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Home > Projects & DIY Toolkit > Buying Guides > Selecting a Spreader

Selecting a Spreader

If you need to get grass seed, fertilizer or lawn weed and feed onto the lawn, you need a tool to distribute it. Tossing it out by hand is neither safe nor efficient. You need a spreader. There are several spreader types to choose from. We'll help you find the best one for your needs. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.

Types of Spreaders

Broadcast spreaders (also called rotary spreaders) cover a lot of acreage quickly. The material drops from the hopper onto a spinning disc that disperses it over the lawn. Overlap the coverage to avoid missing any spots — the further away from the spreader the material is thrown, the lighter the coverage. What you gain in coverage you may sacrifice in control. That same spinning disc can also scatter the material into a neighbour's yard or into the street. If you want complete control, think about getting a drop spreader.

Drop spreaders can easily cover straight lines with little waste, but they must be used with care. Since the material drops straight down in a width equal to that of the hopper, striping can occur if the entire area is not covered equally. Striping is the distinctive pattern created when you miss or overlap rows.

Handheld, crank-operated spreaders are also available. Great for use in smaller areas, they operate like broadcast spreaders.

Spreader Tips

Whether you operate the spreader manually or pull it behind a lawn tractor, remember:

  • Calibrate the spreader according to the manufacturer's specifications and the recommendations from the fertilizer or seed you are using.
  • Don't forget to close the spreader when you stop.
  • Fertilizer is caustic and can promote rust. To prolong the life of your spreader, clean it with a garden hose after each use.
  • An occasional oiling of metal parts in the wheels and spreader mechanism is also a good idea.
  • Follow the distribution pattern on the product package.
  • Move at a steady pace when spreading.
  • Wear protective clothing as recommended by the fertilizer manufacturer.
Drop spreaders offer coverage with little waste.

Drop spreaders offer coverage with little waste.

Use a handheld spreader for small areas.

Use a handheld spreader for small areas.

Shop Seed Spreaders

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please visit our terms of use.

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