I have been talking recently about lawn tools and recommending the best ones for you guys. In the last article, we talked about lawn mowers and what to look for when you buy your next one, but in this article, we are leaving the gas-powered lawn tools behind and looking at people powered ones. And the most important people-powered lawn tool that I can think of is your fertilizer spreader.
If you want a thick, green lawn, you will need to apply different products to the turf throughout the season. These range from synthetic and natural fertilizers, to grass seed and even insect or disease control. The way these products are applied is important and that starts with the spreader.
A drop spreader is one that does just that: drops fertilizer straight down. These spreaders are pretty simple but highly inefficient. The reason is that a drop spreader cannot be calibrated very easily. In addition, fertilizer is dropped at the same rate no matter how fast you walk. This can be an issue if you walk to slowly you could burn lines in the lawn. Finally, and most importantly, with drop spreaders you cannot overlap passes and must exactly pass by in the wheel tracks of the previous line. This is very difficult to do. I never recommend drop spreaders.
Broadcast Fertilizer Spreaders
These fertilizer spreaders drop fertilizer onto a fly wheel that zings the products across a 4-6 foot “swath.” The idea is that smaller amounts are spread over a wide area leaving more room for mistakes. It is best to overlap back to the wheel marks of the previous path.
When buying a broadcast spreader, I recommend one with air-filled tires and stainless steal framing. If you get one with those two options, chances are the gears will be of better quality too. This will also give you greater flexibility in adjustment as you switch between organics and synthetics or insect granules and grass seed.
If you are looking to get one, a quality broadcast spreader will cost you around $75 at your loal big box store or online.