How to Calibrate and Use a Broadcast Spreader the Right Way

How to Use a Broadcast Spreader?

Are you looking for a way to quickly and easily spread chemicals in your garden or on your lawn? If so, you might want to take a look at broadcast spreaders. They are a convenient and efficient way of spreading your weed killer or fertilizer.

The main reason to use a broadcast spreader is to apply packaged fertilizer correctly. If you add too much, you’ll hurt the grass and other plants in your yard.

If you’ve ever seen a lawn grow too quickly and then slow to a crawl, you’ll know that grass grows best when everything is kept in balance.

If there’s not enough fertilizer, your lawn won’t be able to grow well. If there’s too much fertilizer, patches of your lawn could turn strange colors and die off after it burns out the available nutrients. A consistent approach will give you results that show off at all times.

Things You Will Need to Calibrate Broadcast Spreader

  1. Broadcast Spreader
  2. Fertilizer/seed/weed killer
  3. Tape Measure
  4. Flags
  5. Scale
  6. Bucket
  7. Calculator
  8. Pencil and Paper

How to Calibrate Broadcast Spreader?

  • Place the bucket on the scale to record its weight (this one is 2 pounds), open the hopper, and add 20 pounds of product into it. Close the hopper, place the now-full bucket on the scale, and move the marker on your measuring tape to 22 pounds. List your calculations in both metric and standard form for each step.
use a broadcast spreader
  • Tape off a 20 ft. line and mark the start and finish points. Walk at your normal pace and set it to a fixed distance. Once you reach the start line, open up the hopper and continue walking at the same pace so that material continues to come out for your full stride until you reach the finish line where you will have closed up the hopper.
  • Pouring the used product from the bucket back into the hopper, pour out any excess, you must use all of what you have leftover to get an accurate measurement. Then weigh it again, subtracting its weight from your original sample size (you started with 20 units and are now down to 17). Of course, note down the width of your spread along with the amounts of finished product used.
  • People need different amounts of fertilizer depending on a variety of factors such as soil quality, weather conditions, and watering regimens. Some people require a ratio like 30-10-10 while others must use something more potent like only 3-2-1. In this example, we’re using 20-10-10 (N-P-K). Let’s say that our scenario is 1-pound N per 1,000 square feet.
  • Now, determine the product weight that must be applied during the test run to have the spreader deliver 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Say the spreader used 2 pounds during the test with a spread width of 15 feet. Multiply the spread (15) by the strip length (20), and you have a 300-square-foot test area.
  • If enough product was applied, then you might need to adjust the hopper openings. Repeat this process until you get an accurate result.
  • Be sure to give yourself enough space to get up to speed before you reach the starting line, once you hit that line open up the hopper and continue at a consistent pace. Remember to close the hopper as you cross the finish line.
  • To determine how much material was distributed, weigh the remaining fertilizer in the hopper and then subtract that total from the original amount. Compare this number to the manufacturer’s suggested output.
  • If your weight is higher or lower, then adjust your spreader’s output and retest until you reach the desired application rate.
  • Now that your spreader is calibrated, you can be confident that you’re applying the appropriate amount of fertilizer to keep your turf healthy and looking great.

Read More: Drop Spreaders Vs Broadcast Spreaders

use a broadcast 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