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Best Fertilizer, Lawn, Seed, salt spreaders Reviews for 2020: Broadcast, Drop, Hand Held, and Tow Behind

Chances are very high that you have a big garden or yard and you seek the best fertilizer spreaders to save you the stress of broadcasting manually.

The fertilizer spreader is also referred to as the lawn spreader or seed spreader, this is because they can serve the tri-purpose of fertilizer, seed and lawn broadcasting, which is like killing three birds with one stone.

The problem here is to choose the best one to solve you need while also affordable and durable, that is where the pain lie, but worry less, as the crew at REVIEWSRUSH presents to you

Depending on what you want to call it or the purpose it is meant to serve in your yard and gardening activities.

We will give you the best deal in all the best fertilizer sprayer and all its variation including stand-alone seed spreaders and sprayers and those specifically for your lawns too.

There are different types of lawn spreader, but we will stick to the four most popular ones. We will point out what they are best suited for in terms of application and the size of your garden, we will also look into the brand quality.

We will touch on all the seed spreaders too, giving a definition, what they are needed for, how to select a best deal and general tips on calibration and usage.

In this this buyer’s guide, we’ll take a look at lawn spreaders in detail: what they are, the different types, how to choose one, and tips for calibration and use.

Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast SpreaderScotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader5,000 & 15,000 sqft$$BEST
Scotts Wizz Hand-Held SpreaderScotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader2,500 sqft$$BEST
Buyers ATVS15A 15-Gallon ATV Broadcast Spreader With Rain Cover Buyers ATVS15A 15-Gallon ATV Broadcast Spreader With Rain Cover 37.3 pounds$$$GREAT
Garden-Outdoor Earthway 2750 Hand-Operated Bag Spreader/SeederGarden-Outdoor Earthway 2750 Hand-Operated Bag Spreader/Seeder25 lbs$$BEST
Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Broadcast SpreaderAgri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader130 lbs$$$GREAT
Earthway F130 Commercial Adaptable Broadcast Spreader Earthway F130 Commercial Adaptable Broadcast Spreader 50 lbs$$$GREAT
Field Tuff AS-80ATV12 Receiver Mount SpreaderField Tuff AS-80ATV12 Receiver Mount Spreader80 lbs$$$BEST
Solo 421 20lb Chest-Mount Portable Broadcast Fertilizer Spreader Solo 421 20lb Chest-Mount Portable Broadcast Fertilizer Spreader
7 pounds$$$BEST
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop SpreaderScotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader10,000 sqft$$GREAT
Brinly BS36BH Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader, 175-Pound Brinly BS36BH Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader, 175-Pound 4.75 pounds$$$BEST

What are Fertilizer Spreaders (Lawn or seed, salt spreaders)?

A lawn spreader is basically a hand held tool used in the garden for the application of fertilizer and seeds. This makes the work easier as it becomes automated and faster. All you have to is load it up and fire.

The general working principle of the fertilizer spreaders is that, they help to make uniform applications and dispersal of seeds in the lawn over a large area. If you have a big yard, you do not want to this manually.

They also aid in controlling the amount of seeds or fertilizer, this helps to check the incidence of under or over application, but ideally, they are time savers and help you to accomplish more in the garden.

Types of Fertilizer Spreaders

Spreaders are generally of four main types:

  • Drop spreaders.
  • Broadcast spreaders.
  • Handheld spreaders
  • Pull-Behind Spreaders

The choice you should make will be dependent on some factors like, the size of your garden or yard, the type of application method that interests you and the ease of operations.

Broadcast Spreaders

The broadcast spreaders are also referred to as the rotary or rotating spreaders, because of the rotating mechanism that they possess. They are the most common type of lawn spreaders.

They are great for covering larger expanse of land or yard, they can spray as far as 3-4inches from your standpoint and they make the job faster and easier.

Working principle of the Broadcast Spreaders for fertilizers, lawn and seeds

  • The broadcast spreader works on a basic principle, where the hopper that is placed at the top feeds the materials to a horizontal spinning disk underneath. The disk has blades that disperse the materials (fertilizer or seed) as they drop from the hopper.
  • Some more advanced broadcast spreaders will include the ability to adjust the directions and distance of the spreading or dispersal.
  • Most cheaper broadcast spreaders hopper are made from plastic, hut the more expensive ones are made from steel and this improves its durability because the steel used is high resistant to rust and corrosion.

Recommended Broadcast spreader: Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader

Drop Spreaders

Drop spreader as there name implies, have a much larger hopper than the broadcast spreaders and the materials (seeds and fertilizers) are dropped straight in to the hopper.

If you aim for more precision in the application of fertilizer and seed, then this is your best deal. They are pushed directly over the application zone like a dead strip or row of garden and be less worried about creating a mess.

They are great for fixing spots in your lawns and wherever you have dead patches in your yard.

Recommended Drop spreader: Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, (Up to 10,000-sq ft)

Handheld Spreaders

The Hand held spreader is the easiest of all the fertilizer spreaders there is, it is also very lightweight. The principle is to drop the material into the hopper, to disperse the seeds or fertilizers, all you do is just to turn the hand crank and you are in business.

They are not precise and they have low carrying capacity so the materials it can carry is limited and they cannot spread very far off like the broadcast spreaders and not well calibrated like the drop spreaders.

Recommended Handheld spreader: Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader

Pull-Behind Spreaders

The pull-behind spreaders or tow behind spreaders are heavy duty and are a bigger and improved version of the smaller broadcast spreaders. They are motorized and some are even electrical.

They are also known as the tow behind fertilizer spreader and they are mostly attached to and towed by a tractor or ATV. They are mounted on the tractor or ATV which uses its wheel to power the gears that in turn rotates the horizontal spreader disk, this then results in spreading.

If your garden or yard is very large, then you need the tow behind fertilizer spreader as this can contain more materials in the hopper, the spreading distance is expanded the only downside is the cost. But we have a bargain for you.

Recommended Pull-Behind spreader: Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader

Considerations in selecting the Right and best Lawn Spreaders

Now you already have an idea about the types and kind of spreaders there are today, it is time we go a notch higher by differentiating what makes one spreader better than the other.

There are some factors you have to give concern to aside just the types and they include:

  • Your budget
  • Durability and lifespan
  • Size and shape of your lawn
  • Materials and used to construct and composition of the spreader.

Size of Your farm, garden, yard or Lawn

The size and shape of your lawn is a major factor which will affect the type of spreader you should invest in.

For a big, levelled and uniform lawn, a drop spreader is the best pick. The precise nature of this spreader will make it easy for you to use it on your lawn like when using a mower.

A smaller sized garden or a lawn strip will be highly fitted for a handheld broadcaster. This will save you on some cash and its portability and ease of use will also be a highlight.

If you are already using a lawn that is very large and covers over an acre, then you need a larger broadcaster spreader or just settle for the ever reliable tow behind broadcast spreader that operates on 4-wheel. It can cover a large area in one go and this improves your fertilizing and seeding activities exceedingly.

Your Spreader Budget

Generally, all seed spreaders are generally cheap and you can even get one for less than 40bucks depending on the type and quality though.

The higher priced model are made from better quality materials, they last longer with a larger hopper capacity and come other accessories like spreader adjustments and hopper delivery.

Lifespan / Durability

The lifespan and durability of your lawn spreader will be dependent on not only the quality but also how well you can maintain it.

They are mostly made from plastic, thus, they should be kept away from direct sunlight to prevent material breakdown that leads to brittleness.

If the chemicals from your fertilizers are highly corrosive, then you should hop for a rot resistant stainless steel fertilizer spreader so it does no break down.

Generally, always wash and dry your lawn spreaders immediately after use to prolong its shelf life.

As long as you take care of your seed spreader, you’ll be able to use it for years. If it’s made of plastic, it should be stored away from the sun to prevent premature breakdown and brittleness. If you’re using corrosive fertilizers, then you should consider a spreader with a stainless steel hopper so it holds up to the abuse.

Material and Quality of the spreaders

The material quality of the fertilizer spreader is a factor to its build quality, you should also consider the materials used in making the spreader. Most expensive and high end spreaders have hoppers made from steel which makes them more precise and durable.

Low end or cheaper spreaders for the money are made with plastic hopper, while you may always want to go for the metal or steel spreader, remember that plastic requires lesser maintenance, cannot rot and is easily fixed it is gets broken even by a low skilled mechanic or yourself.

How to Use a Fertilizer Spreader, lawn spreaders, seed spreaders and salt spreaders

The usage of the spreader is important or you might as well have not bought it in the first place. We have fixed you with a simple usage guide you should follow to mount and use your lawn spreaders.

We also show you how to calibrate your seed spreaders and fertilizer spreaders as this can be the difference between covering more area, lagging behind in your activity and how the broadcasting rate will be.

It’s not useful to have a fertilizer spreader and not know how to use it, is it!? These suggestions will help you get the most out of your purchase. Pay particular attention to the calibration section, as it’ll make the biggest difference in how much square footage you can fertilize and how densely you fertilize.

General Fertilizer Spreaders usage guide and tips

You want to check through the user manual or instruction manual of the spreader, it will rightly contain all the instructions that you need to proceed, including how to calibrate and set up the spreader hopper.

Here are a few more tips that your instruction manual may not cover:

  • Fill the spreader’s hopper till it gets to the marker or gauge.
  • Ensure that is done in a place that you can easily clean up.
  • Add up any spilled seed or fertilizer back into the hopper
  • When in the field, move at an even pace to ensure the spreading is equal
  • When you are done with spreading and broadcasting, wash the device with water and its oily it metal parts to prevent corrosion.

How to Use a Broadcast fertilizer Spreader

This section will teach you how to use the broadcast fertilizer spreaders and seed spreaders. Most broadcast spreaders are clumsier than a drop spreader, it is almost likened to throwing the fertilizers or seeds away without direction in some cases.

This may result in over-fertilization and leads to toxicity which will render the yard totally unproductive. If it is the case of seeding, it will result in loss of seedlings and even over seeding and lead to plant competition.

Be sure to check back when you are done with the day’s job to see where there was over or under application of fertilizers and seeding and apply appropriate action.

Calibrating a Fertilizer Spreader: How to calibrate a lawn spreader

One of the first things to take note of after getting your spreader and preparing for its first use is to calibrate it properly.

You should do this to control how they output or broadcast the solid or granule fertilizer, seeds, pesticides, salts out into your lawn or yard.

If you do not control how the materials are outputted from the hopper by calibrating the spreader, you may over or under apply and there are serious consequences for that.

Check through the instruction or operation manual if it included and check for any recommended calibration from the manufacturer. If it does not work, you can also calibrate to your own taste.

You should also ensure to check and recalibrate from time to time when dispersing or broadcasting different materials like seeds, salts, fertilizers, pesticides.

Best Fertilizer Spreaders Reviews

Now that we understand a lot about the different types of fertilizer spreaders, how to use them, how to calibrate, I think it is also fair that we know which is the best lawn spreaders of them all.

We will point out what you need to consider and understand and consider before making your purchase. Below now is our recommendation on the best seed spreaders.

Best Broadcast Spreaders

  • Type: Broadcast Spreader
  • Capacity: 5,000 sq. ft. of material

This is one of the most portable version of the broadcast spreader and it is very ideal for anyone with a small or medium sized garden, lawn or yard. It is fully assembled form the factory and has a dial settings on the back which make it a great precision broadcaster spreader.

It is made with the edgeGuard technology, this is a brand term or word for blocking a side of the broadcast spreader so you do not spray or spread the fertilizer on the wrong side. It saves you from creating a mess and applying seedlings to the driveway and walkways.

>>> See Prices for Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader

Best Hand Held Spreaders

  • Type: Hand Held
  • Capacity: 2,500 sq. ft. of material

The Wiz spreader from Scotts is one of the best handheld fertilizer spreaders and it is a great choice for smaller yards and lawns.

It is also very affordable, lightweight (2.4lbs), and can hold enough material in the hopper to fertilize or seed 2,500 sq. ft of the garden or backyard.

It is very portable and easy to use and this is one of the reasons why most people go for it.

>>> See Prices for Scotts Easy Hand-Held Broadcast Spreader

Best Drop Spreaders

  • Type: Drop
  • Capacity: 10,000 sq. ft. of material

Yet another recommendation for a Scotts product! What can we say, they make quality gardening tools.

This is an efficient precision drop spreader that will make your fertilizing job a breeze.

Unlike our next recommendation, it comes fully assembled so you can use it right out of the box.

If you have a large, uniform area to fertilize or seed, you should consider this drop spreader. It’s got a 10,000 sq. ft. capacity and the drop mechanism ensures you won’t throw fertilizer all over the place.

>>> See Prices for Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, (Up to 10,000-sq ft)

Best Pull Behind Spreaders

  • Type: Pull-Behind Broadcast
  • Capacity: 25,000 sq. ft. of material

The Agri-Fab Tow behind Broadcast Spreader is specially made for the largest gardens and yards.

It has enough capacity to cover 1 acre at a time, this save you time used in refilling and even recalibrating till your job is done.

Here are a few features that make it our tow-behind pick

  • It is mounted on the tractor or ATV, so you can turn it off and off from the
  • The gearbox is well shielded from the elements.
  • The tires are pneumatics and run on 4-wheel drive, so can function in all terrains, rough or smooth
  • It can be assembled and dismantled by you

>>> See prices for Agri-Fab 45-0215 100-Pound Max Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader, Black

Best Walk Behind Spreaders

  • Type: Walk Behind Broadcast
  • Capacity: 50lb or 10,000 sq. ft.

The Earthway 2150 Commercial is hybrid and it is best for those looking for a bargain feature In the spreader which includes ease of use, high broadcast radius and a larger capacity hopper and spreader

The Earthway will cover around 10,000 sq. ft., all while being easy to both fill and use.

It has cylindrical drum shaped rubber tires and this gives it stability even on the roughest terrains. It also has a screen to break up the materials before getting to the spreader disks for dispersion.

>>> See Prices for Earthway F80S Commercial Stainless Steel Adaptable Broadcast Spreader

Best Salt Spreaders Reviews: How to use fertilizer spreaders as salt spreaders

This is another section to treat the concerns relating to the best salt spreaders and the level of efficience you can accomplish.

The idea of spreading salt in your driveway, sidewalk, lawns and yards is to kill off the ice and you do not want to be casting the salt with your hand, which is hard labor.

While there are a lot of salt spreaders in the market, a fertilizer spreader can actually get the job done for you too, in short, it can be a perfect match.

How to Use a hand held fertilizer spreader to spread salt.

The salt spreaders find more use during winter when it is snowing, but if you already have a fertilizer spreader, you can also use it to apply salt using the instructions below.

  • Do not put in too much salt into the hopper as thi might break the spreader.
  • Use a plastic spreader as salt can act on the metal and steel spreaders.
  • Ensure that the feed chute is wider to allow the salt spread more evenly.
  • Turn the hand crank slowly or push slowly or else you will have salt everywhere and also on you.
  • Walk slowly and crank steadily to maintain a perfect spreading and spraying distance and feet.

So there is it on using the fertilizer spreader as a salt spreader.

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