How To Use a Fertilizer Spreader The Right Way

A fertilizer spreader is an important tool for any farmer. It can be used in many different ways, and it’s vital that you know how to use one effectively. A fertilizer spreader will allow you to apply your fertilizers more efficiently than with hand spreading or other methods. You can also use a fertilizer spreader to apply mulch, compost, manure, or other materials. This guide will help you learn how to use a fertilizer spreader.

Types of Fertilizer Spreaders

There are two main types of fertilizer spreaders: 

  • Broadcast Spreader
  • Drop Spreader

Broadcast spreaders are usually used for broadcasting grass seed or fertilizer into large areas, while drop spreaders are typically used for spreading smaller amounts of product over smaller areas.

Drop spreaders lay a trail the width of their hoppers (less than 24 inches) and are considered good on small lawns and in yards that have many flowerbeds, sidewalks, or patios.

However, broadcast spreaders work best for yards larger than 4000 sq. ft of area. Broadcast spreaders distribute material more quickly over wider areas in your lawn. One of their wheels rotates as you push the broadcaster. This causes an impeller plate to catch and throw the material in a broad area.

Fertilizer Spreaders Use Rotary Action

Grass seed broadcasters are used to help maintain a beautiful lawn. Lawns require lots of hard work, time, knowledge, and good weather. They take lots of care and attention. To make sure that everything goes well, you need to use a spreader that applies the correct amounts of product to each side. Grass seed spreaders are inexpensive and easy to use. We’ll show you some ways to use them more efficiently to help you save time and money.

Use a Fertilizer Spreaders

Steps You Need to Follow

1. Fill the Hopper

To fill the hopper, remove the cap and pour the desired amount of fertilizer into the hopper. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how much fertilizer to put in the hopper.

2. Adjust the Flow Rate

Make sure to adjust the flow rate before filling the hopper. For a faster flow rate, adjust the gauge setting higher. A slower flow rate requires a lower setting. And place the machine on a sidewalk to avoid having material spill over onto your lawn.

3. Measure the Dispersal Pattern 

The spreader should be placed at the front edge of the driveway. The flow lever should be closed, the hopper filled, and the spreader pushed forward for three steps. Measure the total width of the resulting dispersal pattern and record this measurement. Repeat this process five times. Record the measurements of each side of the spreader.

Compare the results. The spreader should create a uniform dispersal pattern. If it does not, make adjustments to the spreader height and/or the flow rate.

To measure the dispersal pattern, walk alongside the spreader and look for the widest part of the pattern.

4. Keep a Steady Pace For Fertilizing

When you start fertilizing the grass, you should spread the product evenly across the entire yard. To avoid skipping over uneven areas, you should maintain a steady pace. You should also be careful about stopping and starting the product as you go around corners. 

Don’t apply more than the recommended amount. Overuse and over-application of chemicals can burn your lawn and runoff in lakes and streams that contaminate the water. 

5. Optimal Fertilizer Spreader Pattern

This pattern is an effective way to run the spreader without getting caught up in the flowers or other plants. When the material is thrown, the spreader should be turned away from the flower beds and towards the house. The spreader should then go back and forth along the driveway, overlapping the previous throw pattern. Once the material is finished being thrown, the spreader needs to be shut off before turning around.

Use a Fertilizer Spreaders

Tips To Use a Fertilizer Spreader

When using a fertilizer spreader, you should always follow these tips:

  1. Always wear safety goggles when operating the spreader.
  2. Never operate the spreader without wearing gloves.
  3. Keep children away from the spreader. Do not let them play near the spreader.
  4. Never operate the spreaders when it is raining.
  5. Never operate the spread in windy conditions.
  6. Avoid driving through standing water.
  7. Only operate the spreader when it is completely level.
  8. When spreading fertilizer, never drive straight into the fertilizer. Instead, turn around and move backwards until you reach the edge of the field.
  9. Be careful when loading the fertilizer into the spreader. Load only as much fertilizer as you need.
  10. Once you finish spreading fertilizer, park the spreader so that it is no longer touching the ground.
  11. Before leaving the farm, wash off the spreader thoroughly.


How Does Fertilizer Spreaders Works?

The process starts when you turn on the machine. The impeller plate opens and closes automatically based on the size of the hole in the hopper. As the plate moves back and forth, it throws the fertilizer out through the open hole. When the plate reaches the end of its travel, it closes again. This repeats until all the fertilizer has been thrown from the hopper.

You can change the amount of fertilizer being applied by adjusting the setting on the gauge. If you want to add more fertilizer, move the lever toward the “on” position. If you want less fertilizer, move the lever away from the “on’ position.

You can also speed up the application rate by moving the lever closer to the off position. This will cause the hopper to release more fertilizer at once. Moving the lever farther away from the off position will slow down the application rate.

When you’re done applying fertilizer, simply reverse the direction of the lever. It will close the impeller plate and stop throwing fertilizer.

Can I Use My Fertilizer Spreader for Grass Seed?

You don’t always need to make use of a fertilizer spreader for grass seed, especially when you aren’t planting plenty of grass seeds on a large lawn.

If you are using a broadcast spreader, then yes, you can use it to spread grass seed. However, if you are using a drop spreader, then no, you cannot use it to spread grass seeds. The reason being is that the drop spreaders have an auger in them which will not work with grass seed.

But I recommend you to use a handheld spreader for spreading seed in your yard.

What Setting Do I Put My Spreader on for Grass Seed?

Before you set up a fertilizer spreader, make sure you know what setting to use. If you don’t, you may end up spreading fertilizer on your lawn instead of grass seed. A setting of 5 1/4 is recommended for grass seed. However, if you’re overseeding a new lawn, a setting of 4 is better. These are the most common settings. Everyone should follow these standards.

Use a Fertilizer Spreaders


Lawn spreading equipment is used to spread fertilizers evenly across the entire lawn. This helps to ensure that grass grows well and doesn’t grow too much or too little. 


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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