When you have acres upon acres of lawn, working on all of it and maintaining it properly can be a real time-consuming chore. Probably the most time-consuming of all being spreading fertilizer or weed killers and similar things all over it. Even if you manage to do it in a reasonable time, you might over-fertilize some areas and under-fertilize others.
Fertilizer spreaders are ideal for you if you’ve ever had these problems. These tools will help you cover a huge amount of ground in almost no time and spread the fertilizer, or whatever else, evenly across the entire lawn or garden. We’ll show you just how invaluable these tools are in this article.
Why Buying a Fertilizer Spreader?
The main reason to get a fertilizer spreader is to save time when working on your lawn. This is especially true when it comes to larger properties with lawns that spread across a few acres and are almost impossible to maintain and fertilize by hand.
Spreaders usually function by dropping whatever it is you’re spreading on a spinning disk below the container and spreading it around in a circular pattern. These are often called broadcast spreaders or simply broadcasters.
Drop spreaders also exist, and they work by simply allowing the material to fall straight on the lawn. They are more precise but less efficient than broadcast spreaders and are mostly handheld.
However, a fertilizer spreader can be used for more than just fertilizer. Spreading things like pesticides or herbicides is also an option. You can use it for seeding as well, as the opening are large enough for smaller seeds to easily get through and you can control the spread much better than if you do it by hand or with some other tool. Still, you should only use it for things like seeding grass, not anything that requires more finesse.
Some spreaders also have neat additional functions that allow them to accurately spread the material even if they’re broadcasters or settings that allow you to control at what rate the material gets spread. These can make the spreader even more useful than it already is.
As with any other product, not all fertilizer spreaders will work equally well – some will excel while others will be borderline-useless. Finding the best one for you, or even just a decent one, can be a difficult thing. That’s why we’re here to help, and we aim to provide you with as much info as we can, so you can make a good purchasing decision. Here we compare and contrast a few of the best products available at the moment, offer our thoughts and opinions on them as well as some user reviews. With all of that, it should be easy to find the right fertilizer spreader for you. So, let’s have a look at the products we have lined up.
Meet the Best Fertilizer Spreaders
The Good: It’s a durable tow-behind spreader with huge capacity, at a low price.
The Bad: Exceedingly difficult to assemble and is prone to tipping over.
The Bottom Line: This is a great spreader overall, and though it has problems, it’s hard not to recommend it when it’s such a quality product at a low price.
The Good: For the price on offer, this is a decent spreader with some nice extra features.
The Bad: It’s made from cheap materials, flimsy and prone to breaking.
The Bottom Line: It is a fine spreader for people on a budget, but it doesn’t hold up well and is rather flimsy and poorly made.
The Good: This spreader has great capacity and is incredibly adjustable and precise.
The Bad: Some parts of it are flimsy, and its design makes it difficult to use.
The Bottom Line: At face value, this seems like a great spreader but some problems with it, especially its awkward design, make it difficult to recommend.
We’re just getting started – the detailed reviews are below.
All of the Factors Considered
There are plenty of different fertilizer spreaders out there, and it might be difficult to distinguish a good from a bad one when you’re overwhelmed with choice. It’s also tough to know what to look for as plenty of models have some highly-touted extra features that don’t matter that much, while their core performance is lacking. Marketing is all about obfuscation, and it’s easy to fall for it. However, if you’re properly informed you should be able to avoid such pitfalls. That’s why we compiled a list of the most important things you should look for in a fertilizer spreader.
This is one of the most important aspects of a spreader as it determines how much ground you can cover in one run and how quickly you will get the job done. If you need to refill it constantly because your spreader has a limited capacity, something isn’t right.
Usually, capacity is expressed in pounds or gallons, but some manufacturers also chose to express it in square feet. How does that work? Well, they usually have a specific product in mind, and the amount of product that can fit in the spreader will cover that amount of square feet. That might be a bit confusing, but when you know what product they’re referring to, you can probably figure out the real capacity of the spreader.
There are a few different types of spreaders based on the way they’re used. The main three are tow-behind, push and carried spreaders.
Tow-behind spreaders are mostly used with tractors or the like and are attached to the back of the vehicle to be pulled behind it while spreading whatever is necessary. This is the fastest way to do the job, and they are fit for incredibly large areas – but only if you already have something that can tow them.
Push spreaders are the most common of these, and they are simply a large bucket on wheels that you push to spread whatever is in it. Their size varies, and they can be both incredibly large and quite small.
Handheld spreaders are the smallest type, and they are made for spreading fertilizer or weed killers on small areas, where either of the other two types would just be overkill. They are mostly low quality and rather small.
Picking the right type for you depends on what you need and the equipment you have.
When getting a spreader you’re making an investment, and you want it to pay off. You want your spreader to stay operational and not to break in a month or two. Even worse, if it is shoddily constructed, you might get too much or too little fertilizer (or whatever you’re spreading) on your lawn. That just defeats the whole purpose of getting a spreader in the first place.
So, you should get a spreader that is made mostly from durable materials, preferably metal or at least some hardened plastic. You should probably get one made in the US or Europe as well since merchandise made in third-world countries is usually flimsy and not up to snuff.
The material the wheels are made of can also be important when it comes to durability and how easy the spreader is to use on uneven terrain. Inflatable rubber wheels usually perform better, but if you’re worried they might be punctured, plastic wheels are another possible option.
You shouldn’t be afraid to invest a little more cash for a durable, quality product as it will pay off in the long run.
Various additional features exist for fertilizer spreaders but not all are that useful. Some only sound good on paper but are in fact useless in practice. Still, there is a handful of genuinely useful add-ons that might help you when working.
Something like settings for spread rate or an edge guard can improve the effectiveness and usefulness of your spreader immensely, and it’s worth considering that when buying one. There are other possibly good extra features, but we can’t cover all of them here.
Now that you know what makes a good fertilizer spreader let’s see how we rated all the products we picked.
In-Depth Reviews of 3 Fertilizer Spreaders
The capacity of this unit is a massive 130 pounds, meaning that you can cover huge areas and disperse a large amount of material in only one go-around. This massively shortens the time needed to cover your entire lawn. When converted into coverage, it is roughly able to cover 25000 square feet or around half an acre.
Easy to Tow
It’s a pull-behind spreader meaning that you will need a tractor or other similar vehicle to use it. Its design should make it easy to tow, but that’s not always the case. You will often have to look behind you as it is prone to tipping over.
Rugged and Durable Construction
The hopper of this unit is made from durable hardened plastic connected with metal bars. The gear box is enclosed for less exposure to the elements. The tires are especially good; they are huge and quite stable even on rough terrains.
The on-off control has precise settings, allowing you to control just how much material you want to spread at a time. It also has an optional hopper cover, hopper grate, and material deflector. However, even without the extra parts, it is difficult to assemble – despite the fact that the manufacturer claims otherwise.
Who Should Buy This Product
For people who have access to a tractor and a large property with a lot of grass, this is just a godsend. With its huge capacity as well as how durable it is and how good the wheels are on uneven terrain, this spreader can do plenty of work without a problem, and it will save you a lot of time.
What to Watch Out For
There are a couple of different problems here, but all come down to the design of this spreader. First off, it’s made from a ton of different parts, 82 to be exact, and you’re expected to assemble it with only basic instructions. If you get through that, you still have to deal with the fact that it has a low center of gravity so it might tip over, as well as the fact that you can’t comfortably reach the flow control handle from the tractor seat.
Overall, we would say this is a great spreader as it does its job admirably and has some great specs as well as a few nifty additional features to boot. The problem with its design and that it can tip over is something you can’t resolve easily. It is also difficult to assemble, but that is a one-time thing. Still, for this price, it’s hard to pass up.
Holds Lots of Materials
This spreader can hold up to 5000 square feet of Scotts lawn products. That doesn’t tell you a lot, but it comes up to around 40 pounds of capacity if that. Not a whole lot, but enough for smaller lawns and properties.
This is a walk-behind model that is relatively easy to push. It’s also rather maneuverable, making it good for smaller, tighter areas and tiny
Not Suited for Heavy Use
This is the largest black mark on this spreader, and that’s the fact that the materials are not up to snuff and it’s all rather flimsy. The wheels are especially bad, and it all just makes this spreader highly unsuited for heavy duty use.
With the control panel on the side of this spreader you can adjust the exact amount of materials that it will spread, ensuring accurate coverage. The edge guard that can block off one side of the spreader also makes this spreader good in smaller areas.
Who Should Buy This Product
For people who need an affordable spreader that can still do the job reasonably well, this is the product for you. If you’re on a budget, this is probably the best product you can get right now, and it will function well, for a while at least. It has decent capacity as well as some nifty extra features.
What to Watch Out For
It’s cheap for a reason, and that’s obvious. Most parts of it are poorly made and are rather flimsy, especially the wheels, so it’s not fit for heavy duty use or usage on rough terrain. When it comes to the wheels, there’s also the problem of poor design, as the material you’re spreading might get caught in them over time and then dropped in bulk along the way. It’s just not a thing you want to happen.
Overall, this is a fairly decent product for the price with enough capacity to be useful for medium-sized properties at most and some useful extra features, like the edge guard it has. However, the reason it’s cheap is the flimsy construction, and it simply may not last for long, nor can it be used for real heavy duty work. If you need a budget option, it’s still good, but it’s far from great.
The hopper of this spreader can hold a lot of materials, up to 18000 square feet of Scotts products. That comes up to around 120 pounds or so when all is said and done, but the hopper seems flimsy and unable to hold that much weight.
Might be Difficult to Push
It’s a pushing spreader, and as such you have to use your own strength to propel it. The issue is that, due to its design, it’s a bit difficult to push. It’s even more difficult to maneuver because it’s wide and poorly balanced, so there’s a high chance of it tipping over and spilling everything in it.
Not That Durable
Its pneumatic wheels are strong and well-made, we’ll give it that, they hold up well. The rest of this spreader is not so good though – the hopper and the handle seem flimsy and prone to breaking or bending easily.
The control panel on this unit allows for incredibly precise adjustments to the spread rate of whatever material you’re using. It also has an edge guard, allowing you to work close to areas you don’t want the materials to spread to.
Who Should Buy This Product
For people who want a relatively inexpensive product that can be used in medium-sized to large properties, this is what you should get. With its huge capacity for a relatively decent price, it is bound to save you plenty of time you would have otherwise wasted doing it by hand.
What to Watch Out For
The main problem of this spreader is its design – it is incredibly wide, meaning that it offers better coverage, but it is difficult to push without it tipping over and even more difficult to turn. In addition to that, the hopper and the handle are not incredibly well-made, and they seem prone to bending or breaking under heavy pressure.
On the surface, this looks like a great fertilizer spreader with the large capacity and great adjustability, as well as the quality inflatable wheels. The problem is that its design makes it awkward to use, especially in tighter spaces and when turning and its flimsy construction puts its durability into question. It’s still a decent product, especially at this price point, but you should take care.
The Best Pick – Agri-Fab 45-0463
Picking the best fertilizer spreader when there is such a huge variety of them on the market seems like an impossible task. The spreader that is perfect for one person might be a regrettable buy for the next guy. It’s all a matter of perspective, and what you want out of your fertilizer spreader, that’s what matters the most.
However, when it comes to picking the best product out of these three, we find that task easy. For us, the best one is the Agri-Fab 45-0463. The reason we picked it as the best product here is the fact that it offers great quality, far greater than the other two. While it may be more expensive, it makes up for that with incredible durability and great capacity. All of that and more makes it easily stand above the rest as the best.
There you go, that’s our best pick. But you should remember, it doesn’t have to be the best one for you. Some of the other products here are worth looking at and might fit you better, or you can look for something else entirely. It is all up to you, and we just hope you use the info in this article wisely and make a good purchase. In case we helped you do that, please do share this article with other people who are having a similar dilemma over their purchases. We hope you have a good day, and we’ll see you next time!