Landscapers use various tools when reseeding or planting grass seed. For small areas, where precision is required a handheld spreader is the best option. For larger areas, broadcast and drop style spreaders allow a person to cover large areas of lawn in just a few passes. Spreaders can also be attached to four wheelers, ATV’s and lawn tractors for even faster distribution.
What to Look For in a Broadcast Spreader
When purchasing a broadcast spreader, there are key things a person wants to look for. They include:
- Adjustable spreader settings – This allows for the operator to easily choose how much seed or other material they want to distribute in one particular area. Numbers should be easy to read and understand and the mechanism should move smoothly.
- Durable construction – Hoppers are normally constructed out of thick, plastic or steel and should be firmly attached to the carriage. Most carriages are made of steel tubing that has been reinforced to hold up to 200 pounds of grass seed or other material. Durable pneumatic wheels are normally found on broadcast spreaders and should turn freely on the axle.
- Look closely at the spreading mechanism. It should be rust proof and clog proof. Determine whether or not it is adjustable and find out exactly how to operate the mechanism that determines rate of flow.
- If choosing a pull behind model, make sure the tongue is sturdy and there is no bend or give when attached to a vehicle.
- If choosing a handheld model, look to see if a shoulder strap is available. It’s also wise to hold it for a few minutes to determine if any pressure will be placed on the wrist when it is being used.
- If the spreader is going to be used for different purposes (fertilizer spreader, salt spreader, lawn spreader, etc.) ask what type of materials can be safely used. It is also good to know the best way of cleaning the spreader before it is stored for the winter or another material is used.
- Ask the salesperson about any guarantees and warranties that are associated with the spreader. Companies offer different types of guarantees and warranties on hand held and pull behind models. In some cases, extended warranties may be purchased on more expensive models.
Our Broadcast Spreader Comparison Chart
Handheld and pull behind broadcast spreaders can be used to spread several different types of materials. Most spreaders with adjustable settings have holes that can be opened or closed to a certain degree. This allows them to distribute a variety of different types of materials ranging from sand to medium sized salt crystals.
The following list of materials have been approved for use in many types of broadcast spreaders.
- Ice Melt
- Kitty Litter
- Grass Seed
Read the instructions carefully when changing from one material to another. Special care must be taken not to mix too different materials. For example, spreading salt or ice melt after grass may result in unwanted growth in the driveway where seeds are allowed to fall between the cracks.
Top Broadcast Spreader Brands
Scotts Broadcast Spreaders
Scotts offers several different broadcast spreaders to accommodate a landscapers’ every need. Their newest model, the Scotts Snap Spreader, is lightweight, extremely durable and takes the guesswork out of reseeding a lawn. Snap Pacs come pre-measured and pre-packaged. The handle folds down easily when the item is ready to be put away for the season. The Snap spreader comes with an Edge Guard feature that prevents seeds from landing in places they don’t belong, such as flower beds and on sidewalks.
Earthway Broadcast Spreaders
Earthway offers handheld grass seed spreads as well as push models and models designed to be pulled by a tractor or ATV. Handheld models are lightweight and extremely durable. Earthway offers a handheld broadcast spreaders with a cloth bag that has a zippered closure to prevent spills and debris from falling into the hopper. Earthways’ push behind models are also lightweight and have an easily adjustable drop rate. While sold as a fertilizer spreader, the distribution mechanism can be adjusted to accommodate other types of materials as well.
Lesco Broadcast Spreaders
Lesco broadcast spreaders are manufactured by John Deere. They are made with extremely durable materials and come in several different types. Their push spreader is extremely popular and is built with a sturdy, steel tube frame and plastic hopper that has an 80 pound capacity. It can be used throughout the year, spreading grass seed and fertilizer in the summer and icemelt, salt or sand in the winter.