How to Calibrate Garden Fertilizer Spreader Successfully

Calibrate Garden Spreader

Need someone to do some work for you? Why not put them to work for you. Lawn spreaders are one of the most popular equipment for gardeners. They’re simple, to use and can be quite useful in various situations. These lawn spreaders come in a variety of sizes, qualities, and capacities, so there’s no right or wrong choice. Some even require a small tank to operate!

Why Lawn Spreader?

Lawn spreaders are tools used for maintaining the yard and used for many tasks such as fertilizing the lawn, spreading the seeds & salts, and amending the soil.

The lawn spreader makes the process easy and time-saving.

Types of Fertilizer Spreader

Now, if you’re going to be applying a granular fertilizer or weed control product. You’re going to need a good spreader. And you have a couple of choices.

Broadcast/ Rotary Spreader

Broadcast lawn spreaders work better if you have a large area to spread fertilizers and seeds. Most broadcast lawn spreaders are designed to spread fertilizers around 4 feet. The broadcast spreader uses rotary plates to disperse seeds and fertilizers.

Broadcast Lawn Spreader

Rotary spreaders are the best tools to scatter dry granules but they spread less accurately. Broadcast spreaders come in a variety of sizes, qualities, and capabilities. So, you can buy according to your lawn.

Drop Spreader

Drop spreaders work best to scatter seeds and fertilizer if you have a small area. The drop spreader works accurately. These tools drop a swath of products through a wide, narrow opening directly beneath the spreader.

Drop Spreader

Liquid Spreader/Sprayer

Liquid lawn spreaders work for liquid fertilizers. Just attach to the hose end and start spraying. It mixes the right amount of concentrated chemicals with the water. Liquid spreaders are easy to use. They are used for bud infestation, killing weeds on pathways, flower beds, patios, lawns,s and more.

Liquid lawn Spreader

Things to Considered Before Buying the Fertilizer Spreader?

Before buying the lawn spreader, consider various factors such as the type of spreader, size of the spreader. Do you need a pull spreader, push spreader, or some other type of fertilizer spreader?

  • Measure the size of the area you want to fertilize or seed
  • Holding capacity of the lawn spreader
  • Spreading throw capacity
  • Quality of spreader
  • Precision of the spreader
  • Type of fertilizer you preferred

How to Use a Fertilizer Spreader?

Using a lawn spreader will give you the optimum coverage rate for both seed and fertilizers delivery.

Switch the spreader off and the flow settings are closed. Then fill the spreader on a base where spillages can be recovered. Flow rates translate the information on the packet to the appropriate flow rate on the base of the spreader.

Make two passes on opposite edges of the lawn, this will act as a buffer. So, you can spread fertilizer more evenly on the main lawn area. Start walking and then pull the lever to start the flow.

Each time you stop, release the lever. So, for an obstacle, stop the flow and then move to a point you can start again. Line the edge of the spreader to the wheel marks of the previous run for even coverage.

Once finish spreading, empty the spreader and bag the contents making sure they can be stored safely and kept dry wash down the spreader and dry it opens the flow gate to its fullest extent.

Fertilizer Spreader Advice

Once, you’ve got your settings from the manufacturing, you’ve noted those down. Then you go to the machine and you need to set your height your forward speed and the flow rate.

The flow rate is important because the right amount of fertilizer needs to be hitting the vein at the right time. To enable the rates that you want to apply to get onto the lawn. It’s important to get the height right obviously.

Because you don’t want to be chucking the fertilizer to the ground and you don’t want to be throwing it too far. You need to get the forward speed right for your particular fertilizer. If you’re going too fast it might not apply the right amount and conversely if you’re going too slowly.

The same applies to this quick easy setup then you’re setting the foundation really for getting a good even spread and therefore a good even lawn at the end of the day.

How to Calibrate Garden Fertilizer Spreader?

Here, are some useful techniques to calibrate garden fertilizer spreaders.

  • Misuse of fertilizers can be costly. If you apply too little, you won’t attain the desired results. If you apply too much, you waste money and material and you could seriously damage the turfgrass/ burn your lawn or harm the environment.
  • That’s why it is vital to adjust the quantity of material applied by adjusting the spreader before applying fertilizers. Adjusting a spreader is not as difficult as it may seem. With a few simple directions, you can save product, maintain grass health and control your fertilizer budget.
  • Here is a fast way for adjusting a spreader. Before starting remember to always regulate your spreader on a turfgrass site that is similar to the area in which you will be applying the material.
  • Your spreader assessors measure or tape measure scale bucket chalk or Flags calculator pencil and paper a paved area that can be marked with chalk paint or flags or an area of turf that can risk marking sweltering or striping.
  • Note that on turf it’s more difficult to actually see and measure your broadcast swamp by using a paved area you will actually be able to physically see the area of material broadcast. Thus you’ll be able to measure the swath your spreader is covering step to load the spreader.
  • Fill your spreader hopper with ten pounds of fertilizer making sure to accurately measure the material.
  • Take a short test run on your chosen area of test ground. Start spreading walking about 20 or 30 feet. Be sure to walk at a normal walking pace the same pace you would walk when. Applying this test run you’ll be able to calculate your current spreader setting.
  • Use a tape measure, to know the effective width that is now covered with fertilizer for easy calculations. Let’s assume this width is 10 feet.
  • Next, determine what length of run you need to get a total area that will be easy to use for calculations. Let’s go with 1,000 square feet and divide that by the width of 10 feet which gives you a length of 100 feet.
  • Just calculate it using chalk flags or paint marks off a 100-foot run from the start point to the end Point.
  • Again fill the spreader with a precise amount of product for easy calculations. Let’s say 10 pounds, you are now spreading a known amount of material. 10 pounds over a known distance of 100 feet.
  • According to the manufacturer’s suggested settings set your spreader to get a base starting point but always keep in mind that suggested settings are only starting points. Spreaders will perform differently depending on age.
  • So, calibration of each product is the only way to be sure of proper product distribution. When you’re ready back up about 10 feet behind the starting point you marked and start walking towards the starting point just as your wheels pass over the starting point.
  • Open the spreader hopper and make certain, to push the lever down securely. So, that the gate on the spreader is fully open.
  • After your run, put what’s left in the hopper into the bucket for the goal. Here, is to determine what you just used by weighing what you have left over. Be sure to consider bucket weight.
  • What you just used and determine your speed rate weight of the remaining amount of material. Let’s say you have three pounds left in the bucket then you know that your test runs put out seven pounds per thousand square feet.
  • Since we are aiming for five pounds per 1,000 square feet. Your test run determined that your spreader is applying too much material. This means you have to dial down the setting step.
  • Do another test run, repeating the process until you achieve your desired spread rate and there you have it. It’s not such a difficult process after all it shouldn’t take more than one or two additional passes to calibrate the spreader to your needed application rate.
  • In the end, calibrating a fertilizer spreader is the only way to achieve true efficiency with fertilizer spreading and get that premium turf you are looking for while also maintaining better control of material use and your budget.

Read: Best Tow Behind Fertilizer Spreader


Before buying any type of lawn spreader. Make sure, to know what type of spreader will be best for your area. If the area is small and you want to scatter the fertilizer with accuracy, then a drop spreader is the best choice.

But for large areas, the broadcast lawn spreader is the best choice. Moreover, this spreader is easy to use.

Make sure, to apply the fertilizer according to the above spreader regulating techniques. This will save you money, and time, and above all save you from burning your yard.

Also, consider the above-mentioned things before buying the fertilizer spreader.


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I am Ricky Martin, a seasoned landscape designer, a passionate gardener, and a barbecue enthusiast. With 12 years of experience in building and restoring, I welcome you to my website