Whether you want high yield potentials for your crops or you simply want a picture-perfect garden for your niece’s upcoming bachelorette party this summer, fertilizer application is a serious process. The process of spreading fertilizer can be tedious without the right tools. In this article, we will list some of the best yard fertilizer spreaders on the market so that you can start fertilizing your lawn like a pro.
Granular fertilizer is commonly used as a spreader product
What Is A Fertilizer Spreader?
If you have just started your very first garden, or you have just upgraded to a larger lawn and found out that there’s no way you can fertilize the entire area with just your handheld spreader, then it’s time to look for the best yard fertilizer spreader.
A fertilizer spreader, also called a lawn or broadcast spreader, is a farmer’s aid commonly used to spread granular fertilizer, seed, lime, or ice melt, and rock salt, but for our purposes, we will be talking about spreaders used specifically for fertilizing.
A row of beautiful tulips is made possible by proper fertilization
Fertilizer spreaders come in different types; each has its own advantages for specific conditions. Despite its many shapes and sizes, all fertilizer spreaders share the same basic principles. A container or hopper holds the fertilizer. As the spreader is engaged, the fertilizer is dropped through an opening and onto the lawn.
Top 5 Best Fertilizer Spreader Small Yard Reviews
This lightweight push spreader is the highest rated and cheapest among our list. The mini spreader can hold up to 5,000 square feet of its lawn products. This feature is perfect for your standard-sized lawns. It also comes pre-calibrated and ready to use, which is the best yard fertilizer spreader if you are a casual gardener who isn’t too keen on parts assembly.
Being a smaller and lighter spreader, you can’t expect to do heavy-duty spreading with this product as it is made with lightweight plastic and is not meant to be overloaded.
- It is lighter and smaller than most broadcaster spreaders which makes storing easier.
- It can hold up to 5,000 square feet of its lawn products.
- It is the cheapest among our list.
- It comes pre-calibrated and ready to use.
- It features EdgeGuard Technology; exclusive to the Scotts brand which prevents spread of products onto non-lawn areas.
- It is not made for larger areas.
- It is not made for heavy use.
- The plastic wheels can collect spreading material and may leave burn spots.
This heavy-duty broadcast spreader is the best yard fertilizer spreader for the homeowner of a larger lot. This 39.4-pound equipment can cover up to 25,000 square feet and has a 130-pound capacity (depending on material used and speed of application). This product is a tow-type spreader which means you can attach it behind your mower, ATV, or tractor. It is equipped with larger wheels with a wider base for greater stability on a rougher terrain.
- It can cover up to 25,000 square feet.
- It has a 130-pound capacity.
- It has large pneumatic wheels for greater stability.
- It is made of durable plastic.
- It is equipped with an enclosed aluminum beveled gear which increases product life.
- It comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Although assembly instructions are clear, it does take a while to put together.
- Performance is greatly dependent on how well it was assembled.
- It is quite expensive.
Because it boasts large, 10-inch wheels with deep treads, the Earthway 2050P Estate 80-Pound Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader is perfect for your rougher lawns. It is built with a heavy-duty frame with a large, 80-pound capacity hopper. This is ideal for homeowners who own larger-than-average sized lawns. It also features a patented Ev-N-Spred system which features a 3-hole drop design to provide an even spread during fertilization.
- It has large, 10-inch pneumatic wheels with deep treads for greater performance on uneven terrain.
- It has an 80-pound capacity hopper.
- It is made to last in various conditions.
- It features Ev-N-Spred system for even distribution of fertilizer.
- It has quick and simple assembly instructions.
- It does not come with a settings chart for most spreading products, which means you would have to jot notes and find out for yourself.
- The stand bar may get in the way of taller pastures, making it harder to push.
The Earthway 2030PPlus Deluxe Lawn & Garden Spreader is #3’s younger brother. Although an inch smaller in diameter, its 9-inch wheels can still make pushing the spreader far easier than most products. It boasts the same Ev-N-Spred system as the previous product, but unlike the latter, it is fully assembled and ready to use. Featuring a 65-pound capacity with a 6 to 10-feet spread pattern, this product is the best yard fertilizer spreader for most residential gardeners and lawn owners.
- It has large, 9-inch pneumatic wheels for easier use.
- It features the same Ev-N-Spred system to ensure even fertilization.
- It comes fully assembled and ready to use.
- The settings chart for spreading products is improved.
- It is cheaper than its previous counterpart.
- It is much less durable than its previous counterpart.
- The handle cannot extend long enough for taller people, making it awkward to use.
Like the previous Scotts brand product, this product features the same EdgeGuard Technology, which prevents the product from spreading onto non-lawn areas and is also fully equipped and ready to use. But unlike the first product on the list, the Scotts Pro EdgeGuard Broadcast Spreader is equipped with pneumatic tires which makes it easier to push and has a greater capacity of up to 18,000 square feet of its lawn products. It is cheaper than most products on our list and is perfect if you have a larger lawn but don’t want to spend time tinkering with assembly parts.
- It has an 18,000 square feet capacity of its lawn products.
- It has pneumatic wheels.
- It features exclusive Scotts EdgeGuard Technology which prevents product from spreading onto non-lawn areas.
- It comes pre-calibrated and ready to use.
- Although it is equipped with pneumatic wheels, the previous products perform better due to their much larger sizes.
- It is not as durable as the previous products.
- It only works well with smaller granular fertilizers.
Different Types Of Fertlizer Spreader
There are three types of fertilizer spreaders that are most commonly used, namely:
A handheld fertilizer spreader is used for small patches and tight areas
1. Handheld Spreader
Handheld spreaders are your rudimentary spreaders used for small gardens. They can hold up to a couple of liters of fertilizer and give you great mobility for spreading onto smaller areas. You can find battery-operated handheld spreaders, but the basic ones are usually operated via a hand crank which can work just as good for your gardening needs.
A standard push-type drop spreader encased in knitting. Via: Flickr.com
2. Drop Spreader
Drop spreaders work by applying your fertilizer directly underneath the unit in a straight line. Instead of a spread, the fertilizer is distributed in an even line leaving a trail directly underneath the spreader as you go, making it the best choice for accurate distribution.
A push-type broadcast spreader is used in most households
3. Broadcast Spreader
Broadcast spreaders are equipped with a rotating disc underneath the unit which spreads the fertilizer in an arc-shaped manner as it is dropped. Some can spread up to over 10-feet away from the spreader at a 180-degree angle. Because of this feature, they can cover a huge area in a shorter amount of time. In addition, because of its arced spread, they provide a more even application of fertilizer.
Drag-behind fertilizer spreader is also called tow-type broadcast spreader
Most broadcast and drop spreaders come in a form of push-type devices, similar to lawn mowers. For broadcast spreaders, the mixer inside the hopper turns as the wheel does when the unit is pushed. For larger areas, tow-type spreader models are used which can be attached to an ATV, mower, or a tractor.
A commercial drop spreader used in a soccer field. Via: Flickr.com
Commercial spreaders, mainly used for agricultural or commercial purposes, employ the same principle but on a much larger and mechanized unit. They are commonly seen being used on sports fields during off-seasons.
Which Spreader Is The Best?
Handheld spreaders are only ideal for small patches, tight areas, or smaller gardens. Although we highly recommend you have at least one lying around in your garage, it shouldn’t be the only fertilizer spreader that you own.
Drop spreaders is the best choice if you want to distribute fertilizer accurately in an even line. But it can be tedious to use, especially when trying to overlap rows and avoid striping.
Broadcast spreaders are perfect for large or standard-sized lawns as fertilizer is spread evenly at a wide angle. This, in turn, can save you hours of work. For larger areas, tow broadcast spreaders are available, and we’ll talk about that below.
A red fertilizer spreader standing in the snow. Via: Flickr.com
How Should You Care For Your Spreader?
Regardless of which fertilizer spreader you decide to get, you should never forget about proper maintenance care. As with all gardening equipment, your fertilizer spreader will only last if you take good care of it.
It can be tempting to overlook this important factor since most people fertilize their lawns for only a couple of times per year. However, since fertilizer is highly corrosive, and the key parts of your fertilizer spreader are made of metal, some steps should be taken to ensure its longevity.
- Always check for loose fasteners before each use. Tighten the bolts and nuts that may have loosened during your previous use.
- Always empty out the hopper after each use. You don’t want to store any material on the equipment if you don’t want to end up with a rusty spreader. Additionally, always wash the spreader exterior and dry thoroughly after each use.
- When storing, keep your fertilizer spreader in a clean, dry, and shaded area. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may damage the plastic components of the spreader.
- For at least every season, make sure to lubricate with automotive grease to all moving parts, particularly the sprocket and gear.
If you follow these simple steps, you are sure to enjoy your new fertilizer spreader for seasons to come.
Quick Tips For Using Fertilizer Spreader
User instructions vary for each model, but we’ll list a few general tips for using the best fertilizer spreader. Always follow the instructions that come with your product.
- Always wear proper clothing and protective equipment as directed.
- Always remember to adjust the settings according to your product’s specifications.
- Not all spreaders come with a reliable settings chart; hence, it is handy to keep a notebook and pen with you.
- Load the spreader beforehand. You wouldn’t want to spill the fertilizer on the wrong areas.
- When stopping or making turns, remember to close your spreader opening.
A standard push-type fertilizer spreader filled with granular fertilizer
All the products listed here are commendable, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Although choosing for the best one is fairly relative as it depends on the conditions. Nevertheless, we highly recommend the Earthway 2030PPlus Deluxe Lawn & Garden Spreader with 9-Inch Pneumatic Wheels. It’s a mid-priced, durable product that can cover the lawn of most homeowners in the country and is easy enough to use for most people. Sure, it’s made for larger areas, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. One important thing to note is, when choosing for the best yard fertilizer spreader, always choose the product with good pneumatic tires, your muscles will thank us later.
Did you get something useful from this article? Share it with your friends by clicking the share button below. Thank you for reading!
- Also Read:Best Fertilizer For Tomatoes: Top 5 Experts’ Choice
- 5 Best Organic Potting Mix For Indoor Plants And For Vegetables