Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Georgie Smith
Farming and gardening are not for the weak. It is long days, little sleep, and downright hard work. However, modern technology has turned exhausting into excitement. By having one of the best walk-behind fertilizer spreaders, you are saving on time, money, and your body.
There are many brands and models on the market today that have the same quality and price range. With the equipment being a lifesaver, it is no wonder there is a vast market. How would a new gardener choose the right one for them?
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Marketors all say their brand is easy to use, is comfortable, and convenient, which makes choosing a tricky job.
To help you make the right choice, this article reviews some of the best spreaders on the market. It also gives you a comprehensive buyer’s guide that will help you know the features you need to consider.
Advantages of Walk behind Fertilizer Spreader
There are many types of fertilizer spreaders. So, why is the walk behind spreaders most preferred? It is time to find out. Through our fertilizer spreader reviews, not only will you learn about the best on the market, but you also learn a bit about farming.
- It allows you to care for your yard and still get some sun to your skin
- It will enable you to cover a large piece of property faster
- You can pull it behind your mowers to mow and fertilize your lawn at the same time
- Allows you to program the number of seeds and fertilizers you use on your garden
- They do not strain your body and can, therefore, get used by anyone including senior citizens
Scotts Turf Builder Pro
|– It holds up to 15,000 sq. ft lawn products
– Calibrated ready for use
– Guarantees superior results
– Accurate coverage with control panel precision
|– Heavy duty frames construction
– Guarantees even spreading
– Adjustable spread rate control and handle
– Durable construction design
|Scotts Turf Builder Classic
|– Fully assembled and ready to use
– Heavy-duty frames for stability
– Large capacity hopper
– 22” spread pattern for accuracy and maximum coverage
|– Super duty gearbox for more extended lasting wear
– Coated frames for durability
– Adjustable handle
– Large hopper capacity
|– Rustproof poly construction
– 3-hole drop system
– Solid linkage rate control
– Steel ‘T‘ bar handle with powder coating
– 9” high-flotation pneumatic tires
Scotts Turf Builder Pro EdgeGuard Deluxe Broadcast Spreader
Spreading seeds or fertilizer is not all easy especially if you have a big piece of land. It will take you days before you completely spread across the entire farm. Additionally, even after you are done spreading, it is difficult to have uniform spreading. Also, the difference in days will affect the sequence of germination.
However, with Scotts Turf Builder edgeguard DLX broadcast spreader; this will not be your fear. It allows you to spread fertilizer and grass seed through different seasons comfortably. With the spreader at hand, you are sure that your backyard will have a uniform look all the time.
It has a large hopper that holds up to 15,000 sq. Ft. of Scotts lawn care products. Therefore, you will not have to keep refilling the hopper to go round the entire land. The large hopper also helps you save time as you will cover a wide area within a few minutes.
It has various setting options to ensure it provides you with superior results. By adjusting the control panel, you can set your spreader to meet your specifications based on your demands. The exclusive edgeguard technology design also ensures that all your lawn care product does not go to waste. It can achieve this as it shuts the right-side spreader pattern that tends to spread onto non-lawn areas.
The spreader has two large wheels that allow you to push/pull it through various lawn settings comfortably. With the wheel, you are sure that you will have your products spread perfectly on the lawn. Therefore, you will not get stressed by sharp bends or even the lawn edges.
- Easy to apply lawn products evenly
- Suitable for spreading water on lawn paths
- Large hopper to cover a wide area
- Different settings for better performance
- Ready for use right from the box
- The wheels are not strong and keep snapping off
Buy from Amazon
Earthway 2600A Commercial 40-Pound Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader
2600A Earthway Commercial Spreader is ideal for small space usage. It has a compact design that guarantees you secure storage and effective results. It has a large hopper that accommodates a maximum of 23kgs of lawn products. Therefore, making it suitable for small-scale lawn maintenance.
The spreader has a heavy-duty construction with convenient material to ensure it serves you for generations. Additionally, it has a 3-hole drop shut-off system, which ensures you get an even spreading across the entire yard.
It has a debris screen that ensures the shut-off system is operational at all times. The handle will adjust to two different positions, hence making it comfortable for people of different heights.
With this spreader, you should not be worried about dry or dusty walkways as it can also spread water across lawn paths.
- Multi-functional uses
- Adjustable handle heights
- Three-hole shut-off system
- Heavy-duty material construction
- Not suitable for the price
Buy from Amazon
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader
If you are looking for an easy way to spread your lawn seed, and fertilizer and still preserve your energy, the search stops here. All you need is this classic drop spreader from Scott’s turf builder. The spreader features a convenient design with heavy-duty frames for maximum stability and durability.
The design also features a shut-off system that makes the spreader unique and reliable. Additionally, it comes ready for use as it only needs minor adjustments from the box.
This classic drop spreader has a large hopper that accommodates up to 10,000 sq. Ft of lawn food. Therefore, assuring you that with only one fill, you can cover the entire lawn.
- Ready for use right from the box
- Large capacity hopper
- Heavy-duty frames
- Slightly expensive compared to others
Buy from Amazon
Earthway 2170 Commercial 100-Pound Broadcast Push Spreader
With this bush broadcast spreader, maintaining your lawn will be an easy and exciting task. The spreader has a high-volume hopper capacity of at least 3,350 cu. in. The size accommodates up to 100lbs of fertilizer comfortably. Therefore, you will not experience stress while spreading fertilizer on your lawn.
The rate control system is right at the handle to ensure you can access and adjust the unit conveniently. Additionally, the handle is adjustable to at least two different heights making it suitable for everyone to use.
The frame of this spreader features heavy-duty construction to ensure the unit is strong and reliable even through harsh terrains. The wheels have rustproof poly rims that have a design to withstand different terrain challenges.
- Heavy-duty frames construction
- Top-quality rims to last longer
- High capacity hopper
- Adjustable handle height
- It starts to rust quite easily
Buy from Amazon
Earthway 2600APlus Unassembled 40lb. Spreader
Looking for a reliable spreader but you don’t have the budget to support your expectations? All you need is to get your hands on this 2600APlus spreader. The spreader features all the techniques of a normal spreader to ensure you get quality service with every use.
It has a compact design that makes it highly portable and easy to use. The unit has a three-hole drop shut-off system that ensures you get balanced and even spreading regardless of the shape of your lawn.
Additionally, the spreader has convenient large wheels that make navigating simple for anyone across different terrains. The compact design makes this unit convenient even for landowners that have limited storage space too.
- Compact and reliable design
- High-tech large tires for easy and comfortable navigation
- Pocket-friendly price
- Heavy-duty construction
- Not suitable for large lawn management
Buy from Amazon
How to Choose
The application of the fertilizer to the soil for planting is critical, however not less than the method itself. The process of selecting the best spreader, therefore, does not solely rely on the size of your lawn. It also depends on other factors such as the type of fertilizer used.
Some devices grind, mix and transport the manure to your garden. These factors will make it easier for you to choose the best spreader for the money.
The Type of Fertilizer
When you buy the cheapest fertilizer spreader, you must ensure that the spreader you buy is especially suited for the kind of fertilizer you tend to use. There are mineral and organic fertilizers. The spreader must be able to use the compost you want and effectively discharge it. It will ensure that you do not have some areas that are too fertilized and others that do not have fertilizer at all.
You also need to consider the technology the spreader uses to distribute the fertilizer to your crops. Available techniques include aviation and centrifugal, liquid, anhydrous ammonia, specialized, and those that use pulverized fertilizers. Find a technology that will work for your yard and garden. You also need to make sure that the technology is one that will be easy for you to use.
Price and Durability
The last thing you want is to buy a device that will only work a few times. You also do not want to spend too much on a product when there are budget-friendly options. You must ensure that the lifespan and price are excellent.
There are very few brands that will price their products expensively and give you high quality. However, many brands will provide you with superior quality at affordable prices.
You must also make sure that the device will last for a long time. Remember that you will only be using the device for a few times each year. So, it needs to serve you for many years without showing signs of damage.
The Shape and Size of Your Lawn
You also need to think about the size and shape of your lawn. While a tow-behind spreader may be great for some yards and gardens, it may not work for some. For instance, if you have a small yard, this one may not be the perfect tool for you.
In such cases, a handheld spreader may be the most affordable option. However, it is ideal for medium to large yards. It reduces the fatigue you will feel if you have to carry the seeds in your hands or back.
Evenness of the Spread
You need to make sure that the spreader you choose will fertilize all areas of your yard evenly. Some will pour too many fertilizers when they are full. It means that the plants that you fertilize first will die because of too much fertilizer. The rates you set must remain the same whether it is full or almost empty.
How To Use Them?
There are different types of fertilizer spreaders on the market today. Regardless of which one you choose to go with, it is paramount that you learn the best practices. That will ensure that the spreader will serve you for years without showing signs of aging.
Here are some tips that we ensure that you are using the device correctly:
- Calibrate the spreader with the correct specifications as the manufacturer recommends them. Make sure you follow the pattern and rate that got indicated. That will help you make the right product packaging for the tool
- Load the spreader with enough seeds or fertilizer.
- Walk or drive away through all parts of the yard to make sure all areas receive fertilizers
- Ensure that you close the device each time you make stops or have to turn
- Sweep any fertilizer that may have accidentally fallen on the driveway or sidewalk and return it to the hopper, so it can get applied to your lawn
- Make sure that you thoroughly clean the spreader after use because some fertilizers are caustic and will cause rusting. After washing, dry it and apply oil on the metallic parts
*Helpful Tip* To make a pass through the lawn, set the application by half. If you had driven away in crisscross patterns, make sure that you make the second walk in a perpendicular pattern compared to the first pass.
Lawn Fertilizing Tips
Now that you know what a fertilizer spreader is and what helps it benefit you, you need to know how to use it for your lawn. These tips will make it easier for you to work your garden and great healthy plants growing.
- Before you begin working on your yard, ensure that the device is turned off
- Set the correct rate
- Never load the spread when it is on grass or other plants, take it to your driveway or walkway to prevent the fertilizer from spilling
- If your yard is rectangular, start by creating two header strips on both sides of the garden. These strips will mark the areas where the spreader will needs to shut on and off.
- Ensure that you move between the ends and turn it off once you get to the header strips. To begin working, move the spreader then open it
- For drop spreaders, make sure that the wheels overlap with their tracks in the lawn from the previous passes so that you cover all strips
For Irregularly Shaped Lawns:
- Start by making header strips around the ends of the lawn
- Travel the longest distance and turn off the device once you reach the header strip
- If the spreader does not come with calibrations, check the user manual for generic equivalents of each product. Start with the light coverage and see how much fertilizer you have left after you have covered the entire yard.
- Always start by spreading across hills first. This movement will make sure that you still have enough product to go over uneven territory without skipping.
- Make sure you maintain the pace you would use to walk a midsized dog- about three mph. The speed to move will determine how wide and how much of the products get broadcast to the plants. If you move too slow, you risk reducing the throw width and thus increasing the product density.
- Always keep the impeller plate close to level when using your spreader. Tilt the handlebar up and down throws tow much or too little product.
- Ensure that you mow your lawn before applying fertilizer although some people do both at the same time by connecting the spreader to the mower.
- Apply 50 percent of the product in one direction and 50 percent in the other direction to ensure maximum coverage.
- Never apply the product during windy days.
- Begin with the longest edge on your lawn.
- Water the grass thoroughly a day or two before using the fertilizer. Water it again lightly after application. You may also choose to fertilize between rainfalls so the rain can wash fertilizer into the soil. However, you must ensure you never fertilize immediately before a downpour.
- Never apply fertilizer when the lawn is dry or withered from lack of moisture as fertilizer will burn off the grass instead of encouraging it to grow.
- It is best to aerate the soil during the fertilization time as it exposes the roots to air and fertilizer. Most mowers have core aerator attachments.
Care Maintenance Tips
Handling your fertilizer spreader means that you apply proper maintenance tips. Without them, you may have to buy parts that you would not ordinarily need. The following are some tips that will help you maintain your spreader.
Never leave your fertilizer in your spreader because most fertilizers are corrosive so that they will cause the metallic parts of your device to rust. If yours is a larger model, lower the rollers to a hard flat surface. A rule of thumb is to store the tool indoors- it gives it a longer life.
Always oil all other parts of your tool to make sure that the moving parts are working optimally. If you do not do this, there is a high chance that parts may get stuck and break.
Use water to clean the device carefully. Be sure to remove even the smallest bits of fertilizer. Let it air dry the oil of most of the metallic parts if you will be storing it for longer than a month.
Check the Chains
The larger models of these spreaders come with chains that need to be in great shape. Oil and tighten them. Whenever necessary, be sure to replace them.
Always make sure that you mark all the parts when you have to disassemble the gadget. You must do everything you can (including taking photos) to assemble the device correctly.
Paint Touch Ups
Larger spreaders are metallic while smaller ones are plastic. Metallic ones need to be repainted frequently to prevent rust.
For the sake of longevity, replace worn-out parts as soon as you notice them. This act will lessen the problems you have to deal with in the future.
Q: If I do not know the size of my yard, how do I determine the size of the spreader I need and the number of fertilizers to buy?
A: There are numerous planning charts online that you can utilize to find out what you need to know about your lawn. However, it is always safer to do the measurements manually. It will not take a long time especially if you do it.
Q: How many times should I fertilize my lawn each year?
A: We recommend that you fertilize at least two times each year if you have cool-season grass- once in fall and once during spring. If you choose to fertilize once each year, it is best to select fall for cool-season grass and summer for warm-season grass.
Q: Is fertilizer safe for my pets?
A: No, never expose your pets to fertilizers. If they can cause metals to rust, imagine what they are capable of doing to your pet.
Regardless of whether your fertilizer spreader is a big or small one, most of these rules are constant. Always check your manual for guidance on what to do and what to expect. You can always contact the manufacturer for additional instructions.
When choosing the best walk-behind fertilizer spreader, the price is not the most critical factor to consider. You must make sure that you know what features are most vital to you. You also need to find out the size and shape of your lawn. The right choice will vary from person to person so do not compare your purchase to that of a friend.
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