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Our Complete Guide To Spreaders

Lawn spreaders come in a variety of shapes and sizes with different features. Each type of spreader works well for different types of jobs. Some are designed to cover large areas, while others work well for smaller sections. Spreaders can be used for almost any type of granular material including:

  • Grass Seed
  • Fertilizer
  • Ice Melt
  • Seed and Feed Mixture

Depending on the nature of the project, a homeowner will have to decide what type of lawn spreader will work best for their individual needs. Is this a one time project or will there be a need for the spreader in the future? If a person is going to invest in any type of spreader, it’s best to purchase one that will be able to be used again and again.

Broadcast Spreaders

Broadcast spreaders are designed to spray the seed out in several directions or “broadcast” it over a wide area. Most spreaders with this capability can spread seed, fertilizer or other granular substances approximately 5 to 8 feet in any direction. This equals to a semi-circular area of 10 to 16 feet in diameter. They are designed to be used when a large area needs to be covered in a relatively short period of time. The main drawback to using broadcast spreaders is that seed will often go where it isn’t wanted. There is little control in where the seed goes once it is sent out.

Lesco Broadcast Spreaders

Lesco broadcast spreaders are available in both push spreaders and pull behind models. Popular Lesco push spreaders have a 50 pound capacity hopper manufactured with plastic polymer and carriage made of steel tubing. Pull behind spreaders are capable of carrying 175 pounds of product that will cover approximately 1 acre of ground or roughly, 10,000 square feet. Lesco products come with a limited warranty and can be used for several purposes, including the distribution of ice melt and fertilizer.

Spyker Broadcast Spreaders

Spyker brand manufacturers both hand held and wheeled broadcast spreaders. They are designed to distribute seed (or other product) evenly and uniformly. Both hand held and pull behind models have components that are rust and corrosion proof that will last several years with proper care. They are designed for maximum flow control that prevents clumping.

Hand Held Spreaders

Hand held spreaders are designed to be carried by hand and are ideal for spreading grass seed over small areas. They are easy to use and work well for areas of lawn that have been damaged due to flooding, accidents or excessive foot traffic. Hand held spreaders are convenient for getting into small areas where a drop or broadcast spreader cannot fit. Hand held spreaders have several variations that include ones that can be held easily in the hand or others that can be braced against the body and supported by shoulder straps for better control.

Scotts Hand Held Spreaders

Scotts brand has several hand held seeders ranging in price from $9.99 to $35.99. The higher the price, the more features that are included. All hoppers are made of durable plastic polymer and are capable of holding approximately 25 pounds of product. The inexpensive models are designed to be durable, but are not made as soundly as more costly versions. More expensive models come with a wide shoulder strap and ergonomically designed handle to prevent wrist fatigue.

Earthway Hand Held Spreaders

Earthway hand held spreaders are made of durable plastic polymers and are designed to be extremely efficient. They have rust proof gear mechanisms designed to prevent clumping and allow for a smooth flow of product. They also offer a lighter weight version that has a vinyl, zippered bag in place of the plastic hopper. Earthway has designed various seed plates to accommodate different sizes of seeds for ease in distribution.

Pull Behind Spreaders

Pull behind spreaders are built to be pulled behind almost any lawn and garden tractor or ATV. They have a wide spread diameter and cover a large distance in a relatively short period of time. Most have wide pneumatic wheels that allow for easy transportation without leaving deep imprints in existing ground cover.

Argi-Fab Pull Behind Spreaders

Agri-fab pull behind spreaders are one of the most popular brands on the market. They are designed to carry up to 175 pounds in a durable plastic polyethylene hopper. Most Agri-fab pulls behind spreadersare operated with a finger tip trigger mechanism that allows for maximum control during distribution. All components are rustproof and able to resist corrosion and weather damage. Agri-fab spreaders come in two types. Manual models are available as well as models that operate using a 12-volt motor. Both types are easy to use and extremely versatile.

​Precision Products Pull Behind Spreaders

Precision Products has several varieties of pull behind broadcast spreaders. Smaller than other conventional spreaders, those made by Precision Products hold less product and are best used for small to medium sized areas. They attach easily to most lawn and garden tractors and are operated with a convenient trigger release mechanism to control the flow of the product. Plastic polymer hoppers solidly built and gear box mechanisms are designed to prevent clumping and keep blockages to a minimum.

Drop Spreaders

Drop spreaders do exactly what their name implies. They drop seed straight down as they are pushed across a lawn. Using this kind of spreaders allows for exact disbursement. Because the seed drops directly to the ground, there is little chance it will end up anywhere it isn’t supposed to be. Most drop spreaders come with a flow control mechanism that can be easily adjusted. Much like broadcast spreaders, a drop spreader can accommodate almost any type of substance or material as long as it is in granular form.

Scotts Drop Spreaders

Scotts drop spreaders are probably the most well known of the push powered drop spreaders. They have a solid reputation of being innovators in the field of lawn care and landscaping tools and techniques. Large plastic polymer hoppers hold enough product to cover 10,000 square feet of lawn. The hopper rests on a sturdy, steel tube frame designed to carry the spreader over any type of terrain. Durable pneumatic wheels are included that move smoothly over the ground without leaving deep imprints or tracks that can damage existing grass. Drop spreaders have a range of 22 inches and have adjustable flow controls that allow the operator to determine how much seed is released at one time.

​Lesco Drop Spreaders

Lesco drop spreaders are easily calibrated to provide uniform distribution of seed or other product. Both hopper and frame are made of steel and built to last for several years with proper care. Most Lesco drop spreaders are designed to carry 120 pounds of seed or fertilizer and have a three-bar, steel rotor to provide maximum agitation and prevent clumping. The distribution system is easily adjusted to provide for fixed rate delivery or variable speed delivery depending on the type of product being used. Lesco spreaders have a 36 inch drop width and can be easily taken apart and cleaned for storage.

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Matt Hagens

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