lawn-spreader

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5 Best Lawn Spreaders for Grass Seed & Fertiliser (2021 Review)

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best lawn spreaders for the UK market.
I’ve compared manoeuvrability, capacity, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

What is the Best Lawn Spreader?

In a rush? Here's my top choice...

Scotts Miracle-Gro EasyGreen Rotary Spreader

Excellent quality rotary spreader for easy product spreading!

This Scotts Miracle-Gro EasyGreen Rotary Spreader makes spreading fertilizer and grass seed easy. Covering a width of 1.2 - 3.4 m it spreads evenly with minimal effort required. It's durable and sturdy and the wide wheels will ensure no damage will be caused to your lawn in the process!

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Everything I Recommend

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • Durable and sturdy design
  • Excellent value for money
  • 1.2 - 3.4 m spreading width
  • Ideal for large gardens & orchards
  • Large pneumatic tyres
  • Rust proof
  • Spreads quickly & accurately
  • Easy to use
  • Variable settings
  • Very easy to use
  • Lightweight design
  • Rust-proof
  • 28 cm pneumatic tyres for smooth manoeuvrability
  • 36 kg capacity
  • Excellent for large gardens

More Detailed Lawn Spreader Reviews

Scotts Miracle-Gro EasyGreen Rotary Spreader

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Durable and sturdy design
  • Excellent value for money
  • 1.2 - 3.4 m spreading width
OUR RATING
99
PRICE
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Scotts Miracle-Gro EasyGreen Rotary Spreader Review

There’s a tricky balance to be met when it comes to gardening tools: we want machines that will do a good job, without unnecessarily forking out professional prices.

A spreader that strikes this balance well is Evergreen’s Scotts Miracle-Gro EasyGreen Lawn Spreader.

This reasonably-priced rotary spreader offers quite a lot of features, especially compared to other models at the same price-point, and they also work reliably.

When used with either fertiliser or grass seed, it spreads the particles evenly over the lawn – with a few caveats. Firstly, it can be difficult to work out which settings to use to achieve a particular gram-to-metre-squared ratio – given that this can be important for both lawn feed and seed, some trial and error is required. Secondly, the ideal walking pace also needs to be deduced by trial and error.

However, what this ultimately means is that there are plenty of settings to choose from, including different apertures and an adjustable spreading width between 1.2 m and 3.4 m. So, this spreader is versatile to use with a lot of different products, and for a variety of uses too.

It weighs 3.4 kg when empty and can weigh significantly more depending how much product you put inside. The drum is quite large, meaning it has a decent capacity, and thanks to the wide dispensing holes, the product rarely gets stuck – you’re unlikely to have to pause unless you want to simply catch your breath!

The handlebar can be adjusted to reduce back strain, and also folds down so that the whole unit becomes much more compact for storage. Cleaning the drum after use is vital, as any remaining particles can solidify and clog the machine.

In terms of weather, this spreader is best used on a dry day – any dampness can cause product (particularly fertiliser) to stick together and this can cause the machine to jam. Of course, this is slightly impractical for applying fertiliser that needs to be watered in, as it can be nicer to put this down when it’s raining. However, with this spreader, you’ll just have to apply it on a dry day and water afterwards.

Pros

  • If kept dry, this spreader is easy to clean
  • Folds up after use for easy storage
  • The amount of product left is visible while you are spreading, so you’ll know the second it needs topping up
  • The spread width can be adjusted up to 3.4 m which allows you to get around bigger gardens much quicker

Cons

  • The hopper base is a flat square so it needs to be tipped from side to side to get the last of the product onto the spreader wheel
  • The components are made from plastic, which some users reported are flimsy
  • The dial that sets the spread rate may alter as you walk around
  • Finding the right pace for optimum product distribution may be tricky - easy to go too fast or slow
  • May clog if used on a damp day

Agri-Fab 38.5kg Towed Spreader

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Ideal for large gardens & orchards
  • Large pneumatic tyres
  • Rust proof
OUR RATING
94
PRICE
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Agri-Fab 38.5kg Towed Spreader Review

For orchards, paddocks, fields, or large (and I mean large) gardens, you can’t be wasting time with a push-along spreader. There are some spaces which require professional-level kit, and that’s where the towed Agri-Fab 38.5kg Towed Spreader comes in.

It has a 39 kg capacity, so we’re not talking about your standard gardening tool here… the unit gets hooked up to a ride-on mower or tractor, and can cover approximately 1011 m² (that’s ¼ of an acre) before needing to be refilled.

If you’re working on a large scale, for context, you’ll be able to fit roughly a 20 kg bag of fertiliser into the hopper at a time.

The entire unit arrives flat-packed, and goes together easily with the help of relatively clear diagrams, although they can be a bit small in places. With two 25 cm-wide pneumatic tyres, a metal frame and a plastic hopper this comes together to be a pretty sturdy unit that copes well being towed.

In terms of performance, this spreader can be very efficient at spreading either fertiliser or grass seed across large areas. It may jump over bumpier ground, because at 38.5 kg it’s still quite light for a towable unit, and the drop-spreader hatch can need double checking occasionally – sometimes it toggles itself closed as it goes.

As a drop spreader, it starts dispensing as soon as the hatch is open, and therefore it’s necessary to get a bit of a move on between opening the hatch and getting the tow-vehicle moving, otherwise too much product will be deposited in one stationary place.

Pros

  • Easy to use and spreads evenly
  • A reliable budget option for larger outdoor areas
  • Best for pellets as opposed to fine granules
  • Easy to hook up to your mower or tractor

Cons

  • While not hard to build, some users found the assembly instructions to be unclear
  • Some users commented that the flow volume control is ineffective
  • Bottom of the hopper is flat which makes it hard to spread the last of the product
  • It can be difficult to open the dispensing hatch from the driver's seat of the tractor/mower

EverGreen Easy Spreader Plus

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Spreads quickly & accurately
  • Easy to use
  • Variable settings
OUR RATING
90
PRICE
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EverGreen Easy Spreader Plus Review

The EverGreen Easy Spreader Plus does a good job of living up to that ‘easy spreader’ name – it’s a non-complicated drop spreader with a basic design that works well. Pretty simple, but effective.

Applying grass seed or fertiliser by hand takes time, even with a handheld spreader, so this simple wheel-along version helps speed things up. It may not be quite as sophisticated as a rotary spreader, but it does keep everything under control.

Whereas some rotary spreaders cast seed into flowerbeds, causing grass to grow unintentionally, this EverGreen drop spreader only applies seed, or fertiliser, under the unit as you walk (so you won’t find yourself pulling unwanted grass shoots out of the flowerbed a week later!).

It’s quite straight forward to select the distribution rate, using the yellow indicator that’s positioned by the hopper – it clearly states which setting is selected and takes a lot of the guesswork out of product spreading. Walking at a fairly spritely pace of 1 m per second seems to be the recommended rate, so you can consider this your cardio workout for the day as well.

Whilst not overly large, measuring approximately 30 cm wide, it doesn’t condense down very well for storage which can lead to it taking up a fair amount of space. The handle can detach, but the wheels are very difficult to remove, so it’s hard to pack away into it’s original box.

The main thing to watch out for are corners – the drop spreader can only be turned off when the yellow indicator is pointing to ‘0’, therefore it’s not easy to change mid-distribution.

Keeping moving is the aim of the game in order to stop excessive product being dropped on corners or at the start/end of a run.

Pros

  • The included stand holds it upright while you fill it to reduce wastage
  • If used correctly, this spreader provides an even coverage
  • Most users found this very simple assemble in just a few minutes
  • Lightweight so easy for small users to push
  • Robust and long lasting build

Cons

  • Bulky and not easy to dismantle for storage in tight spaces
  • Continues dispensing as you turn corners, so you’ll need to stop the flow of product if you want to turn around
  • It may be difficult to stop the flow which can lead to dropping excess product onto your lawn

Scotts Company Handy Green Hand Spreader

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Very easy to use
  • Lightweight design
  • Rust-proof
OUR RATING
87
PRICE
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Scotts Company Handy Green Hand Spreader Review

Rarely is there anything as highly in demand as storage space. If that’s something you’re trying to protect dearly in your shed (aren’t we all), the Scotts Company Green Hand Spreader is a great compromise between quick fertiliser spreading and spatial economy.

It’s a small unit, weighing just under 500 g when empty, that you can hold comfortably with one hand. The other hand turns the lever to activate the rotary dispenser. If you’re concerned about holding the weight, there’s actually an ‘arm rest’ built in, which effectively distributes the weight over the arm, not just the hand.

Suitable for small to medium gardens, you can achieve a fair amount of control with this unit – if you’ve had just about enough of drop spreaders that unceremoniously dump excess seed in one place, the hand crank of this spreader makes a repeat of that scenario impossible. If the handle isn’t turning, product won’t come out.

The flow rate can still be adjusted, as with most spreaders, to alter how many granules are released during one rotation, and the good thing is it’s easy to stop immediately in order to change the settings, so no product gets wasted.

Smaller gardens are going to be the best places to use this hand-held spreader, although it’s also a tool that can be useful on allotments and over uneven surfaces – given that there’s no wide wheel base to contend with, nor any wheels at all, it can be used wherever you can fit – it’s perfect for tight corners in the garden, or for transporting to the allotment.

Pros

  • A great value option for very small lawns
  • Takes up little storage room thanks to its small size
  • Easy to transport and can be taken where wheeled-spreaders might struggle
  • Built with an 'arm rest' shape so that some weight is held by the arm, not just hand.

Cons

  • Shouldn't be used with powder, or powder-coating seed, as the machine may jam
  • When full it’s can be a little awkward to hold
  • Some users found the handle occasionally jams
  • The plastic components on the turn handle can break if forced
  • It can be difficult to control the spread

Handy 80lb Wheeled Lawn Spreader

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • 28 cm pneumatic tyres for smooth manoeuvrability
  • 36 kg capacity
  • Excellent for large gardens
OUR RATING
85
PRICE
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Handy 80lb Wheeled Lawn Spreader Review

If you’ve been previously jilted by trying to use a spreader in the rain, only to find it blocked and jammed with soggy fertiliser, this Handy 80lb Wheeled Lawn Spreader offers a great solution to wet-weather work, coming with a removeable cover.

As we all know, here in the UK it’s pretty impossible to rely on a dry spell, so waiting for one to come around in order to apply fertiliser is pretty unrealistic. Keeping the product dry by covering the hopper is a simple yet effective solution, making this ‘Handy’ model the best lawn spreader to use in bad weather.

Even with the cover in place, it’s still possible to keep an eye on how much product is left, because the transparent material provides a window into the hopper – so, overall, there’s a definite sensation that the designers of this product had first-hand experience using these kinds of tools.

It has 28 cm-wide pneumatic tyres, which are less prone to leaving tracks in the lawn than thinner wheels, even when filled to its 36 kg capacity.

As you can imagine, there’s a bit of a workout involved in pushing this rotary spreader around, especially when it’s full; the unit alone weighs 12.3 kg. However, it’s a great option for gardeners who don’t want to keep stopping and starting to top up the spreader.

All of the adjustable settings can be changed from a lever on the handlebar, changing the aperture of the dispenser in order to alter the flow rate. It spreads up to a width of 3.66 m, which makes it quite quick to cover a medium/large garden, although the outer reaches of the radius will need to be gone over again.

In terms of price, this is a pretty expensive model – it works well, but it does have its flaws. Primarily: assembly is a real challenge. Putting the whole thing together can take upwards of an hour – a fact that is not helped, of course, by the inclusion of fairly ambiguous pictorial instructions.

Pros

  • Easy to push on most terrains thanks to the 11” pneumatic tyres
  • A great value option for large areas and lawns
  • Sturdy, durable build that should last year after year

Cons

  • Some users found it difficult to precisely control the spread
  • Many users found the build instructions weren't sufficiently informative
  • Setting the feed rate takes time and is a bit tricky

Things to Know Before Buying a Lawn Spreader

Applying fertiliser or grass seed to your lawn doesn’t have to be the chore of days gone by.

A lawn spreader removes both the tedium and ‘chance’ element from this task. It will allow you to spread product evenly over your lawn so that no parts are left untreated, whilst cutting time – essential for any gardener!

That said, the quest to find the best lawn spreader isn’t without its problems – there are a lot of different designs to choose from, and some may be more suitable for you than others. If you’re considering purchasing a lawn spreader but you’re not sure where to start, take a look at these pointers to help you make an informed decision:

These are the two main types of lawn spreader available. Depending on your garden, and preferences, one may suit you better than the other. Both spread seed/fertiliser as you walk along with the unit.

Rotary Spreaders

A rotary spreader, sometimes referred to as a ‘broadcast spreader’, works by flinging fertiliser/seeds out as a rotator spins. These spreaders will allow you to cover larger spaces in less time; quite desirable if you have a medium to large size area.

They are not generally as hard to push as drop spreaders, providing a lighter workout, and the speed of distribution is determined by your pace.

However, the application of a rotary spreader may not be as even as a drop spreader; there may be more product that lands closer to the unit and less nearer the parameters of its spreading reach.

They can be good tools to use if you have longer grass because a rotary spreader is better equipped to get the product distributed over the long grass.

Drop Spreaders

Drop spreaders offer a more accurate application than rotary spreaders. There are no flying seeds, or granules of fertilizer, whizzing through the air with these machines. If you have a smaller garden, or an area which is bordered by flowerbeds which you don’t want to treat by accident, these might suit you better.

Their placement is very uniform, as they will only drop seeds through the hole in the base of the unit’s hopper.

You’ll have a lot more control with a drop spreader, but it will take you longer to apply seeds or fertilizer to the whole space.

You can generally choose how slowly or quickly you wish the product to ‘drop’ as well, altering the density of distribution.

This hopper is the container where the grass seed or fertiliser is unloaded from.

A hopper that’s too small will need frequent refilling so the job will take you a lot longer. If the capacity is too large, you’ll be pushing unnecessary excess weight.

Ideally, you want to find the perfect balance between ‘as few refills as possible’ and ‘maintaining manoeuvrability’.  This will depend on the size of your lawn and the density of product that you want to spread.

If using a rotary spreader, you may find that you use less seeds/fertiliser because it casts them further but less densely. You can still achieve a denser application with a rotary spreader, but you’ll need to complete more passes of the lawn which will take more time.

If using a drop spreader, the application will be more concentrated and therefore you may use more product. You need to be especially careful not to stop still when using a drop spreader – if the aperture is open, the seeds/fertiliser will be heaped in one place.

Most lawn spreaders have adjustable settings so that you can easily dictate the rate at which the seed and fertiliser is distributed.

The majority of these machine come with instructions that recommend which settings should be used for different purposes. These generally include information about recommended walking pace to ensure good results.

You should always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions because different models can vary dramatically.

However, here are some general guideline references:

For spreading fertilizer, choose a setting which results in the aperture being 3/4 open.

For spreading seeds, 1/2 open is generally considered to be about right.

Of course, the correct setting will depend on a lot of different factors, including your stride length, so there will likely be a certain amount of trial-and-error when you first start using your spreader.

Generally, a lightweight, durable metal frame and a hopper made from plastic or lightweight steel signify a high-quality spreader.

Make sure that the materials won’t rust by liming their exposure to the elements. Keep your lawn spreader dry and out of direct sunlight as much as possible to prolong the life of the metal and plastic components.

If your lawn is bumpy or on a slope, it’s worth getting a spreader with pneumatic tyres. This can make the job easier; the spreaders won’t get stuck on uneven ground (interrupting distribution) or damage your lawn.

Wide tyres spread the weight of the unit more evenly, which is definitely desirable when looking to protect your lawn. 

Lawn Spreader FAQs

A lawn spreader helps you distribute grass feed, seeds and fertiliser quickly and easily. It ensures you apply your product evenly, saving you serious time when it comes to lawn maintenance.

For larger lawns, rotary spreaders might be more appropriate because they cast the seeds/fertiliser further. There are push or hand-carry models available. However, they can be less accurate than drop spreaders.

Drop lawn spreaders distribute the product in  line as you walk. They are very accurate, but can be less suitable for large lawns because they take longer to spread product.

  1. Set the spreader settings according to the amount of fertiliser you want to apply – following the advice of the fertiliser manufacturers, as well as the instructions provided with your spreader.
  2. Start with the edges of your lawn first, moving at your usual walking pace. Once you’ve gone all around the edge, move back and forth between the edges. It’s best to overlap your previous path slightly to avoid missing out sections.
  3. When you reach the end of a row, turn the spreader off as you turn round to avoid applying the fertiliser unevenly.
  4. Once you finish, water the lawn to wash the fertiliser into the soil (unless your fertiliser states otherwise).

It is important to clean your lawn spreader after each use.

Begin by pouring any unused product back into its packaging. Then wash the spreader down. You can use hot soapy water to remove stubborn grime. Clean the hopper and let it air dry before storing it away. Make sure you clean axles and wheels, too.

You can lubricate axle bushings with a light spray lubricant to protect them from rust.

Spreading seed or fertiliser in both directions, in a ‘lattice’ type pattern can help achieve an even application.

You can start lengthways and then repeat the process widthways. Remember to adjust the amount of seed you are applying on each pass to counteract the double application.

  1. Choose a quality grass seed mix.
  2. Cut the existing grass and remove the clippings.
  3. Aerate the lawn and apply a thin layer of compost. This will provide good growing conditions for the new seed.
  4. Use a lawn spreader to evenly distribute the seed – apply additional seed to bare patches if required.
  5. Once the seeds are sown, water them daily, or more if the weather is very dry and warm.
  6. When the seeds germinate keep them moist until the new grass is well established.
  7. Use your lawn spreader to apply fertiliser once the seeds have germinated, then cut the grass once the whole lawn is about 6 cm.
Sources
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