The Best Fertilizer Spreader to Provide Nutrition to the Soil

Everybody wants their plants to grow healthily, and the first solution they think about is using fertilizer. Nonetheless, using the best fertilizer spreader to achieve the highest efficiency and reduce wastage is not what everybody knows.

Finding out the most suitable model for yourself will be an easy task since we are here with you. Let's check the top-rated choices, detailed buying guide, and answers to FAQs for fertilizer spreaders.

More...

Comparison Table of the Top 3 Fertilizer Spreaders

Editor's Choices
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader*
Solo, Inc. Solo 421 20-Pound Capacity Portable Chest-mount Spreader with Comfortable Cross-shoulder...*
Best Selling
Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader*
Dimensions
18 x 32 x 47 inches
11.2 x 10.5 x 19.4 inches
18.11 x 10.68 x 12.40 inches
Weight
12.6 pounds
6.75 pounds
37 pounds
Style
Wheeled Drop
Portable
Tow Behind
Volume
Covers 10,000 sq. ft.
20 pounds
130 pounds
Price
$61.48
$59.96
$149.99
Prime
Customer's Rating
Highlight Feature
Ultra-high capacity
20-pound capacity hopper with cap protects
Enclosed gear box with tapered gears
Editor's Choices
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader*
Dimensions
18 x 32 x 47 inches
Weight
12.6 pounds
Style
Wheeled Drop
Volume
Covers 10,000 sq. ft.
Price
$61.48
Prime
Customer's Rating
Highlight Feature
Ultra-high capacity
Solo, Inc. Solo 421 20-Pound Capacity Portable Chest-mount Spreader with Comfortable Cross-shoulder...*
Dimensions
11.2 x 10.5 x 19.4 inches
Weight
6.75 pounds
Style
Portable
Volume
20 pounds
Price
$59.96
Prime
Customer's Rating
Highlight Feature
20-pound capacity hopper with cap protects
Best Selling
Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader*
Dimensions
18.11 x 10.68 x 12.40 inches
Weight
37 pounds
Style
Tow Behind
Volume
130 pounds
Price
$149.99
Prime
Customer's Rating
Highlight Feature
Enclosed gear box with tapered gears

3 Types of Fertilizer Spreader

1. Rotary or Broadcast Spreader

If you have a large lawn, this may be the fertilizer spreader for you. A rotary or broadcast spreader will fire the fertilizer in an arc to reach its front and sides across a large area.

To effectively use this type of spreader, place the spreader on top of a tarp and fill the container with fertilizer. This way, overflowing fertilizer (spills) will not go directly to your lawn. This will avoid one spot from getting too much fertilizer.

To uniformly fertilize your lawn with this spreader, start with the perimeter of your lawn. Mover toward the inner portion in a pattern to make sure every portion of the lawn gets the same amount of fertilizer.

best fertilizer spreader for atv

2. Drop Spreader

This spreader is ideal for small to medium lawns. It is also ideal if you need to spread fertilizer in a precise manner. With this type of spreader, fertilizer is dropped between both wheels of the spreader. This ensures the precise spreading of fertilizer in the entire area.

To uniformly fertilize your lawn with this spreader, start at one end of your lawn.

Create imaginary rows and drop the fertilizer row by row until you reach the other end of your lawn. A fertilizer trail is left directly under the spreader to show what area has already been fertilized.


3. Hand Held Spreader (Battery Powered or Pre-Calibrated)

This spreader is ideal for small lawns which will not allow the maneuvering of a broadcast or drop spreader. This type of spreader applies fertilizer as you walk from one end to another in a straight line.

To ensure uniform spreading of fertilizer, you need to walk in a steady and even manner.

Which is the right spreader then for your lawn? Here are a few tips.

  • If your lawn has an irregular shape, go for a drop spreader.
  • If you have a large lawn, go for a broadcast spreader.
  • If you have flower beds in your lawn, go for a drop spreader so fertilizer does not get to your flower beds.
  • If you are always in a rush, go for a broadcast spreader
  • If space does not allow for a broadcast or drop spreader, go for a hand-held spreader.

To ensure fertilizer spreaders continue to work efficiently, this lawn equipment needs to be regularly maintained – wheels need to be checked and working parts need to be lubricated.

You also need to look out for possible cracks and the usual wear and tear of the equipment.

Best Lawn Fertilizer Spreaders Currently on the Market: Top 8 Recommendations

Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard 76565 - Best Lawn Spreader Overall

The Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard 76565 mini broadcast spreader is capable of providing sand, fertilizer, seed, and even ice melts, over a massive area of up to 10,000 square feet, which is sufficient for owners of most huge farms and gardens to finish their job in a day.

Thanks to its sturdy frame, the mini broadcast spreader is not only durable but also stable under high load. Moreover, it is pre-assembled and pre-calibrated, so you can start to use it immediately without effort.

The unit provides a 22-inch spread pattern that spreads fertilizer evenly across our garden, flowerbeds, and walkways. Plus, you can push this lightweight cart on its two big wheels without feeling any tiredness at all.

About the downside, the handle does not work well when the container is full. You may need a bit of strength to squeeze this handle to open the holes at the bottom of this spreader so that the materials can drop onto the ground.

Above all, in our opinion, the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard mini broadcast spreader is the best solution for a broad scope that you cannot complete alone.

Pros
  • Durable and stable
  • High capacity
  • Fully pre-assembled and pre-calibrated
  • Spread fertilizer evenly
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • The handle is not easy to use

Solo, Inc. Solo 421S 20-Pound Capacity Portable Chest-mount Spreader - Runner Up

The Solo, Inc. Solo 421S is a portable spreader dedicated to sprinkling many types of solid chemicals across nearly all terrains.

Mount the unit on your chest, and it will distribute fertilizer at high precision. Because you wear it on your chest with a comfortable cross-shoulder strap (included) just like wearing a backpack but on your front, it can work anywhere you can go, and rocky and rugged terrains do not matter.

Owing to the ergonomic design, this spreader is lightweight, compact, and easier to use than the wheeled varieties. A mobile model like this is highly suitable for small garden spaces and flower beds.

When it comes to convenience, the appliance has a large opening, allowing you to fill and mix chemicals into the tank easily. Then, you can screw the screw-on cap tightly to prevent chemical spill onto your body or the ground, alleviating danger and waste.

Plus, there are fingertip levers for users to control the volume and direction of fertilizer output.

Pros
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Usable on almost all terrains
  • High accuracy
  • No spillage or wastage
Cons
  • Limited carry volume
  • No warranty

Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader - Best Tow-Behind Model

The Agri-Fab 45-0463 broadcast spreader is designed to serve heavy duty agricultural projects. It delivers an amazing capacity of holding up to 130-pound of fertilizer. And owing to this huge capacity, the unit can scatter enough fertilizer for your entire crop fields within one full fill.

Of course, such a heavy load will make you tired. Luckily, you can mount this broadcast spreader onto a vehicle such as a tractor or an ATV, then what you need to do is just drive around.

As you can see on the picture of the product, it comes with two big pneumatic tires that can move smoothly on both rugged and flat surfaces. The enclosed gearbox is also very sturdy and well-protected by metal.

This design brings about unmatched sustainability, making its high price more reasonable for professional farmers and gardeners who are still hesitating when looking at the price tag.

Lastly, we also appreciate the versatility of this broadcast spreader on various landscapes and throughout all seasons of the year. If you cultivate plants all year round, a flexible fertilizer spreader like this is essential.

Pros
  • Professionally designed
  • Incredible 130-pound capacity
  • Applicable on all terrains and in all seasons
  • Ultra-durable
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Expensive
  • There are residue remains

EARTHWAY PRODUCTS 2750 Hand Crank Bag Seeder/Spreader - Best Handheld Spreader

Unlike other lawn spreaders, the EARTHWAY PRODUCTS 2750 uses a bag to contain fertilizer instead of a box or a tank. And while it is originally engineered to spread seeds, it can disperse fertilizer on the land as well.

In spite of the high price and bulky size for a handheld model, the features of this unit make up for that cost.

Yes, it is more expensive and heavier, but you can use it to add more fertilizer at a higher precision than any other handheld spreader in the market.

You can fill up to 20 pounds of fertilizer, seed, ice melt, and so on into the bag, and spin the ergonomic upper handle to sprinkle these substances onto the soil.

Well, because the bag can resist rotting and tearing, we can say that this unit is more durable than a normal fabric bag but not much more long-lasting than a plastic and metal lawn spreader.

However, the rest of the components, such as the base and the handle, are corrosion-resistant. And you also get a 5-year warranty from the manufacturer, so don't worry.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Hardly flip over
  • Multiple speeds
  • Smooth cranking
Cons
  • Might cause arm fatigue
  • Not really durable

Brinly BS36BH 175 lbs Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader - Best Commercial Fertilizer Spreader

The Brinly BS36BH lawn broadcast spreader is the most expensive product on this list, but it supplies the highest capacity, too. But given that those who utilize this beast are owners of large estates, its price should be taken easy.

This lawn broadcast spreader features a single pinhole for you to attach it to the back of your 4-wheeler, tractor, or truck and remove it quickly.

The most time-consuming job you have to do is filling the container with up to 175 pounds of fertilizer. After that, let the tool complete the rest while you're sitting on your vehicle.

It features a spread control pattern that grants users a directional spread control. As different fertilizers need to be distributed in various quantities and spots, this function would come in handy.

One ironic thing we found during our test of this lawn broadcast spreader is that despite the overall quality, this tow-behind fertilizer spreader gets flimsy pneumatic tires.

While other parts are capable of withstanding the test of time and weather as well as the damage of corrosive chemicals, the two pneumatic tires do not match the same quality and are prone to break down soon.

Pros
  • Spread the fertilizer uniformly
  • Come with a deflection shield and a hopper cover
  • Large capacity
  • 2-year warranty
  • Adjustable handle
Cons
  • The wheels are low-quality
  • Not easy to assemble
  • Overpriced

Spot Spreader Hand Spreader Shaker - Best for Convenience

In the familiar shape of a cup, the Spot Spreader Hand Spreader Shaker is designed and constructed well by professionals.

As a handheld spreader, of course, it is usable at any time of the year, regardless of time and weather. It is best to spread a huge amount of fertilizer during the summer or grit during the winter.

Take a look at the top of the lawn fertilizer spreader, and you will see numerous holes in different shapes and sizes. Therefore, you can always adjust the round plastic cap to select a suitable sprinkling pattern and volume.

On top of that, this lawn fertilizer spreader is made of solid plastic so that it can withstand the corrosion of chemicals. Also, it is very lightweight, easy to use, and store.

We know many people might not care much about the warranty policy of a cheap product. However, the lifetime warranty and money-back policy without hassle is still an appreciative bonus. This proves the quality of the product and alleviates the fear of customers that a low-priced spreader will do no good.

Pros
  • Well-made construction
  • High efficiency over small areas
  • Customizable hole sizes
  • Ultra-compact
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Low capacity

Stalwart 82-YJ487 Handheld Spreader (Multipurpose Tool for Lawn Garden and Yard) - Best Budget

Welcome to the most budget-friendly product on our list. With less than 8 dollars, you are able to possess a decent fertilizer spreader that can help you in providing nutrition to your plants.

Needless to say, this handheld spreader is only great for small gardens and plant pots. The holding capacity is 2.3 liters for all types of substances.

The kind of plastic used to craft the bottle is quite durable and can resist most of the corrosive chemicals. But, of course, the cover cannot have much endurance against external impact.

Similar to the majority of handheld lawn spreaders, the Stalwart 82-YJ487 also comes with an ergonomic molded handle and a twist-up lid on the top.

Pour some seed, fertilizer, or salt into the tool and shake it to make sure the mixture is fine. Next, rotate the lid to select the suitable hole size, and now you can begin to spread the substances onto the soil.

Pros
  • Super-cheap
  • Optimal compactness
  • Satisfaction and genuine product guaranteed
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Low capacity
  • Not durable

Yard Tuff YTF-25SS Shoulder Spreader - Best for Small Gardens

The final choice on our list should not be overlooked. In spite of its modest size and a total weight of more than 3 pounds, the Yard Tuff YTF-25SS spreaders fertilizer offers an unbelievable 25-pound capacity.

In fact, this is among the most high-capacity and sturdy handheld fertilizer spreaders that we have found out. All components are built from solid metal, and the included bag is also made of tough canvas.

What's more, the calibrated flow rate adjuster enables users to fine-tune the output to suit different applications. To improve the performance, you can consult the spread-chart included in the box, too.

All in all, we do not have much to say about this simple model. If compactness, lightweight, low price, ease of use, and high mobility is what you need and are willing to trade off other characteristics to enjoy, we recommend buying the item.

Pros
  • 1-year warranty
  • Come with a calibrated flow rate adjuster
  • Affordable
  • Quick and easy assembly
  • High capacity for a handheld model
Cons
  • Inconvenient design

The Things You Should Pay Attention to While Choosing the Fertilizer Spreaders

1. Types of Spreaders

Broadcast spreader

best fertilizer spreader for large yard

As you can see from its name, a broadcast spreader can cover a massive area. Therefore, a broadcast spreader is ideal for use on wide gardens, farms, broad community landscapes, lawn, or golf courses, etc.

Broadcast spreaders distribute fertilizer consistently and uniformly so that there is no missed or over-fertilized area.

You might meet a walk-behind broadcast spreader that can be moved by manual pushing or tow behind broadcast spreader that is mounted on the back of a tractor, truck, or ATV.

As such, these lawn spreaders are very large capacity and inappropriate for small areas.

Handheld fertilizer spreader

On the contrary to a broadcast spreader, a handheld fertilizer spreader is perfect for small areas such as a balcony garden, or plant pots.

They are compact, lightweight, and easy to use, allowing users to feed their plants accurately.

Drop spreader

As its name suggests, a drop spreader drops fertilizer when users push it around on its big wheels. A drop spreader is great for rugged and rocky terrains like on the mountain.


2. Holding Capacity

The holding capacity of a fertilizer spreader indicates the maximum amount of fertilizer it can hold and spread.

Heavy duty broadcast fertilizer spreaders can come with a high capacity of from 20 up to 130 pounds or more (e.g., the Agri-Fab 45-0463). Meanwhile, handheld fertilizer spreaders often hold 0.5 pounds of fertilizer or less.

To calculate the proper capacity for your requirements, apart from the size of the area that needs fertilizer, you need to consider the growing conditions and the requirements of different plants as well.

If you just take care of small plant pots, a handheld lawn spreader will work well without any problem. Still, a small garden will need around 6 to 12 pounds of fertilizer, so a handheld lawn spreader is insufficient.

Meanwhile, larger lands may need up to 40 pounds of fertilizer, and a huge farm or lawn might require at least 80 pounds of fertilizer.


3. Configurations

Fertilizer spreaders may have various configurations that you need to consider for your convenience.

best fertilizer spreader for small lawn
  • Handheld spreaders feature a handle and intuitive guides so that you can spread fertilizer precisely.
  • A chest-mounted fertilizer spreader is designed to be fastened to the front of your chest with flexible straps. It also has a refillable container placed under your chin that allows users to access the fertilizer at ease.
  • A cart-style unit is a huge plastic tank secured to a metal frame on wheels.

4. Precision

 Adding lawn fertilizer precisely is critical, particularly in smaller areas. Over-fertilizing an area may lead to burning spots, but plants in areas that are insufficiently fed are unlikely to grow well.

So, choose a product with high precision.


5. Value for Price

Don't be too economical when you buy a lawn fertilizer spreader. You had better spend a bigger sum to own a model that is accurate, high-performance, and suits your needs right from the start.

If you find a model cheap and want to make a small investment in it, it might cost you more time and money to buy fertilizer in the long run.

Besides, if you are a professional farmer or gardener, a poor-quality lawn fertilizer spreader will reduce your productivity, which results in more significant economic loss.

What then? The chances are that you will waste money on buying another model. As you see, that is going to cost you a fortune.


6. Design and Durability

best fertilizer spreader for home use

A lawn fertilizer spreader ought to provide decent durability and suitable design for users.

Fertilizers are chemical, so the container must be resistant to substances in kinds of fertilizers, or else they will be spoiled soon. And make sure that the frame and wheels of your unit will not unexpectedly break down in the middle of a working session.

Regarding design, in addition to personal preference, you should consider mobility issues that you might encounter with a specific model due to your health or the terrains you are going to work on.

FAQs About Fertilizer Spreaders

1. Which is Better Drop Spreader or Broadcast Spreader?

As we explained types of lawn fertilizer spreaders above, broadcast spreaders are better at spreading fertilizers in an arc over a large area.

Vice versa, a drop spreader releases fertilizer between the wheels, so you can aim to drop fertilizer precisely on your targets over a small and medium area.

In general, a broadcast spreader is better at holding capacity and distributing fertilizer over a larger area at a given time. And a drop spreader is better at precision.

best fertilizer spreader 2020

2. How Does a Fertilizer Spreader Work?

The majority of lawn fertilizer spreaders allow manual operation. They typically feature a spray dispenser so that users can disperse fertilizer uniformly onto the soil in solution form.

Besides, there are other high-capacity spreaders that spray granules out just like a sprinkler. Or mobile spreaders can be hooked up to tractors, ATVs, or trucks so that these vehicles drag them while moving around the farm or lawn.


3. What Do Numbers Mean on Fertilizer Spreaders?

Apart from the date of manufacture, barcode, item model number, holding capacity, weight, and dimensions of the product, there is another number that you might not know what it is.

This number tells you the count of pounds of fertilizer that the unit can spread over an area of 1000 square feet.

Conclusion

Though the article is not too long, it has covered all the basic information and knowledge you need to know before buying a fertilizer spreader.

About the best fertilizer spreader, we chose the Scotts Turf Builder 76565 to be our champion. It might not have the highest capacity, but it is very efficient, easy to use immediately, durable, and has only a small drawback.

Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader*
  • Large capacity hopper holds up to 10,000 sq. ft. of Scotts lawn product, including grass seed and fertilizer
  • Heavy-duty frame for optimum stability
  • 22-inch spread pattern delivers maximum coverage and accuracy
  • Fully assembled
  • Ready to use and pre-calibrated

However, as we explained the strong and weak points of each product, feel free to make your own decision.

Leave a Comment