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

Sometimes even Mother Nature can’t provide all the goodness in your soil and you end up needing some extra help. That’s where fertilizers come in. Much like the name suggests they have all the essential nutritious munchies your soil needs to become more fertile and rich and bear good crops. But even if you use the best fertilizer in the market, if the technique is incorrect, you won’t yield optimal results. That’s why we bring you the full details on the best fertilizer, drop, lawn, broadcast, and grass speed spreader 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 are also unable to increase fertility or production yield. Since the scattering is uneven, the nutrition is received in some parts and not in others and hence the production yield is low.

With these devices, you can aim for both 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. But since the population is increasing and resources depleting steadily, preservation and enrichment of the soil are of utmost importance. It is only with a high production yield that comes from good soil that can meet the global agricultural demands.

Can you spread fertilizer without a tool?

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

You should ideally 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 and 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 is the best fit for your farm needs.

Types
Drop Rotary
Pneumatic Liquid spray
      1. Drop

This is for the ones 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 alternatives of a rotary or spray spreader.

      1. 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 the fertilizer several feet away and around from 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. That means room for double coverage or leaving some portion completely unfertilized. But at such low cost and maintenance, these are worth the price.

      1. 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 comes with usually four or more dispensers that precisely cover the desired area. The best part – you don’t even need a large transport strip since its frames can be folded horizontally and vertically.

      1. Liquid spray

If you’re looking for a quick fix, this might be your best bet. 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 or 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 make a list of 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
Capacity Level of precision
Types of materials Ease of use
Individual parts Storage needs
      1. How much can it hold?

You’ve got your ideal spreader but it doesn’t hold too much fertilizer – and 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

For small lawns and farms up to 1500 square feet, you’re all set with a handheld option. But if you’re in the range of 1500- 5000 square feet, it’s best to go for a simple walk-behind one. And in the rare scenario that you’re having to cover something in the range of 5000-20000 square feet, you’ve got to get your hands on a walk-behind spreader to avoid multiple pit stops.

      1. What can it help with?

When it comes to capacity, it is not just how much and how far, rather the question is also how many types of materials can the machine 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.

      1. How precise is it?

When it comes to precision, they are always better than handheld manual one. Between the various types, the drop spreader is most precise 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. For even coverage, you can calibrate the broadcast’s settings and walk at an even pace for better precision.

      1. 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.

      1. How should the individual parts be made?

For instance, in a hopper, you should look for a good quality material like polypropylene and the steel handles should be rust-free for longer life.

The wheels should be at least between 8-10″ with good quality plastic to be 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

      1. 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 where it’ll be prone to dust, 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. Look to see if the joints between the hopper and frame are intact, as hasty work would have lead to pressure on the joints.

You should always take it for a test run and also check the oil in the gearbox. 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.

      1. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard

The namesake of this mean machine is its best feature – the edge guard which lines up with the edge of your farm and doesn’t spread any fertilizer onto unwanted areas like the driveways and street. Apart from this, this push model can cover a farm as large as 5000 square feet. So small to medium lawns and farms are a perfect fit!

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

      1. Titan 50 lb. Broadcast

You can guess this heavy-weight machine through the name. It can hold a whopping 50lb so that means fewer refill runs! The best part – the variety of materials it can work with. It is compatible with grass seed, herbicides, ice melters, and 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 the rough terrains too.

      1. 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, meaning it can simply be attached to a tractor or lawnmower to do its job. The pros include its sturdy steel frame large width of up to 10 feet and its 86 lb capacity which is a great attraction for big farm owners looking to minimize refill runs. The 3-year warranty is also a plus in case of any breakdowns or repairs needed.

tool to spread fertilizer

      1. Scotts Snap System-

This one is an exclusive item for use only with the Scotts Snap Pac Fertilizer. Its popularity is owed to its snazzy HandyLock technology and Scott’s signature touch- 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 – the Snap Pac will reseal on its own once you’re done, no product wastage at all!

      1. 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 which Spyker admits to being a pricey investment, but also 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, fertilizer, and plenty more.

      1. 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 the reason 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 a broad diameter of 12 feet, but even a rainy day also can’t stop you from your tasks since 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 the reason why this model has also been labeled the best 3 point model by garden hugs.

      1. Andersons Pro International 2000 Rotary

Founded as early as 1947, the Anderson brand has been focussed on turf health for several decades and boast of state of the art facilities and millions of investment on innovations like their Dispersing Granule (DG) Technology.

The Model 2000 Rotary features a unique helical 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 make it a runner-up in the league of long-lasting models, right after the Spyker ergo pro series.

      1. 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, but users of any height can also easily control the machine thanks to the two-position adjustable heights. There is a three-hole drop system that 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 and of professional-grade use, so it’s might outlast a generation of farmers!

      1. 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 ice melt, salt, seeds, and any other materials and 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, just 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 uniform pace.

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

      1. Solo 421 portable

Here’s another one for the small farmers with a whopping 20 lb capacity. This mean machine can do both narrow and broad-spectrum work which makes it one of the top choices for a hand helder model. There are no chances of wear and tear on the gearbox too 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 and medium gardens, orchards, and farms.

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 – ATV, handheld, push-behind, and more.

If you’re new to farming and gardening in general, just remember to consult a professional before you start assembling and calibrating your first spreader purchase. Or you can start with a pre-assembled hand-held option until you get the hang of the larger machines.

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