broadcast spreader that’s perfect for medium-sized gardens.
Although you’ll need to use a little effort, Earthway make this easier with the extended handle perfectly designed for ease of use.
The oversized, pneumatic tires will cope well on all surfaces, even if the turf is a little uneven.
With a setting control that’s ideally calibrated, accuracy goes hand-in-glove with speed when you are fertilizing your beloved garden.
Capable of holding 50 pounds of fertilizer, the 2150 is suitable for all needs, even when it comes to small commercial projects.
The patented EVE-N-Spread technology will allow you to spread your fertilizer exactly where it’s needed.
Assembly can be fairly time-consuming so take this into account if you are not the most practical person.
With a durable frame, total versatility and outstanding functionality, the 2150 is by no means the cheapest lawn spreader on the market but represents brilliant value for money and merits a place on any fertilizer spreader shortlist.
- Great for medium-sized areas
- Extended handle for easy, comfortable operation
- Perfect for uneven surfaces due to large tires
- Setting control very well-calibrated for ultimate accuracy
- Holds an impressive 50 pounds of material
- EVE-N-Spread technology for controlled spreading
- Need a little physical effort to operate
- Awkward to assemble
Everyone has different gardening needs and varying budgets so we wanted to include an inexpensive handheld spreader and the Scotts Wizz is among the best of this variety.
If you have a small garden and don’t mind putting in a little elbow grease, the Wizz is a smart choice.
With the standard EdgeGuard technology of all Scott spreaders combined with a Handy Lock feature, you get a lot for very little with the Fizz.
You can use this spreader year-round for fertilizing, seeding, weeding and melting so it’s a truly versatile piece of kit.
For anyone looking for a battery-powered, lightweight spreader that’s easy to use and extremely affordable, the Fizz is a wise choice.
- Extremely cheap
- Handheld model so great for accessing awkward areas
- EdgeGuard and Handy Lock technologies a nice touch on a budget spreader
- Can be used year-round to spread a variety of garden products
- Limited coverage at 2500 square feet
- Bullet Point 2
Last up is a drop spreader, again from Scotts.
The push spreader has a 22-inch spread pattern that guarantees complete accuracy and maximum coverage.
This model is very reasonably priced so even if you are short on funds, there’s no excuse not to invest in a fertilizer spreader.
You can get to work right away as the Turf Builder comes fully assembled and ready for action.
It will hold enough lawn food to treat areas up to 10,000 square feet which is pretty impressive for a budget spreader.
If you are looking for a rugged and reliable fertilizer spreader without needing to take out a bank loan, the Scotts Turf Builder Classic will not disappoint.
- Heavy-duty frame is stable and durable
- Inexpensive so great for those on a budget
- 22-inch spread pattern ensures total accuracy
- No assembly required so ready to use immediately
- Needs some effort as it’s a manual spreader
Proper lawn maintenance is essential if you want that fresh, green look to set off your garden.
All of these fertilizer spreaders are fit for purpose and smart buys. Take the time and effort to choose the right model for your precise needs and it should last you for many years to come.
If you have any questions about these nifty products – or about any other aspect of gardening – reach out to us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.