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While you can manually spread fertilizer over your grass, using a fertilizer spreader is easier, quicker, and more consistent. Numerous spreaders may be used for purposes other than fertilizer application. In fact, most models also distribute seeds, ice melt, and weed control granules. Some of the most powerful versions can even lay down rock salt.

Whether you need to fertilize a lawn, prepare numerous acres of land, weed a garden bed, or maintain a road, there are spreader alternatives to meet your requirements.

The This Old House Reviews Team did the legwork for you and researched the best fertilizer spreaders currently available. The following are our top suggestions.

Top 6 Fertilizer Spreaders

  • Best Overall: Scotts Elite Rotary Spreader
  • Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader is the best drop spreader.
  • Agri-Fab Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader is the most towable.
  • Best Compact: Scotts Turf Builder Mini Spreader
  • Best Aerator: Brinly Combination Aerator Spreader
  • Best Handheld: Scotts Wizz Handheld Spreader

Compare Top Fertilizer Spreaders

Product Type Coverage Area Spread Width Works With
Scotts Elite Rotary Spreader Broadcast 20,000 sq. ft. 6 feet weed-out, fertilizer, grass seeds, ice melt, rock salt
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader Drop 10,000 sq. ft. 1.8 feet fertilizer, grass seeds, ice melt, weed-out
Agri-Fab Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader Broadcast 25,000 sq. ft. 10-12 feet fertilizer, grass seeds, ice melt, rock salt, weed killer
Scotts Turf Builder Mini Spreader Broadcast 5,000 sq. ft. 5 feet fertilizer, grass seeds, ice melt, weed-out
Brinly Combination Aerator Spreader Drop 25,000 sq. ft. 3.3 feet fertilizer, grass seeds, weed-out
Scotts Wizz Handheld Spreader Broadcast 2,500 sq. ft. 5 feet fertilizer, grass seeds, weed-out
Product Type Coverage Area Spread Width Works With

Best Overall: Scotts Elite Rotary Spreader

Pros and Cons

Large grains may be accommodated by the removable agitator.
✔ 20% faster spreading than other Scotts spreaders
✔ 10-inch “never-flat” tires

Somewhat unintuitive dial settings
✘ Sparse instructions

What Customers Are Saying

Positive feedback emphasized the Scotts Elite Spreader’s quick distribution time, which is 20% faster than comparably sized broadcast spreaders. Buyers especially loved its built-in smartphone holster and detachable agitator, which can be used to disperse rock salt and other big grains. A handful of reviewers complained that the spreader’s dial was difficult to use and that the instructions only advised dial settings for Scotts-brand items.

Best Drop: Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader

Pros and Cons

✔ Efficient, 22-inch (1.83-foot) spread width
✔ Arrives assembled and calibrated
✔ Heavy-duty frame

✘ Short, unergonomic handle
✘ Drop mechanism limits distribution

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked that this fertilizer spreader was ready to use. They also liked the ample coverage area that this spreader offered in a relatively lightweight package. Unfortunately, other customers found the short height of the fertilizer spreader to cause back pain during use. They also had difficulties with the edge guard handle’s durability.

Best Towable: Agri-Fab Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader

Pros and Cons

✔ Rod-linked on/off precision control
✔ 10-12-foot spread width
✔ 13-inch x 4-inch pneumatic wheels

✘ Some assembly required
Deflector, grate, and hopper cover are available individually.

What Customers Are Saying

The Agri-Fab pull-behind fertilizer spreader received positive feedback for its ease of construction, smooth operation even over rough terrain, and large capacity. Numerous users reported remarkable success when utilizing the towable spreader to disperse clippings and mulch, as well as deicer and rock salt and fertilizer. Some buyers were upset to discover that the deflector shield, grate kit, and hopper cover were not included with the spreader.

Best Compact: Scotts Turf Builder Mini Spreader

Pros and Cons

✔ Precision EdgeGuard technology
✔ Ultra-light, 1-pound frame
✔ 5-foot spread width

✘ Wheels limited to smooth terrain
✘ Somewhat inconsistent distribution

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers spoke highly of the portability of Scotts 76121 mini fertilizer spreader and liked its ultralight, 1-pound frame. For the spreader’s compact size, customers were also impressed that it was able to cover up to 5,000 square feet in a single application. Several consumers, on the other hand, stated that the wheels felt cheap. Several consumers also reported that the spreader applied fertilizer unevenly.

Best Aerator: ‎Brinly Combination Aerator Spreader

Pros and Cons

Aeration and fertilization or planting done at the same time
✔ 132 steel aerating spikes
✔ Calibrated flow control minimizes waste

10-inch pneumatic tires are only suitable for flat terrain.
✘ Cumbersome for single-person assembly

What Customers Are Saying

Buyers were particularly pleased with the Brinly aerating spreader’s high-quality construction, which included a powder-coated frame. Others praise the spreader’s excellent efficiency rate and sharp, efficient aerator blades. Several consumers, however, voiced dissatisfaction with the assembling procedure, which they found difficult and time-consuming for one person.

Best Handheld: Scotts Wizz Handheld Spreader

Pros and Cons

✔ Battery operation reduces physical fatigue
✔ 5-foot spread width
✔ Light, 2-pound form factor

✘ Capacity limited to 2,500-square-foot range
It is not advised for deicing or the spreading of rock salt.

What Customers Are Saying

Satisfied customers were pleased with the entry-level price point of this fertilizer spreader, adding that it covered small and medium lawns in as little as 10-15 minutes. The battery-powered functioning also reduced work for the majority of consumers. However, unsatisfied customers experienced issues with the hopper, reporting that the spinner jammed easily. Customers have reported a negative experience while using the spreader to disperse sand or salt.

Buying Guide for Fertilizer Spreaders

Read on to learn about distribution, material, and other considerations that can help you choose the best fertilizer spreader for your lawn.

Spreader Type

There are four types of fertilizer spreaders:

  • Broadcast/rotary: Instead of dropping fertilizer, this sort of spreader sprays it. It features a spinning component underneath the dropper. As the fertilizer comes into contact with this piece, it’s sprayed out in different directions. This type of spreader has a large capacity, making it best for large yards.
  • Drop: Drop spreaders, as opposed to sprayers, drop fertilizer straight down. They’re in the middle in terms of efficiency when they’re compared to handheld and broadcast spreaders.
  • Handheld: Handheld spreaders are small enough to fit in your hands and sprinkle fertilizer as you move. They’re best for small yards or gardens because they can’t hold a lot of fertilizer.
  • Liquid sprayer: These spreaders work with liquid fertilizer. They have a canister that hooks to a hose and a nozzle and sprays the liquid. This sort of fertilizer is best suited for potted plants or other enclosed gardens.

Distribution Method

Spreaders of fertilizer are towed, pushed, dragged, or held.

  • Hold: Handheld and liquid spreaders are held in your hand, allowing you to have complete control over where the fertilizer drops.
  • Push/pull: Manual drop and broadcast spreaders are also available. This means you have to push or pull the spreader across your lawn to distribute the fertilizer.
  • Tow: Tow-behind spreaders are available for both drop and broadcast spreaders. These models are attached to a vehicle, such as a tractor, and are dragged across your property, minimizing the amount of work you have to do yourself.

Coverage Area

The coverage area or distribution area refers to how much fertilizer the spreader can cover in one pass. The greater the distribution area, the faster you can do the work. Some spreaders may even be adjusted to fit the size of your yard.


This is the amount of fertilizer that the spreader can contain. Manufacturers commonly quantify this in terms of the amount of square footage that a full hopper can cover. Handheld spreaders, for example, may cover up to 2,500 square feet, but certain pull-behind or tow-behind spreaders can cover up to 40,000 square feet.

Material Composition

The majority of spreaders are constructed of steel or plastic. Steel is more durable, but it is also more costly. Plastic is less expensive, but it may break and distort if there is too much fertilizer inside.

Lawn Fertilizer Tips

Spreading fertilizer on your lawn on a regular basis is essential for growing a healthy and bright lawn. You’ve already made a significant investment in your lawn by shopping for a fertilizer spreader. We’ve given some useful recommendations for fertilizing and maintaining your yard to assist you obtain the best results possible.

  • Then, test your fertilizer spreader in an inconspicuous location: If possible, use your spreader on a paved surface before applying the lawn product to your grass. This manner, you can ensure that it functions properly. Additionally, consider filling the fertilizer spreader on a flat, paved surface. Any fertilizer that has been spilled will be easy to detect and gather.
  • While spreading fertilizer, go gently and steadily: Similar to aerating your lawn, thoroughly and evenly fertilizing grass requires a little diligence. You risk missing or overdoing a spot if you hurry the process.
  • Clean your spreader after each use: Regardless of how often you use your fertilizer spreader, you should clean it using a garden hose and soap. Doing so prevents premature wear and tear and keeps past and future lawn products from mixing.
  • Calibrate your spreader before using it: If your fertilizer doesn’t come pre-calibrated by the manufacturer, you should be able to manually calibrate it using the provided instructions. Calibration ensures that the same quantity of product is consistently disseminated within the same radius.
  • Wear work gloves to handle fertilizer: Handling fertilizer with bare hands may cause a rash or other skin irritation.
  • Lubricate your spreader’s wheels after every other use: Any simple lubricant, like as WD-40, may aid in the smooth operation of your fertilizer spreader, minimizing jarring motions and abrupt pauses.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fertilizer Spreaders

When should I apply fertilizer?

It’s easy to figure out when to fertilize your lawn—there are four suggested times of year:

  • Early spring: Fertilizer should be applied once between February and April, when your grass begins to turn green for the first time.
  • Late spring: Fertilizer should be used between April and June, 6 to 8 weeks after the first session.
  • Summer: Fertilizer should be used between June and August, 6 to 8 weeks following the late spring session.
  • Fall: Apply fertilizer 6 to 8 weeks after the summer session for best autumn fertilization between August and October.

Is fertilizer harmful to my health?

It is determined by the fertilizer. Some fertilizers are non-toxic, but most contain herbicides or pesticides that can be harmful if they’re ingested or touched. As a result, most manufacturers advise remaining off your lawn for 24-72 hours after applying fertilizer.

Can I distribute grass seed using a fertilizer spreader?

Yes. However, depending on the type of grass seed you have, its consistency may be different than that of conventional lawn fertilizer. This could affect how smoothly and quickly the spreader disperses the seed.

How We Selected Fertilizer Spreaders

We depend on many major sources of information to assist drive our decision process in order to present our readers with the finest product recommendations available.

Initial Research : Our research process began by generating a list of spreaders with a significant number of verified-buyer reviews and an average customer review rating of 4-5 stars. We considered both good and negative evaluations, concentrating on data from both happy and critical purchasers.

Expert Insights We’ve learned over the years that listening to what others have to say is essential for creating accurate, well-rounded stories. To complement our in-house expertise, our team looked at reviews and videos from trusted publications and independent testers, spoke with subject matter experts, and drew insights from reader contributions.

Final Product Selection We then started fine-tuning our list by replacing older models with newer ones and removing any discontinued products. From there, we pared the list down further by comparing each model’s feature-set and selecting the best-in-class options for a variety of buyers, budgets, and scenarios.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

For more than four decades, This Old House has provided homeowners with high-quality home repair material in the form of television shows, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on generating in-depth product and service review information to assist you in making a buying choice for almost any item or resource that you may need for your house. Almost 1,000 evaluations have been published by the This Old House Reviews Team on household items ranging from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room décor.

In each review, we propose items based on extensive research, spending hours searching through the finest accessible models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. We perform extra research and occasionally in-person testing after limiting our list of suggestions to guarantee that the items match our criteria. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

Send an email to [email protected] if you have any comments or questions regarding this post.



Lawn Care Rapid City SD

Welcome to the most trustworthy and best lawn service Rapid City Sd team! We have been working for a couple of years and we have proven how we manage different types of yard maintenance services that our customers may need. From grass cutting service to lawn fertilization, you can entrust everything in us.

Welcome to the most trustworthy and best lawn service Rapid City Sd team! We have been working for a couple of years and we have proven how we manage different types of yard maintenance services that our customers may need. From grass cutting service to lawn fertilization, you can entrust everything in us.

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