Last updated on May 3rd, 2023
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As a professional gardener and nurseryman with over 20 years of experience, I understand how important it is to maintain a lawn properly. This includes scarifying the lawn to remove moss and thatch, aerating the lawn to improve drainage, to choosing the best grass seed for your specific needs. Once I’ve successfully scarified and aerated the lawn, it is time to apply grass seed/overseed or lawn feed (sometimes with a moss killer), and this is where choosing the best lawn spreader comes in.
In this guide, I have included some of my favourite lawn spreaders, which I use depending on the situation. The one I use personally at home is this EverGreen Easy Spreader Plus, which is perfect for smaller lawns like mine and is the one in the picture above. This is an easy-to-use drop spreader, it’s well made, and I’ve used it for several years. It’s good for various uses, from applying grass seed which I do every year when overseeding, to applying some lawn feed, usually with a little moss killer mixed in to keep the moss at bay.
When it comes to larger lawns such as my mum and dad’s and the gardens I’ve maintained over the years for my garden maintenance business. This Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push-Type Smartspreader, which is a fairly large broadcast spreader, is my go-to garden spreader. It provides a wide and, more importantly, even coverage, but it’s pretty expensive. A more affordable option I’ve also used is this Gardena Spreader XL and Scotts EasyGreen Rotary Spreader. I also have the Eninhell broadcast sprayer, which is also pretty good.
Now there is also another spreader I usually use on uneven or steeply sloped ground where I can’t use a standard push type spreader with wheels to apply fertiliser. This spreader is this Solo 421 – 9 kg Capacity Manual Spreader, and it’s a very versatile, handheld professional spreader that I highly recommend. This is probably not for everyone, but I thought it was worth a mention. A local farmer sometimes borrows it to apply fertiliser to a couple of acres he can’t get his tractor to.
I also want to mention this Walensee 24-inch Compost Spreader I purchased more recently pictured above. I wish I bought this sooner. What a game-changer. For years after applying grass seed, I have applied a thin layer of top dressing or compost over the seed, trying not to disturb the seed I spread with the lawn spreader. I do this as it helps keep the grass seed moist, which helps promote germination and protect it from the birds. The problem is it takes a lot of time and practice to get this right. However, with the Walensee 24-inch Compost Spreader, I can apply a thin layer of compost or top dressing in minutes, and it’s evenly applied. You can also use it to help level lawns too. It’s a great tool. I wouldn’t be without it now!
Before I get into the more detailed reviews, the buyer’s guide and my section with faqs with commonly asked questions. I also share my knowledge on using iron sulphate to control moss and promote that dark green, lush lawn.
To do this effectively, I use a backpack sprayer for easy application. You can learn more about the best moss killers for lawns here which you ideally should apply before removing the moss with a scarifier and then aerating the lawn. I then apply the grass seed with a lawn spreader before applying a thin layer of compost over the seed with a lawn compost spreader.
Best For Professionals
My top 8 lawn spreaders for evenly spreading grass seed, fertiliser, grit and even top soil, peat and top dressing
- EverGreen Easy Spreader Plus – BEST PICK – This is personally tested and is a great affordable drop-style spreader for small lawns. Good even distribution and affordable.
- Walensee 24-inch Compost Spreader – I would never be without this compost spreader. Evenly apply topsoil, top dressing, compost and peat. Perfect for applying a dressing over grass seed.
- Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push-Type Smartspreader – If you need a professional grade spreader for large lawns, you can’t beat this spreader. An amazing piece of kit.
- Solo 421 9kg Manual Spreader – A unique hand spreader that you wear. I use this for applying fertiliser on uneven ground.
- Gardena Spreader XL Universal Spreader – A good alternative to the Agri-Fab Smart spreader.
- Scotts Miracle-Gro EvenGreen Drop Spreader
- Scotts EasyGreen Rotary Spreader
- Einhell Multi Purpose Spreader GC-SR 12
Top 8 Lawn Spreader Reviews
1. EverGreen Easy Spreader Plus
So I’ve been lucky enough to try a few of these lawn spreaders for this review but the one I decided to keep and use myself in my own garden was the Evergreen Easy Spreader Plus. First off, it’s not the best quality when compared to some of the more expensive models but when it comes to applying lawn, weed and feed or overseeding your lawn, it did the job brilliantly. Maybe, more importantly, it’s also one of the most affordable models which is something I tend to look for myself, I often ask myself, does it offer good value for money? And with this model, it’s a big yes, after all, you can grab one at a really good price.
Watch the video below of me using this lawn spreader to apply grass seed
First off, when it arrives you need to do a little self-assembly, it comes with instructions but I didn’t need those as it’s simple enough. Attach the wheels by clicking them into place, the handlebar comes in three pieces so insert them together until they click together and insert them into the hopper, again until they click in place. With that done you just need to attach the stand and it’s ready to use.
Now, something you do need is the spreader application setting leaflet as pictured above. You refer to this so you know what number to use on the spreader depending on what product you’re using.
Now it says to use Evergreen, Scotts and Miracle grow products but I can tell you now, that doesn’t really matter. For example, I applied lawn feed and weed from a different brand, which is the same as Evergreen Complete 4 in 1 (their version of weed, feed & moss killer).
So for this, you set the spreader application rate to 4.5, so halfway between 4 and 5. Most lawn care products need to be set to 4 so if, in doubt, I just use 4. Just make sure you reference the spreader setting leaflet that comes with it.
I have also used this spreader to overseed my lawn in spring after winter as it gets a right mess having kids playing on the lawn over winter. Now, for grass seed it needs to be set to 9 for all grass seed types.
Overall, the quality is fairly good, the only bit that feels a little flimsy is the yellow application handle but it’s not broke yet so shouldn’t really be a problem. Just don’t start throwing it around hard surfaces it and it will be fine.
So now for the bit that really matters, how easy is it to use and is it accurate. Well, I can tell you it’s as accurate as any of the other drop spreaders and more accurate than a rotatory spreader, especially right against the edge of a lawn.
The only thing I wish it had is the application handle which is on the back of the hopper (the yellow handle). This would be better mounted on the handlebars like on the rotary lawn spreader models. It would just make it a little easier to use so you don’t have to keep bending down to turn it off.
So when you fill the hopper, make sure it’s on number 0 so it’s closed, this is a must so don’t forget this step. When your ready, slide the yellow lever to the correct setting, for example, 9 for grass seed and push the spreader in a straight line. Once you have done a straight run, put the lever back to 0 straight away to close the hopper to avoid over-application. This is extremely important, if you’re spreading a fertiliser you could burn your lawn as it will continue to dispense the fertiliser.
Next, turn the spreader around, turn the lever back to the correct setting and walk again. Now you need to walk at quite a brisk pace, maybe what I would call a fast walk. The correct walking rate is actually 1 meter per second.
That’s it, do straight runs, remember to turn the lever to zero before turning and going the opposite direction. If you do forget and dump a load of feed or grass seed in one place, just use a brush to thin it out to avoid burning your lawn or having extra thick patches of grass if its grass seed.
One last thing I like about this model is how well it folds down, remove the handles, break into 3 pieces, remove the stand if you choose and it’s nice and compact. I suspect the wheels could be removed but was worried about breaking them so I leave them on. The only downside to this is that it won’t fit back into the box with the wheels still on. That’s a little annoying as I really don’t want to risk breaking the clicks on the wheels.
- Drop spreader allows for accurate application of granular products so you don;t put seeds or fertiliser where you don’t want them
- Convenient on/off switch stops the product from dropping when you stop the spreader without you having to bend down to the lever.
- Sophisticated dispensing mechanism with adjustable settings to drop just the right amount for your task and lawn situation.
- Easy to assemble, no DIY skills needed here.
- Easy application of granular lawn products and takes minimal effort to keep your lawn lush and healthy.
- The application handle would be better on the handle for ease of use.
After trying a few lawn spreaders which included drop spreaders and rotary spreaders, I just prefer drop spreads as I can see where i’m applying the product. I also think there the better option for smaller and medium sized lawns.
Overall the quality of this model is more than good enough for domestic use and it seems to do a decent job at evenly applying the product if you use it correctly (remember to turn the spreader to zero when you stop at the end of each run).
If you have a smaller or medium-sized lawn, then this is the model I would recommend. If you have a larger lawn then maybe consider a rotary model as it spreads it over a larger area. However, for most gardens, this is the one I would choose every time and recommend which is why I still use this model myself and think it deserves to be the best pick.
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2. Walensee 24-inch Compost Spreader
BEST COMPOST SPREADER
I use this Walensee 24-inch Compost Spreader for anything other than grass and fertiliser that I need to spread on my lawn. The diamond-shaped holes in this spreader are just too large to evenly disperse grass seed and fertiliser. Still, it’s a great option to use as well as my drop or broadcast lawn spreader to add a good coverage of dressing (usually compost) after reseeding. This is what I use it for the most. There is a long list of top-dressing products, including compost, sand, peat moss, mulch and anything else with the nutrients to add nutrients back into your lawn.
Before making the plunge and ordering this compost spreader, I would reseed my lawn and then apply small piles of compost or spread it with a shovel on more extensive lawns and lightly rake it over the lawn as even as possible. This does a few things; it helps keep the new grass moist, which is essential for even germination. It also adds some nutrients to the lawn and also helps keeps the birds from eating all your new seed. It is an amazing piece of garden equipment that saves so much time and does a much better job than how I used to apply a top dressing after reseeding.
There are a few different brands that make these compost spreaders. However, this Walensee 24-inch Compost Spreader is probably the best, although slightly more expensive than some other alternatives. It’s very well made, nice and sturdy and has a 31cm wide T-handle with soft grip handles that bolt easily into the 60cm wide drum. It’s worth pointing out that other models have a single-piece handle that bolts straight onto the roller’s frame. However, this Walensee 24-inch Compost Spreader has a steel brace bar on either side as shown in the picture above of the main shaft for extra strength. It really is a solid piece of kit.
When it comes to actually using it in the real world, it works well whether you push or pull this spreader, but it helps to alter the pace at which you walk, depending on how much coverage you need. The entire compost spreader is made from powder-coated steel.
I like that the hinged door is the whole width of the drum and opens easily on three hinges. Most other models only have two hinges, so the door is not quite as strong. They are kept securely shut with double clasping locks on the top until you need to refill or empty the drum.
When you fill the drum with the top dressing you choose, you don’t have to worry about having a few big chunky pieces in the mix. However, I like to use mixes that are not bulky and full of large pieces of bark, which is why top dressing, topsoil, or quality compost is perfect. When you use the spreader, the rotating motion of the top dressing inside the drum either breaks down the big pieces so that they exit through the holes in the mesh or leaves them as they are, and they fall to the bottom of the drum for you to remove later. Remember that this spreader is only for top dressing, not grass seed and fertiliser. For this, you still need a drop or rotary spreader.
Another use for this lawn compost spreader is to fill in uneven areas in your lawns before reseeding to make the lawn more level. I have done this sometimes instead of using my specialist lawn levelling rake.
- Walk-behind top-dressing roller.
- Use for compost, top-dressing, sand, mulch, manure etc.
- Green powder-coated metal mesh basket is 60cm wide with diamond-shaped openings with 2.7 cu.ft of space.
- Large hinge door swings opening for filling and emptying.
- Double-locking clasps on top.
- Handles have soft comfort grips on them.
- Long (30cm) pole handle clips in easily.
- Separates large granular materials as the top dressing tumbles around the drum.
The Walensee 24-inch compost spreader is a tool I now would not be without, it’s such an excellent tool for applying a top dressing after reseeding your lawn or if you just want to top dress your lawn as part of your yearly lawn care routine. There are a few other alternatives, and some are cheaper. However, they could be better made, thats for sure. Using this is a much better option than trying to spread top dressing manually the old-fashioned way using a rake. I also love how evenly it spreads out the top dressing and how I can add more or less material by pushing it faster or slower. I highly recommend investing in one of these for anyone serious about lawn maintenance. I wish I had done it sooner.
3. Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push-Type Smartspreader
PROFESSIONALS PICK – GREAT FOR LARGE LAWNS
The Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push-Type Smartspreader is a large capacity model that is ideal for large scale seeding, fertilising or salt spreading. The spreader can hold 58kg of product and distribute it around the lawn with ease and minimal waste. You have control over the settings of the spreader. This lets you work with different products whether reseeding a large lawn, spreading fertilizer or even spreading grit salt in winter. This Smartspreader works just as effectively with all granular products.
This lawn spreader is made of polyethylene which is a durable and easy to clean material. When you are done working, just hose the spreader down and store it – it’s that easy. It comes with a spreading width of over three metres and is suitable for areas up to 2,300m2 The spreader rests on 25cm air tires that have good traction and don’t leave imprints on the lawn.
To add to that, this model is easy to assemble. In a couple of minutes of reading the instructions, you’re done and it’s ready for use. The 16kg lawn spreader comes with a three-year warranty which indicates that the quality of the model can be trusted. It is a premium-priced product designed with professional use in mind.
- Made from durable material that is resistant to corrosive material.
- Wide-spreading width of 3.66m to cover large areas quickly.
- Covers a wide area of over 2,300m2 which is around half an acre.
- Features a large hopper capacity of 58kg so you don;t have to refill frequently.
- Equipped with durable pneumatic tires with great traction.
- Easy to assemble and get up and running quickly.
- Comes with a three-year limited warranty for peace of mind.
- Lacks deflectors that prevent the hopper contents from flying back at the user’s shoes.
The Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push-Type Smartspreader is perfect for people with large lawns or those working at a professional level. It is a large capacity hopper that enables you to cover more ground in one go. We like that it is made with a sturdy material that is easy to clean. You can distribute a variety of different granular products including fertiliser, lawn seed and spreading salt in winter.
The Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push-Type Smartspreader is our Professionals’ Pick. We like that it works with you all year round to handle whatever granular products you need to distribute, anywhere, and over a large area.
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4. Solo 421 – 9 kg Capacity Manual Spreader
If you need a professional grade spreader but one that you carry rather than push, then I don’t think you will find a better spreader than this Solo 421 – 9 kg Capacity Manual Spreader. The build quality is excellent, with a good-quality plastic hopper and metal gears. We’ve used one of these for years for the paddock at my mum and dad’s smallholding, and we used them when we had the gardening maintenance business until a couple of years ago.
This spreader has a padded strap that fits across your shoulders and neck, so the only small issue was that it could put some straight on your neck if you fill the hopper full with something heavy like fertiliser. To overcome this, you can choose not to fully fill the hopper.
The white hopper on the top of the distribution mechanism has a fairly large (15cm) opening for you to fill it up. I recommend using a funnel to fill the hopper, making it much easier.
The capacity of this spreader is 9kg or 9 litres, so it is a relatively large hopper for a manual hand spreader. However, it’s still easy enough to wear and operate. The hopper fits nicely on top of the gearbox that’s fully enclosed. The gearbox is also lubricated, so it runs really smoothly.
It’s also worth noting that the whole spreader stands upright whether it’s full or empty, so you can leave it standing on your workbench in-between uses. With grass seed, it spreads seed perfectly every time, and I’ve never had any issues with clogging. However, with fertiliser, if it has clumps in it, it can get clogged. Usually, a quick shake of the hopper and it usually clears it, and you can carry on.
- Manual spreader with hand crank.
- Capacity is 9kg.
- Padded strap with cross-shoulder design.
- Adjustable flow rate and direction.
- Gear box is enclosed and lubricated.
- Opening to fill the hopper is 15cm wide.
The build quality is amazing. This Solo 421 9kg Manual Spreader is a professional-grade piece of equipment. The alturnative spreaders for the home gardener don’t even come close to this spreader in terms of build quality. This is clearly designed to last a lifetime, but if I had to replace it, I would get one again.
Where this really comes into it’s own, is where a wheeled lawn spreader is simply not an option because of uneven ground or slopes, etc. Overall if you need a good quality lawn spreader for grass seed or fertiliser and need a hand-held spreader, this is well worth considering, although a little pricey, I must admit. You won’t be disappointed.
5. Gardena Spreader XL: Universal Spreader for Delivering Fertiliser, Seeds and Salt
The Gardena Spreader XL: Universal Spreader is more expensive than a lot of alternatives, but the quality is much better too. More durable plastic, much better designed than most, and well thought out. You can use it all year round for various treatments, from grass seeds in the spring to fertiliser in the summer or even road salt in the icy winter.
This larger XL model has a large 18 Litre hopper which makes it great for those larger lawns, I would think anything up to an acre is doable with this as it does have a spread of up to 6 meters, but this obviously depends on the material you spread and your walking pace.
Be careful applying lawn fertiliser as if you apply too much, it will burn your lawn, so set the hopper opening very small to start. The hopper is made of heavy-duty plastic and sits on aluminium brackets, so it is rust-proof too. Then it has a handy stand in the front that lets it sit upright. A stainless steel cable (also rust-proof) stretches from the upright handle (aluminium again) down to the spreading disc underneath the tub, from where the treatment is distributed.
I like that all the controls are on the handle of the spreader attached to the cable. You open and close the spreading disc from there. You can also select how much area the spreader covers, but you need to manually adjust the cover plate for that. But this feature lets you spread close to the edges of the lawn and is super handy. What I like is that you can close the hopper opening from the handle so that no product is wasted when you make turns or stop. This is not the case with most other models and can lead to burnt areas of grass if you’re not careful.
- Lawn spreader for grass seed, fertiliser and salt.
- Open/close mechanism is on the handle.
- Capacity is 18L.
- Extra-large size for large gardens and up to 800 m2 of lawn.
- Spreads close to edges of grass.
- Trolley of break-proof plastic sits on an aluminium bracket.
- Use in all seasons.
- Wheels handle rough terrain.
Now I am a fan of Gardena products, I have a few of their garden products, including this Gardena auto hose, and their products have always impressed me, and this spreader is no different. The Gardena Spreader XL: Universal Spreader is a good choice for those with a large area to cover and who want to use it for various uses, from sowing seed to applying lawn feed to spreading salt.
As mentioned, it is more expensive than some other alternatives from Scotts, for example. However, it does show in the overall build quality as well as in the design and features. It’s just a better spreader. It is an excellent choice for anyone looking for this type of spreader for a large lawn.
Read next: Best lawn scarifier
6. Scotts Miracle-Gro EvenGreen Drop Spreader
This Scotts Miracle-Gro Drop Spreader is designed for the even spreading of grass seed and the precise application of lawn products. This reducing the risk of scorching which is a common problem when applying fertiliser products to lawns. The Miracle-Gro EvenGreen is convenient to use thanks to the variable settings that allow you to choose the appropriate rate for specified products. Whether you are spreading Scotts Lawn products, Evergreen or Micro-Granular grass seeds, this model will ensure even distribution of the products.
The handlebar of this product is adjustable to make sure it suits every gardener regardless of your height. Then there’s the on/off switch conveniently attached to the handle for starting and stopping the application of the granules. This moving spreader is approximately 45 inches wide and when spreading, it creates a strip of granules underneath. The big wheels are another convenient feature, allowing you to turn around easily and head back in the opposite direction.
For this spreader to last a long time, make sure you hose down with a pressure washer after every use to remove all traces of lawn products. Fertiliser traces are corrosive to the main centre axle so it’s just a matter of maintenance. Make sure you also re-grease the axle quite often with WD40.
- Adjustable settings to ensure correct even distribution of grass seed and lawn feed in lawns.
- Convenient hand-controlled on/off switch so you don’t put down too much whatever and harm the lawn.
- Adjustable handlebar for super easy compact storage.
- Large wheels for reduced marks on the lawn, easy to push and more grip.
- Wide 45cm spread width to ensure fewer passes and cover larger areas quickly.
If you are looking for a lawn spreader that will evenly apply lawn products, the Scotts Miracle-Gro EvenGreen Drop Spreader is an excellent choice. The brand names associated with this quality product are world-renowned in the gardening field. The adjustable handlebar is a plus point so you don’t have to hunch over or stretch up when you’re pushing this spreader.
I recommend the Scotts Miracle-Gro EvenGreen Drop Spreader for everyone looking for an affordable broadcast type sprayer for larger gardens.
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Read next: Best Lawn Aerator
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7. Scotts EasyGreen Rotary Spreader
The Scotts EasyGreen Rotary Spreader is designed to spread lawn products effectively and efficiently. It comes pre-assembled and you have to employ some basic DIY skills to get it ready for work. Using this spreader is simple. There is a rate control stated on the back of the bag and all you have to do is input the appropriate setting of the product you want to distribute on your lawn and start walking.
This spreader has a spread width of 3.5m which makes it ideal for spreading large lawns quickly and easily. To ensure uniform distribution, leave a few feet between passes. There’s a convenient on/off switch on the handlebar that allows you to stop and release when appropriate. The handlebar itself is adjustable so almost everyone will be able to comfortably use this spreader no matter their height. Being able to fold the bar down comes in handy when you store the spreader.
It’s worth mentioning that the manufacturer recommends using this spreader with Scotts Lawn Builder, Miracle-Gro and Evergreen lawn care and/or grass seed products only. However, it will work just fine with any brand of grass seed products and fertilisers.
- Variable settings for a range of applications from grass seed to fertiliser.
- Wide coverage of up to 3.5 meters in width so your spreading task goes quickly.
- Convenient on/off switch to not pile up fertiliser on your lawn when you stop.
- Adjustable handlebar for easy storage and convenient use.
- Ideal for large lawns thanks to its wide-spreading width.
- Plastic construction is a little flimsy.
With the Scotts EasyGreen Rotary Spreader, we like the ease of assembly and use of this gardening tool with adjustable settings. The large spreading width is ideal for taking on large lawns and will do the job quickly and effectively.
I recommend the Scotts EasyGreen Rotary Spreader for those gardeners who have to care for large lawns on a budget.
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8.Einhell Multi Purpose Spreader GC-SR 12
Best Lawn Spreader For Small Gardens
The Einhell GC-SR 12 Multipurpose Spreader looks robust at first glance and perhaps you’ll think it’s quite heavy but this product is incredibly lightweight and affordable. This practical spreader distributes fertilisers, seeds or winter grit quickly, evenly and effortlessly. The double push bar allows you to guide this spreader easily and safely around your lawn while the large tires of 20cm diameter ensure you can manoeuvre anywhere.
An adjustment lever placed at the backside of the container regulates the spread rate. It looks like you have to bend over to reach it but it does put in your appropriate setting. In case you need to rest a bit while spreading, the container has a stand on the front of which you just need to leave the spreader free standing.
The container of the GC-SR 12 is constructed from high-density, impact-resistant material for improved toughness while the roller is both corrosion resistant and weather resistant. It has a spread width of 45cm and carries up to 12L of fertiliser or other granular lawn products. When done with your spreader, the spring locks on either side enable storage without taking up too much of your space. This Einhell spreader comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Corrosion proof roller for protection against the elements.
- Adjustment lever for controlling the spreading rate.
- Mutual spring lock for convenient storage.
- Double push bar for precise and easy leading.
- Wide 45cm spreading width.
- Hold 12 litres of product to be applied.
- Comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty for extra peace of mind.
- No on/off switch to stop the product from seeping out when the spreader is stationary.
- Assemble instructions in English only available on the Einhell website. Choose manual ending in GB.
I do like the Einhell GC-SR 12 Multi-purpose Spreader as it’s quite a simple spreader, well built and practical. It evenly distributes fertilisers, seeds and lawn feed with little effort so plus points there. This is an affordable model that maintains a quality product, backed by a two-year warranty.
We recommend the Einhell GC-SR 12 Multi-purpose Spreader for those who are on a budget and have small lawn areas to look after.
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Lawn Spreader Buyer’s Guide
There’s not much to consider when deciding which lawn spreader is the best one for your particular lawn’s needs and other purposes. Here’s what to think about.
Types of lawn spreader
Sometimes referred to as rotary spreaders, broadcast spreaders work well on large lawns as they are capable of covering sizeable areas. Broadcast spreaders “broadcast” the seeds/fertiliser in an overlapping pattern. You cover a lot of ground in a relatively short period. They can throw seeds up to two metres away, but sometimes the seeds fall into unwanted areas.
However, with a broadcast spreader, it’s not always easy to control the spread of seeds since the built-in disc doesn’t spread the seeds in a uniform manner. The area closest to the spreader usually gets the best seed spread while the surrounding areas won’t be covered evenly. This can be a challenge especially when spreading grass seeds as you want an even application and no patchy spots.
Broadcast spreaders are best for medium to large lawns in which you don’t have to make many tight turns.
Drop spreaders are the most popular and effective models lawn spreaders. They produce a uniform spread of lawn feeds as the product comes out of the hopper directly underneath. It’s easy to be precise about where you distribute the seeds/fertiliser with these spreaders.
The major drawback with a drop spreader is that it may leave stripes if you miss some areas. You can prevent this by slightly overlapping your straight line passes of your lawn area. But not by too much as you don’t want to lay down too thick a layer of seeds or fertiliser.
A drop spreader design is usually a trough mounted on wheels that drops seeds as you walk in a straight line. These models are usually best for smaller lawns of up to 465m2.
Drop spreaders are best for lawns that contain lots of landscaping elements, such as flowers beds and narrow green strips, that need you to make tight turns.
We haven’t included any handheld spreaders in our review but they’re useful to know about. These spreaders are compact for small gardening needs and are very affordable. While they do tend to throw seeds/fertiliser granules in all directions, they’re great for filling in damaged small gaps in your lawn or getting into tight areas where your larger spreader can’t reach. The larger handheld spreaders are powered by battery rather than you having to hand crank them.
The capacity of a lawn spreader relates to how much granular product – whether grass seed, fertilizer, or salt – the hopper holds at one time. For this product, it’s usually given in kilograms (kg), and the higher the number, the less often you have to stop your task and refill. Of course, the more product you put in, the heavier the spreader is to push.
The capacity of product you need also relates to how much you need to cover the area of your lawn. The packing of your seeds or fertiliser tells you how much to use or, even better, tells you which distribution setting of the spreader to set to ensure that the correct amount of product is dropped at the right rate on the lawn.
Be sure to read this carefully and follow the instructions. Going off plan may result in your lawn being scorched by too much fertiliser or coming up patchy with not enough grass seed dropped.
All lawn spreaders have a lever to close the hopper opening, but you generally have to bend down to operate it. Some, however, have a neat feature that saves your back some strain. Look at the handlebar for an on/off switch. This is connected to the opening/closing lever. Turn the switch to on and the hopper opening opens to let the product out; the off position (which you use when stopped or turning a corner) closes the hopper opening and nothing leaves.
All lawn spreaders handle grass seed and granular lawn fertilisers. However, some can also spread winter salt, sand or grit for melting the snow, powdered lime and compost. If having a all-season spreader piques your interest, read carefully to see if your chosen spreader is indeed multi-functional.
And be careful to thoroughly wipe out the spreader after using each different product as some are corrosive and may also interact with whatever else you put in the hopper afterwards.
Why should I use a lawn spreader?
If you’re talking all the trouble to fertilise your lawn at the applicable times or to apply grass seed to make it look lush and healthy, then you want to do it in the best way. That’s where lawn spreaders come in as they provide uniform coverage of granular lawn care products. They prevent you from applying too much product, which is not only wasteful and costs you extra money, but can harm your lawn. They also ensure that you don’t apply too little product and have patchy grass because you didn’t put down enough grass seeds.
Which type of lawn spreader is best?
Please see our Buyer’s Guide for a description of the pros and cons of broadcast spreaders, drop spreaders and handheld spreaders.
But a quick summary is: Drop spreaders are precise in where they place the seeds/fertiliser but are slow; broadcast spreaders are faster to use but fling out product in a wide arc; handheld spreaders are in between these two, but are great at getting into tight corners and for small gaps in your lawn.
Tips for getting the most from my lawn spreader?
- Be sure to use the manufacturer’s instructions or the numbers given on the seed/fertiliser package to calibrate the distribution setting.
- Walking at a steady pace is key to dropping an even distribution of product on the ground.
- Always remember to close the spreader opening (the brightly coloured lever or the off switch on the handlebar) when you turn corners or stop. You’re working hard otherwise to not create a build-up of product on the grass.
- Wear protective equipment, especially if it’s a windy day, as lawn care products usually contain chemicals and some are caustic.
Finals thoughts and conclusion
Working hard to make your lawn its best self includes having the right tools and equipment for each task. Spreading granular lawn care products on your lawn is best done with a lawn spreader. This piece of equipment is not expensive and it ensures even coverage of fertiliser and other care products, along with grass seeds. Not evenly covering your lawn can lead to patchy spots and, even worse, long term harm. If you’re investing time and effort for a verdant and vibrant lawn, let a lawn spreader help out.
Our Best Pick is the EverGreen Easy Spreader Plus. This drop lawn spreader has your comfort and convenience in mind, especially with the on/off switch on the adjustable handlebar.
Our Pick for Professionals (and those with large gardens) is the Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push-Type Smartspreader. With a 56kg hopper and a 3.6m broadcast arc, this is definitely a lawn spreader that covers a large area fast.
Last update on 2023-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API