If you need to get grass seed, fertilizer, or lawn weed and feed onto a lawn, you need a tool to distribute it. Tossing it out by hand is neither safe nor efficient — you need a spreader. Use our buying guide to find the best one for your needs.

Make Life Easier With a Spreader

The key to a healthy and lush lawn is making sure its got enough seed and fertilizer on it. To get the job done with maximum ease and efficiency, use a spreader. We've got one for every type of lawn.

Types of Spreaders

There are three main kinds of spreaders, each with their own benefits that match specific lawns and jobs.

Green Scotts broadcast spreader

Broadcast Spreaders

Also called rotary spreaders, these cover a lot of acreage quickly. The material drops from the hopper onto a spinning disc, which 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.

Green drop spreader

Drop Spreaders

These can easily cover straight lines with little waste, but 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 isn’t covered equally. Striping is the distinctive pattern when you miss or overlap rows.

Green handheld spreader

Handheld Spreaders

Handheld, crank-operated spreaders are also available. They’re perfect for small areas and work the same way as broadcast spreaders.


Spreader Tips

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

  • Calibrate the spreader according to the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations from the fertilizer or seed you’re using
  • Don’t forget to close the spreader when you stop so the material doesn’t drop through the hopper
  • 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
  • Wearing protective clothing as recommended by the fertilizer manufacturer

    Keep Your Lawn Looking Beautiful

    No matter the size or type of your lawn, there’s a spreader out there that will fit your yard. By choosing the right one, you can keep your lawn looking green, lush, and healthy.

    Lawn with irregular borders, flower bed on one side, shed in the background

    Irregular Lawn Shape

  • Start with a border strip around the perimeter of your lawn.
  • Find the longest direction, and apply the material back and forth.
  • Before making a turn, close the spreader.
  • Go slowly and evenly around objects and obstacles.
  • When you reach the border strip, shut off the spreader.
  • Square lawn with edging separating grass from the flowerbed

    Regular Lawn Shape

  • Make two border strips at each end so you can turn around easily.
  • When you reach the end of the strip, turn the spreader off and back on when turning around to ensure even application.
  • Move the spreader a bit first before opening it when starting back.
  • Go slowly and evenly around objects and obstacles.
  • Because the material flies out from the spreader, keep a distance of about four feet from objects you don’t want seeded or fertilized.
  • Overlap to avoid missing areas.
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