The Ultimate Guide On Fertilizer Spreader: For All Lawn Care Purposes FAQs 2021


What Is A Fertilizer Spreader?

A fertilizer spreader is an equipment to be calibrated to various application rates depending on the products to be spread. The latter are usually dry granulated free-flowing materials of a chemical compound. In the industry of lawn care, spreaders are implemented to spread seeds, fertilizers, salt, melters, chemicals, etc. Nowadays, fertilizer spreaders are available in different durability levels, capacities, and operation ways.

What Are The Different Types Of Fertilizer Spreader?

Various types of fertilizer spreaders are offered in online and brick-and-mortar stores. Let’s review each of the major types.

  • Rotary or Broadcast Spreader

Broadcast, or otherwise referred to as rotatory spreaders are the choice of professionals. These are appropriate for wide areas (over 4,000 square feet) because they deliver the payload quicker over large spaces and don’t leave strips on them. A broadcaster can spread evenly-sized and dry seeds, fertilizer granules, ice-melters, chemicals, and salt. Rotatory spreaders have either push or tow-behind structure. When you walk or drive your tractor slowly with the broadcaster hitched from it, the shutoff plate opens and the inside impeller spreads the products in a 180-degree. This ensures even spreading. Most Green Thumb fertilizer spreaders and those by other brands are of a rotatory type.

  • Drop Spreaders

Next comes the turn of drop spreaders, which, similar to broadcasters, are of push-along and pull-along or tow-behind types. The second type is to be attached to a riding mower. They are both appropriate for small areas and can spread granular fertilizers and uneven products (compost, mulch, and others). This equipment type lays a trail of the product according to the width of its hopper which can be 24 inches at maximum. It actually drops the seeds. Flowerbeds, patios, and sidewalks are target areas for drop spreaders besides small yards and lawns.

  • Hand-Held Fertilizer Spreader

The most lightweight, portable and the easiest to use lawn fertilizer spreaders are hand-held models. They disperse the products by rotating them. The drawbacks here are the lack of precision and the small capacity. Compared to more durable and bulkier models, hand-held spreaders can’t spread much and far because of the small hoppers.

  • Liquid Fertilizer Spreader

To operate a liquid fertilizer-spreader, you will need to attach your garden hose to the canister with the help of an adapter nozzle. Inside the canister, the dry fertilizer is dissolved quickly and then sprayed out through the nozzles. They are great for vast areas. Other benefits of liquid fertilizer spreaders are the quickness of operation and the possibility to combine watering and fertilizing the soil. The main disadvantage is the lack of accuracy.

How to Choose a Fertilizer Spreader?

The diversity of prices set on fertilizer spreaders is conditioned by certain key factors you should take into account when buying one. The quality, capacity, evenness of spread and the spreader width are important. Particularly all these features determine whether the viewed model will justify your expectations or not. Now we shall explain each point separately:

  • Material

Durability is a key factor responsible for the lifespan of your new equipment. Deepening on the spreader type, materials used are different. Hand-held spreaders are usually made of plastic to be lightweight and are proper for small lawns. Stainless steel fertilizer spreaders powder coated are normally met within big rotating and drop spreaders. These are highly robust and long-lasting models. They don’t rust regardless of the weather elements. Surely, such equipment is priced much higher, yet they are irreplaceable in case you own a large lawn or land over 1 acre.

  • Capacity

The next factor affecting your choice is the capacity of the fertilizer spreader you plan to purchase. Look at your lawn. If it’s a large one, you must unconditionally go for drop style spreader with a capacity larger than 50 lbs. Having huge lands (more than 1 acre) implies the necessity of a tow-behind rotating spreader with a capacity higher than 100 lbs. The latter will cover around 20, 000 square foot. Most of such models are 3 point hitch fertilizer spreaders to use with any tractor or mower you have. On a small lawn or yard, you can easily get along with a hand-held up to 20 lbs spreader.

  • Evenness of Spread

This is the next key factor. Fertilizers, just as various chemicals, must be spread evenly to neither damage the soil (if spread too much), nor be ineffective (if spread too little). From the reviews left by real users, you can find out which models work precisely and which not.

  • Ease of Use

Hand-held fertilizer spreaders are easy to use. But sometimes they cause hand fatigue. Tow-behind and push variants are easier to use in case their wheels can provide a firm grip on the ground regardless of the weather and terrain.

  • Price

And finally, the last determinant of whether to buy the fertilizer spreader you are interested in or not is its price. The higher the capacity the more expensive the equipment is. All the above-mentioned factors together build up the price of the model.

Interesting Facts About Fertilizer Spreaders

  1. The first automated manure spreader was invented in 1875 and was replaced with tractor models only in the 1930s. 
  2. Take one handful of well-fertilized soil. In it, you can detect more living organisms than there are living people on the whole globe!
  3. Restoring the world’s soil health to its primary state could stop the change in climate, and this is something people prefer to neglect.
  4. During the past 150 years, half of the topsoil of the world has been lost.
  5. The highest amount of fertilizer use on arable land is detected in Singapore – around 33, 000 kg per one hectare of soil.

How to Use and Maintain Fertilizer Spreaders?

We have established a base of the various types of garden fertilizer spreaders Ireland, the US and other countries produce and talked over the main factors to consider when buying one. The missing part of the information is about the use and maintenance. The key recommendations concerning the maintenance of new leader fertilizer spreaders include:

  1. empty the hopper before storing;
  2. keep the equipment indoors after every use;
  3. lubricate all moving parts of your fertilizer spreader (grease fittings, sprockets, and chains) on a regular basis;
  4. brush any small particles and granules from the hopper, rinse it with water and dry it afterward;
  5. check the metal equipment for paint wear offs, restore it to prevent rusting.

Next comes the use.

How To Use Lawn Fertilizer With A Spreader Effectively?

  1. turn off the spreader;
  2. choose the spreading rate in the setting for fertilizer spreaders as mentioned on the package of the product you are to apply;
  3. you’d better fill the equipment on a walkway not to accidentally spill the product on your lawn;
  4. pass to the spreading process adhering to the following guidelines.

How To Spread Fertilizer On Rectangular Lawns?

Begin the spreading process by fulfilling a couple of “header strips” on every end of the lawn;

  1. go forward and backward between the ends and turn off the equipment every time you reach the header strips to switch it on right before you leave it;
  2. if your spreader is drop type, watch the wheel marks left on the lawn make certain you don’t miss strips;
  3. in case of having a rotatory spreader, watch to have overlapped every swath edge with that of the previous not to miss any streaks.

How To Spread Fertilizer On Irregularly Shaped Lawns?

  1. Start by making a “header strip” around the edge of your irregularly shaped lawn;
  2. go forward and backward to the longest direction of the lawn and remember to switch off the equipment every time you get to the header strip;
  3. repeat the point 2 until you spread the whole lawn with fertilizer.

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