How to Choose a Lawn Spreader

Broadcast lawn spreader

So you’re committing to taking care of your lawn this year, providing all the water, lawn food, fertilizer, and weed control products you need to keep your lawn green and healthy. In order to distribute the lawn-strengthening, weed-destroying material you need, you need to have the right lawn spreader. How do you know which lawn spreader is right for both the growing material and the size of your lawn? You’ve come to the right place. Our useful guide will help you determine which spreader is the best choice for your applications.

What are the different types of lawn spreaders?

Broadcast lawn spreader

Broadcast Spreaders

A broadcast spreader “broadcasts” its material to the front and sides. It pulls material in and, using a dial on the spreader, dispenses the product at various rates. It’s great for dispensing a large amount of material quickly, when precision is not as important. Broadcast spreaders are often pushed manually and are built to handle many types of lawn & garden products, including lawn seed, lawn food, and fertilizer.

Drop spreader

Drop Spreaders

Drop spreaders are similar to broadcast spreaders in that they can quickly distribute a large amount of material. But because the seed or fertilizer only comes out of the bottom compartment, it gives you more control over where the material goes. Because it is more precise in its application, it can take slightly longer to spread the material, but you’ll worry less about spreading material in places you don’t want it. Drop spreaders are popular in both tow-behind and push models.

Handheld spreader

Handheld Spreaders

Popular with homeowners with smaller lawns, handheld spreaders are the most portable and easiest to use of all the spreader types. Handheld spreaders are basically small broadcast spreaders, dispensing material to the front and sides as you walk along your lawn. They’re typically operated with a hand crank or with a dial that controls the flow of material. Typically cheaper than other spreader types, it gives you the ability to target your material in smaller areas.

backyard lawn

Which type of spreader do I need?

Use a broadcast spreader if..

you have a medium to large lawn and want to distribute lawn food or fertilizer quickly. As long as your lawn is fairly open and free of areas that need to be spread precisely, a broadcast spreader is the fastest and most effective way to distribute material.

Use a drop spreader if...

you have a medium-sized lawn that needs material to be spread precisely. While it may take a little longer to dispense, it's easier to place the material exactly where you want it. If you need to avoid flower beds or overlapping on a neighbor's lawn, the precision of a drop spreader may be what you need. 

Use a handheld spreader if...

you have a small lawn or small area that you need to ensure gets coverage. Handheld spreaders may not distribute materials as evenly as the other two options, but they're much cheaper and will get the job done on smaller lawns or in areas that a larger spreader can't reach.

If you're in need of a lawn spreader this spring, stop by your local Do it Best store for a great selection of lawn & garden supplies and the expert advice you need!

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