Last Updated on August 22, 2020
Fertilizing your lawn is a great way to replenish many of the important nutrients that your grass needs to be healthy and vibrant. But no one wants to play with fertilizer, and you may have quite a bit of ground to cover. So, what’s the best way to spread your fertilizer without getting covered yourself? Fertilizer spreaders come in many designs, built for dispersing fertilizer over lawns and yards of various sizes.
Whether you just have a small flower patch to cover or acres of land, there’s a fertilizer spreader that’s purpose-built to fit your application. In this article, you’re going to read reviews of some of the best fertilizer spreaders on the market today.
We’ll even tell you which ones we suggest after testing them all so that the decision is easier for you.
|Best Overall||Scotts Elite||
|Best Value||Spot Hand Spreader||
|Agri-Fab tow behind spreader||
|Titan Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader||
|Solo Inc. Portable Chest-mount Spreader||
The Elite Spreader from Scotts is their upgraded, top-of-the-line spreader with all the bells and whistles. This device makes it easy to spread your fertilizer evenly and quickly. With a capacity that holds up to 20,000 square feet of lawn product, most yards will be fertilized with just one fill-up. Start walking, pull the release handle, and your fertilizer will be spread across six feet of path. However, the release handle is a bit difficult to pull when the hopper is full.
The large, never-flat tires make it easy to roll over whatever you may find in your yard, without fear of popping and going flat. For your convenience, a smartphone holder is integrated into the handle so you can see your phone screen while you push the spreader. For us, this spreader saved time and made it easy to simply add fertilizer and push, which is why it’s our favorite fertilizer spreader overall.
You may not fertilize several acres with this hand spreader from Spot Spreader, but if you have a small area to fertilize, then we think this is the best fertilizer spreader for the money. It’s dirt-cheap—definitely the lowest-priced spreader we tested for this list. It can hold up to 80 ounces of material and features a lid with several different sized holes so you can choose the speed at which your fertilizer will spread. The stout handle makes it easy to carry and spread without fear of it breaking or accidentally dropping the cup.
One of our favorite parts about using this hand spreader was the accuracy. There’s no overspray like we experienced with the push spreaders. You can just apply the fertilizer where you need it without covering the entire ground in front of you. This cup offers excellent control over how much fertilizer you’re spreading. It’s perfect for any small areas like gardens or smaller lawns but doesn’t hold quite enough to fertilize entire yards.
While most of the spreaders we tested had a capacity that topped out around 50 pounds, the Agri-Fab tow behind spreader has an impressive hopper capacity of 130 pounds. Even for very large yards, this should hold enough fertilizer to do the entire area without needing a refill. This unit is a pull-behind machine so it’s meant to be attached to a vehicle, such as a tractor or UTV, to haul behind and spread your fertilizer. Naturally, this makes it more suitable for large yards and fields and not for small gardens. Because of this, it doesn’t have spread settings low enough for some applications, so keep in mind that it’s meant for larger areas.
We had some problems with the cotter pins on this device. Over a few seasons of use, we had two pins break and need replacement. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning. Of course, the entire spreader is protected by a three-year warranty, so you’ll have no problem replacing it if something more major does happen. Since your spreader will be jostled around a lot being pulled behind a vehicle, an optional hopper cover is available to keep all your fertilizer in during use.
Right in the center of our list, the Titan Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader is an excellent tool with a few minor drawbacks that prevented it from reaching the top of our list. It’s got a capacity of 50 pounds, which is plenty for most small and medium-sized yards. One thing we appreciated is the included sift grate that breaks up your material as you add it so that it doesn’t clump. A cover for the bucket is also included so you won’t lose any of your fertilizer out of the top as you push it around. Unfortunately, no edge-guard or side deflector is included, so you’ll be throwing fertilizer everywhere with very little control of where it goes.
We had a bit of trouble assembling this spreader. It’s a bit difficult to put together, and the poor instruction manual isn’t much help. Once we assembled it, we were happy to find that it’s a very comfortable machine to use. The handle is long enough so that you don’t have to bend over to use it, and the large wheels push easily over any terrain.
If push-style and tow-behind spreaders aren’t quite what you’re looking for, then you may consider this chest-mount spreader from Solo, Inc. It’s got an incredible reach of 30 feet, so you won’t have to walk very far with it. Unfortunately, we ended up with fertilizer in and on our shoes, a drawback that none of us were pleased with.
Using this spreader is easy. You just fill it up, strap it over your shoulder and crank the handle while you walk. It’s designed for right-hand cranking so lefties may have a difficult time adjusting. It also starts to get heavy pretty quickly, so anyone with bad shoulders may have a hard time with this device as well. You can control how far and fast it spreads by altering cranking speed and using the flow control lever. Unfortunately, that lever is behind the device when it’s strapped over your shoulder, and it’s hard to see for adjustment. We found that this spreader cranked smoothly and was an excellent option for smaller and medium-sized areas. But we couldn’t get over the fertilizer on our feet, which is why it’s ranked low on our list.
The Lesco High Wheel Fertilizer Spreader is a purpose-built device that works very well for what it’s intended. However, it’s pretty hard to imagine any list of features that warrants the incredibly high price it sells for. At five times the cost of our top pick, it’s way overpriced in our eyes. That said, it’s got some notable features. For instance, the built-in deflector makes it easier to control your spread and avoid fertilizing areas that you don’t want to hit. Likewise, the 80-pound hopper capacity is quite impressive and makes this unit great for any medium to large-sized yards.
The handle was a bit too short for some of our taller testers. At this price point, we expected to see an adjustable handle, but no such luck. We also weren’t thrilled with the short throw distance that the Lesco device spread our fertilizer. Many of the other spreaders we tested had a much farther reach that resulted in less work overall. Though it’s a solid device, a ridiculously high price and several noticeable flaws held the Lesco spreader back.
Weighing in at just 3.5 pounds, this shoulder spreader from Yard Tuff is an easy way to fertilize a small space. It’s constructed from metal that’s sure to hold up through many seasons of spreading. To use it, you strap it over your shoulder and crank the handle to disperse your fertilizer. While it’s very simple to operate, it’s not very comfortable and our testers got a real workout using this spreader to fertilize our yards.
There were two major drawbacks we experienced with this spreader. First, it doesn’t feed very well, so we were constantly shaking the device so that the fertilizer would fall into the gearbox. The flaw that really bothered us though was the fertilizer that we ended up wearing. This spreader covered our shoes and pants, and no one wants to wear a shoe full of fertilizer. While it may be perfect for spreading seeds, we don’t think it’s the best choice for spreading fertilizer.
This tow-behind spreader from Chapin is advertised as having a 150-pound capacity. On the surface, this seemed great! But once we started using it, we realized that this an advertising gimmick since the hopper has a capacity of just 50 pounds. This spreader attaches to a vehicle so you can tow it behind and spread your fertilizer over greater distances with less work. Obviously, if you have a small yard or garden that you’re fertilizing, a pull-behind spreader is probably overkill. Unfortunately, this one is designed just for towing, so if you can’t tow it, it won’t be much use to you.
This spreader has an automatic on/off mechanism that spreads when you’re moving and stops when you do. While it seems useful on the surface, it resulted in lots of lost fertilizer when moving from one area to another. You’ll have to remember to manually close it off, which requires getting off of your vehicle. The Chapin spreader is also more expensive than similar competitors on the market, and we don’t think it provides enough value to get our recommendation.
Rounding out the bottom of our list is the Brinly push spreader. It’s got a standard 50-pound hopper capacity, making it ideal for medium-sized yards and gardens. It’s got a built-in side deflector so that you have more control over your spread and can avoid fertilizing unwanted areas. We also liked the large 12-inch tires that made it easy to roll over anything that happened to be in our way.
At first glance, this seems like a great unit, but we noticed a few flaws that we couldn’t get over. The biggest was inconsistent fertilizer feeding. It kept clogging, which caused an uneven spread of fertilizer, resulting in areas with too much fertilizer and other patches with almost none. When you get to the end of your fertilizer in the hopper, the flat bottom prevents it all from emptying. Our final annoyance was the calibration nuts at the bottom. They kept slipping down and needed to be re-adjusted before every use. Though it only takes a minute, repeating it each time became frustrating.
No matter how large of an area you need to fertilize, there is a spreader that will make it easy and quick for you to cover. Tow-behind, push-style, and even hand spreaders are all viable options, depending on how much land you need to fertilize. We’ve tested many spreaders of various designs, writing reviews to compare what we found. Our favorite overall was the Scotts 75902 Elite Spreader. It’s got a robust build, a six-foot spread pattern, never-flat tires, and a hopper that holds up to 20,000 square feet of lawn product.
For a more budget-minded spreader for your fertilizer, we suggest the Spot Spreader Hand Spreader. This dirt-cheap spreader solution is easy to use, has multiple opening sizes for great control over your spread, and is accurate to use with no overspray or unintended messes. But if you don’t mind paying a bit more for a premium machine, the Earthway 2150 Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader is a great device packed with useful features. It doesn’t clog, has an adjustable length handle that makes it more comfortable, and it spreads your fertilizer more evenly than the competition. We feel confident recommending any of these three top-quality fertilizer spreaders.
Featured Image Credit: Brinly, Amazon
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!