How to Calibrate and Use a Hand Held Spreader the Right Way

What is a Hand Held Spreader?

A hand spreader is a gardener’s tool that is used to put a layer of fertilizer or seeds on the lawn. It is spread across the lawn to add nutrients and also to help the lawn grow thicker. If you have to treat a small lawn area, then use a hand held spreader.

Hand fertilizer spreaders are used to cover even land areas with fertilizer. They can work well on lawns, flower gardens, vegetable gardens, and more. Hand spreaders are much smaller than other types of spreaders, but they still work well.

How to Use a Hand Held Spreader?

There are a wide variety of hand spreaders on the market today, each made by different companies. They work in fundamentally different ways, but they have one thing in common: they make it easy to get your yard cared for effectively and efficiently. However, there are a few important points to keep in mind when using this excellent gardening tool:

The hand held spreader has a range of settings to allow for smooth and even product coverage. The hand fertilizer spreader has five settings which ensure the correct setting is selected to spread the granular fertilizer.

When applying seed or fertilizer, pay attention to the area where you’re spreading it. If your spreader includes this option, make sure it’s set to the appropriate setting. Before starting, load up on all the stuff you’ll need because it might be a while before you can take a pause to refill anything.

use a hand held spreader

How to Calibrate Hand Held Fertilizer Spreaders?

Calibrating your hand held fertilizer spreader is important. It helps us to know what the output is, and to know how much herbicide you’re actually putting on your plants.

But how do you best go about calibrating the application?

Well, the manufacturers of herbicides will often provide you with catch pans. You set these out on your gravel areas where you have nursery stock. Apply the herbicide and then with these catch pans you can see how much herbicide you applied on a square foot or on a half square foot basis.

From using these pans, it seems simple that you should be able to see exactly how much you applied. But in practice, this is not worked out.

In our research we found that these types of catch pans while very useful for testing the swath width or the uniformity of application across the width of your spread are really not particularly useful, to calibrate the actual application of the herbicides. So, if these don’t work, how we do hand held spreader setting?

It’s actually quite simple.

  • First, you measure the area, and cover 1 meter per second, we would recommend that you measure 5 meters first by using 2 canes 5 meters apart. Walk between the two canes holding the empties better and time yourself until you can consistently do this in 5 seconds.
  • Once you have mastered your walking speed, this is the speed you need to walk across the lawn.
  • Then you fill the spreader with the herbicide, and weigh it, using a hanging scale or similar balance.
  • Treat the area, using the manufacturer’s guidelines as a starting point.
  • Then weigh the spreader again. The difference in weight from the first to the second weight is the amount of herbicide that you have applied to that area. That is a way that you know exactly what was applied.
  • If you didn’t put enough on, then you know, you need to open the valve or the gauge a little bit further, or you could slow your walking pace, or you could make an additional pass. If it’s too much, then you know you need to reduce the amount that you’re applying.
  • The hand spreader dispenses in approximately a 3-meter arc. We do recommend that you overlap the previous run by just a few centimeters to ensure proper coverage.
How To Use a Hand Held Spreader
How To Use a Hand Held Spreader
  • By following these simple steps, you can calibrate your application to get the correct dose on, provide fertilizers and seeds and not injure your crops.

Tips for Using the Hand Spreader

We recommend that you don’t use this spreader on a windy day until the wind has died down because if the granules are grown onto a flower vet they might harm the plants. After the product has been applied correctly if no rain falls within two days water the lawn thoroughly. So, the lawn food starts to work.

We also recommend avoiding walking on the lawn until it is watered in and it has fully dried to reduce the risk of transferring the granules to other areas of the garden where they may cause sustaining.

It is important to maintain your spreader. So clean it out every time you use a spreader. This will avoid product clogging. Wash it out with clean water and allow it to dry thoroughly before using it again.

Wear protective gloves when working with fertilizer if needed and clean up any mess that is created.

How to Use Lawn Spreader For Grass Seed


Do hand held spreaders work?

Hand spreaders are considered one of the most expensive and efficient tools for fertilizer application. These spreaders are used for the mechanical application of granular herbicides and fertilizer, particularly on lawns and turf areas.

Hand-held spreaders have proven to be excellent time-saving tools for all kinds of lawn treatments. These spreaders are generally used for mixing and applying weed killers, fertilizers, soil treatments, grass seeds, and insecticides on lawns. Hand-held spreaders can spread a lot of material fast. If properly maintained, they have the potential to last up to 5 to 6 years.


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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