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Top 10 Best Fertilizer Spreaders Reviewed: Complete Guide

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It’s the end of the winter, and the ground is starting to thaw. After the weather warms up, you notice that your grass is looking worse for wear. The seasonal change wasn’t favorable to your lawn, and it needs some tender-loving-care.

Fertilizing your lawn and garden in the early spring is the best way to optimize the growth of your garden over the summer. By feeding, you can expect stronger, thicker, greener grass that looks fantastic. Fertilizing gets rid of all the sparse patches on your lawn, and it brings everything to life much sooner in the growing season.

However, fertilizing a lawn or flowerbed by hand is a tedious task that takes hours. Lugging an 18-pound bag around your garden and throwing handfuls of granules inconsistently around the yard is a waste of your effort.

Instead of struggling to fertilize your lawn by hand, why not invest in a fertilizer spreader instead. These machines help you spread an even and consistent layer of fertilizer over the area, reducing the chances of fertilizer burn on your lawn.

We put together this review of the ten best fertilizer spreaders. When examining the best models available, we looked at capacity, functionality, and operation to find the best choice for your lawn care needs.

Our Top 3 Picks

Let’s start our review by going over the top choices. After deliberating on the functionality and versatility of these spreaders, we came up with three models. Each of these spreaders has unique features that make it suitable for specific applications. Check to see if one of them meets your gardening conditions.

Best Pick: Solo 421 Portable Chest-Mounted

Sale
Solo, Inc. Solo 421 20-Pound Capacity Portable Chest-mount Spreader with Comfortable Cross-shoulder Strap - 421S
  • Fingertip levers control direction and volume
  • Fully enclosed gearbox-driven agitator is corrosion resistant
  • Large opening allows easy filling and cleaning
  • 20 lbs Capacity hopper with cap protects operator from chemicals and Dust
  • Comfortable cross-shoulder strap

The best overall fertilizer spreader in this review is the Solo 421. This chest-mounted spreader is suitable for medium to large gardens, and its user-friendly operation provides consistent spreading. It’s the ideal unit for first-time gardeners that are new to fertilizing.

Runner-up Pick: Lesco High-Wheel

Lesco High Wheel Fertilizer Spreader with Manual Deflector - 101186 - Replaces 091186
  • Hopper Capacity: 80 lbs.
  • With manual deflector kit
  • Enclosed gearbox with 5:1 gear ratio
  • Some assembly required ; Includes instructions
  • Can be used year round

This unit is suitable for those gardeners that have large estates to manage, or professional landscapers in need of a high-capacity spreader. The cart can carry 80—pounds of fertilizer, with large wheels for easy pushing.

Budget Pick: Spot Hand Spreader

Spot Spreader Hand Spreader Shaker for Seed, Salt, De-Icer, Ice Melt, Earth Food and Fertilizer - Multiple Opening Sizes for Any Need - Up to 80 Oz - Most Efficient & Sturdy Product on The Market
  • Strong * Durable * Easy to Use * Simply Pour Your Materials from the Larger Bag into the Screw Top Container and Spread as Much as You Like
  • Perfect For Pouring Large Salt & Seed Bags in the Spot Spreader * Efficient Use * Lightweight * Stores Easily with Strong Handle
  • No More Over Spray and Wasted Salt/Seed/Fertilizer * No More Stray Grass from Crank Spreaders * Easy to Salt Driveways & Walkways
  • Multiple Adjustable Openings for Use of Any Material You Need * Large Version * Up To 80oz
  • Lifetime * No Questions Asked Money Back * Enjoy One Today! ! !

If you need a spreader for your apartment balcony garden or indoor plants, then this system is ideal for you. The simple design and ease of use of these spreaders make them the perfect choice for small fertilizing tasks.

Top 10 Fertilizer Spreaders

This review takes an in-depth look at the best fertilizer spreaders for your yard. Each of them has different capacities and features to suit specific yard sizes. Make sure you choose a spreader that’s the right fit for your fertilizer needs.

Solo 421 Portable Chest-mount Spreader

Verdict – A versatile, lightweight spreader that’s ideal for use in the garden.

The winner for the best overall fertilizer spreader in this review is the Solo 421. This device is the best solution for any home gardener looking to fertilize their lawn or flowerbeds. The chest-mounted system fills in the front, with the plastic reservoir holding up to 20-lbs capacity. The unique harness system reduces load and spreads the weight of the unit across the operator’s body.

The screw-on cap to the reservoir protects the operator from chemicals and dust during use. The robust stainless steel and polyurethane body and components give the unit long service life. The operator gets full control of the spread area through directional controls in three settings; right, left, and center.

The operator winds a rank to distribute the solid fertilizer and walks around the yard. With each turn of the crank, the unit disperses a specific quantity of fertilizer for even distribution. All you need to do is walk around and turn the handle. The lubricated gearbox and agitator do all the hard work for you.

We recommend this to any novice gardeners looking to fertilize their lawns. Quality build components, excellent consistency in the spread, and smooth user operation.

Pros:
  • A portable device that’s easy to control.
  • Precision spreading functionality.
  • Screw-cap for operator protection.
  • Lightweight with sm operation.
Cons:
  • No warranty.
  • Limited carry volume.

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Lesco High Wheel Fertilizer Spreader

Verdict – A high-quality machine that’s suitable for professional use by landscapers. Ideal for homeowners with large properties.

If you live out on a farm, and you’re trying to fertilize a few acres of land, then you can’t go wrong with the Lesco high-wheel. This dry-pellet spreader powers it spreading operation as you push it along on its two large air-filled tires. The spreader dispenser is under the sturdy green plastic reservoir, which drop-feeds the granules onto the spreading wheel.

You get a flat rate of dispersion, and the tires can tackle tough terrain like stones and divots in the ground. Landscaping professionals rely on this model for garden maintenance projects due to its high-capacity reservoir.

The Lesco also features a sturdy stainless steel frame that won’t rust if left outside overnight by mistake. If you live on an estate, or you have a garden that’s larger than 3-acres, you could benefit from using this model. However, for smaller yards, its overkill, and you would do better with the Solo 421.

Pros:
  • The most popular choice for landscaping professionals.
  • High-capacity.
  • Oversized tires for mobility and stability across uneven and rocky terrain.
  • Adjustable handle.
Cons:
  • No warranty.
  • Not suitable for small gardens.

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Spot Hand Spreader

Verdict – An excellent choice for small yards, balcony gardens, and indoor use. Lightweight and easy to use.

The Spot hand spreader is the ideal solution for professionals that demand more styling and functionality from their home gardening tools.

If you want the best hand spreader available, then the Spot is your top choice. The stylish design of this spreader has an eye-catching neon green and black color scheme. The molded curving exterior makes it look more like a travel coffee cup than a fertilizer spreader.

The Spot is lightweight and ergonomic, with an adjustable top. Twist the cover to use one of three different spreading options. This spreader comes in a model that supports up to a maximum of 80-oz of fertilizer. The durable plastic casing will survive drops if your grip slips, but we don’t think that will be a problem, thanks to the ergonomic grip.

However, if you want something that looks great in your apartment, then this is the ideal hand spreader for your balcony garden.

Pros:
  • Compact and portable.
  • Cleaver design with front lip.
  • Adjustable holes to control fertilizing.
  • Durable design with long service life.
  • Lightweight and handheld.
Cons:
  • Not suitable for large yards.

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Scotts Turf Builder

Verdict – A good choice for accurate coverage of small to medium-sized gardens.

This drop spreader is ideal for larger gardens and lawns. The Turf Builder features a hopper that’s capable of carrying enough lawn fertilizer to cover 10,000-square feet in one session. The hopper requires manual operation. The user pulls the trigger, winding two long plastic spreaders that disperse the fertilizer underneath as you walk.

You can use this spreader to disperse fertilizer, lawn seed, or even ice melt. The sturdy steel frame features a powder-coated finish for improved weather-resistance and anti-rusting. With the Turf Builder, you get a 22-inch spread pattern that’s consistent and effective at distributing fertilize rapidly.

This model is an affordable option for gardeners that need something bigger than a chest-mounted unit, or that don’t want to wear a spreader while walking. The large-diameter wheels also move freely over stones and holes in the garden, without disturbing the distribution of the granules.

Pros:
  • Heavy-duty design for extended service life.
  • Large capacity to cover big gardens.
  • Arrives ready to use, calibrated, and fully assembled.
  • Precision operation.
Cons:
  • Not suitable for smaller gardens.
  • Large wheels could do with more width.

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Earthway 2150 Commercial Spreader

Verdict – The highest-capacity broadcast fertilizer spreader in this review. For professional use on farms, golf courses, and other agriculture projects. May also suit landscapers for large projects as well.

If you need a fertilizer spreader for your golf course or another commercial operation, then the Earthway 2150 is the solution. This unit has a hopper capacity of 50-lbs, with a three-hole dropping shut-off system. The patented “EVN-Spred” technology from Earthway ensures even distribution of fertilizer granules as you walk along and push it from behind.

The mechanical driveshaft’s attached to the gearbox allow you to adjust the dispersion rate as you move, increasing or decreasing the flow to suit your needs. The sturdy steel frame has a black powder-coated finish with adjustable-height handles allowing you to set up your optimal operating position.

The heavy-duty air-filled tires allow you to travel across any terrain effortlessly. The debris screen underneath the dispersion head stops clumping in the shut-off system. This unit operates in any working conditions, and it’s a reliable model that professionals trust for the most demanding jobs.

Pros:
  • The ideal compact spreader for smaller homes.
  • Easy storage.
  • Adjustable handles.
  • Precise and even distribution of fertilizer.
  • The unit has a heavy-duty design and robust frame.
Cons:
  • No warranty.

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Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Spreader

Verdict – If you have a large estate or a farm, then this spreader is the ideal choice for you. Tow it behind a tractor and let it do the work for you.

When the Earthway commercial spreader can’t do the job, then the cavalry calls in this monster of a machine. The Agri-Fab tow-spreader is the ultimate commercial fertilizer spreader solution, with a staggering 130-pound capacity in the hopper. This unit is the best choice for agricultural projects on farms and large commercial growing operations.

You hook this unit up to a tow bar on a truck or tractor and wheel it along behind you. As the unit moves, it engages the driveshaft’s in the gearbox, spinning the dispersion disk under the hopper. The steady dropping action of the hopper system ensures the adequate and consistent spreading of granular fertilizer.

The large, air-filled tires make short work of any terrain, and you can tow this unit along with little effort. The hopper also allows for dry running. If you run out of fertilizer while moving, tear open another bag on the back of the truck and pour it into the hopper while you’re driving.

Pros:
  • Professional agricultural design.
  • Massive 130-pound fertilizer capacity.
  • Best for use on large estates and farms.
  • Easy to control and maneuver.
  • Large air-filled tires are suitable for rocky terrain.
  • Durable and robust design and construction.
  • 3-year warranty.
Cons:
  • Not suitable for handheld operation.

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Goplus Broadcast Spreader

Verdict – High-capacity spreader that’s a good choice for fertilizing flowerbeds around larger homes and estates.

This model is another fertilizer spreader that’s suitable for larger gardens. The hopper takes around 24-lbs of fertilizer, which is more than enough to do 15,000-square feet of property. The hopper drops the granules into the distribution disc, spring them out at high speed.

The unit comes mounted on two sturdy plastic wheels featuring good tread; this spreader is ready to tackle rough terrain. This machine uses automatic driveshaft’s connected to a gearbox to spin the dropper and distribution disc. The result is that you get effortless spreading functionality while pushing the spreader along effortlessly.

While this spreader does have a dry weight of 24-lbs, it also features sturdy steel construction with a powder-coated finish to the frame. The user-friendly operation of this unit makes it an ideal choice for novice gardeners. The only issue we have is that the unit comes disassembled, and you’ll need to put it together after unboxing.

Overall, this is one of the better choices for your garden fertilizing needs, with powerful broadcasting action and high-capacity hopper. The only thing that stopped us from considering it for the top three in this review was the price.

Pros:
  • Large wheels with good with and traction.
  • High-capacity hopper.
  • The unit has efficient design and user-friendly operation.
Cons:
  • Expensive.

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Fasmov Adjustable Handheld

Verdict – A simple fertilizer spreader for use around the home. Suitable for indoor or outdoor gardens, as well as for fertilizing smaller gardens on apartment balconies and patios.

If you have a small garden, and you’re looking for a straightforward solution at the lowest price point possible, the Fasmov is for you. This unit is a no-frills fertilizer dispenser you can store under the sink in your kitchen. Bring it out when you need to fertilize your pot plants or windowsill herb garden.

This system is for people that want the fertilizer spreader out of sight and out of mind. There’s no fancy design and premium materials in this product. However, you get a unit that works. You can use the markings on the sides of the spreader to mix liquid fertilizer and adjust flowrate through the head of the unit.

The Fasmov works with both liquid and granule fertilizers, and it’s easy to clean after each user. The only gripe we have with this system is the dark coloring of the plastic reservoir. We found it hard to measure accurately, and a transparent color plastic of lighter green or blue would have been a better choice.

Overall, this unit wins out choice for the best budget fertilizer spreader available. If you have an apartment balcony garden or a patio garden that needs some fertilizer, we highly recommend this option.

Pros:
  • Compact, lightweight, and easy to use.
  • Affordable.
  • Adjustable holes in the cap.
  • There are measurements available on the side of the unit.
Cons:
  • Not suitable for large gardens.
  • You need to hold it up to the light to see the measurement level.
  • No warranty.

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Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader

Verdict – A battery-powered unit that compact and portable. The ideal choice for fertilizing anywhere around your home. An excellent choice for seniors with mobility issues.

At first glance, you might confuse this fertilizer spreader with a kitchen appliance. However, don’t let looks deceive you. This model is the only battery-operated fertilizer spreader in this review, and it’s a decent machine worth considering.

If you’re a senior that doesn’t have the strength to push a larger machine, then this is your ideal choice that’s easy on your joints. Fill up the hopper with up to cover 2,500-square feet of ground, and then use the 24-dispersion speed settings for the best accuracy.

This model is the ideal machine for flowerbeds and lawns around small condos, apartments, and cluster homes. The system even comes with an edge guard to prevent you from spraying fertilizer into your flowerbeds. This machine offers the best accuracy of any of the spreaders in this review.

All you need to do is pull the trigger, and the unit disperses your fertilizer at your chosen speed. While this is one of the best spreaders in this review, it also comes with a steep price tag. Still, if you have the budget to spare, it makes an excellent choice.

Pros:
  • Handheld and compact.
  • Efficient operation.
  • Suitable for medium to smaller gardens.
  • Battery-powered.
Cons:
  • No warranty.
  • It seems like a flimsy design.
  • Cheap plastic housing that could crack.

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Earthway Ev-N-Spred 3100 Heavy-Duty

Verdict – This commercial crank-spreader is suitable for landscaping professionals that fertilize large areas.

EarthWay produces the best options for commercial fertilizer spreaders. We’ve already discussed the mobile option on offer from the company earlier in this review. However, the chest-mounted option is worth considering, as well.

This unit holds up to 40-lbs of fertilizer, enough to cover 30,000-square feet. It features a manual crank arm that the operator turns to disperse the granules. The heavy-duty gearbox features an easy operator shut-off switch on the handle. The powder-coated chassis is robust and reliable, and the harness is comfortable as well.

It’s challenging to get used to walking around with 50-lbs strapped to your shoulders, but you get used to it. You can use this spreader for fertilizer, grass seed, or ice melt, and it comes with a rain cover included in the box.

Pros:
  • Portable with shoulder straps.
  • Mechanical crank operation.
  • High-capacity.
  • It comes with a rain cover for operator protection.
Cons:
  • No guarantee.
  • Not suitable for small gardens.

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Fertilizer Spreader Buyer’s Guide

Farms and fields are not the only areas that can benefit from the use of a fertilizer spreader. You can make use of these devices at home as well. Manufacturers produce fertilizer spreaders in various capacities. As a result, there is a range of spreaders for any application. It doesn’t matter if you live in a home with a large yard, or an apartment with a balcony garden, there’s a fertilizer spreader to suit your situation.

Fertilizer Spreader Buyer's Guide
Fertilizer Spreader Buyer’s Guide

If you want to keep your garden in the healthiest condition possible, then you’ll need to fertilize your lawn and plants throughout the growing season. These versatile tools can make your garden chores more manageable, reducing the time you spend fertilizing your lawn and flowerbeds.

When purchasing a fertilizer spreader, it’s vital that you consider your gardens needs before you buy. We put together this brief buyers guide to give you an introduction to the crucial components of fertilizer spreaders, how they operate, and the benefits they offer your garden.

Check through the FAQ section that follows. You’ll find answers to common queries we hear from novice gardeners about fertilizer spreaders.

Broadcast fertilizer spreaders

This type of fertilizer spreader covers a wide area. It’s suitable for use on lawns in large gardens, golf courses, farms, and vast community landscapes. The fertilizer provides even and consistent spreading of fertilizer granules, preventing over-fertilizing of areas around the property.

As a result of the efficient operation, you get o lawn-burn or missed areas of the garden. However, these high-capacity spreaders are not suitable for smaller yards, and you’ll do better with a handheld spreader in these situations instead. Some broadcast models rely on manual pushing, while others hook up to the back of trucks or tractors.

Handheld fertilizer spreaders

These types of fertilizer spreaders are for use in smaller gardens. If you have a balcony garden at your apartment, or pot plants indoors, then these are the ideal system for your situation. Handheld spreaders are lightweight and easy to control, letting you accurately feed your plants.

Drop fertilizer spreaders

These spreaders have large wheels and drop fertilizer as they move around. They’re ideally suited for rocky terrain and rough areas around farms and other large estates.

Choosing the best fertilizer spreader – Choosing the best fertilizer spreader to meet your needs depends on how you plan to use the tool. As a balcony gardener, your needs will be far different from that of a commercial farmer, so take that into mind before you purchase.

Criteria we Used for Reviews

Here are the top criteria we use to assess every fertilizer spreader in this review.

Holding capacity

The capacity of the unit refers to how much fertilizer the unit can hold and dispense at any given time. Larger capacity units, such as those with wheels designed for use on farms, have high capacities exceeding 60-lbs.

Smaller handheld fertilizer spreaders may only carry half a pound or less of fertilizer at a time. Decide on the right capacity for your application. Most homeowners can get away with sizes of less than 5 to 10-pounds for a small garden. Larger estates will need a capacity of up to 40-pounds, and farms may need 80-lbs or more, depending on the growing conditions.

Handheld, chest-mounted, or cart?

Fertilizer spreaders come in different configurations for use. A handheld unit has a handle and visual guides to help you monitor the feeding process with precision. Chest-mounted unit secures to the front of your body with adjustable straps. A refillable reservoir positioned below your chin gives you easy access to the fertilizer. A cart-style fertilizer spreader is a large plastic reservoir mounted to a steel frame and mounted on wheels.

Precision and spreading

Always look at the precision rating of any fertilizer spreader you’re interested in buying.ps Precision is more important in smaller homes and properties. Over-fertilizing your lawn can result in burn spots. If the spreader does not fertilize another area of the yard sufficiently, it may wind up in underdeveloped grass. Consistency, accuracy, and precision are all critical elements of any fertilizer spreader.

Value over Price

When purchasing your new fertilizer spreader, it’s important to consider value over price. Sometimes, the lowest-cost item will end up costing you more money over time. Instead of living to regret your purchase later on, spend a little more upfront, and get the spreader your garden needs.

Design and durability

Always look at the brand and take into account the build quality of the device before you buy it. If the unit has flimsy components and a low price tag, then that’s a sign of poor build quality you should avoid. Look for cart models with solid construction using metal materials. The reservoir should be durable plastic, and the wheels should have a rugged appearance.

User experience

How the unit feels during operation is an integral part of your buying decision. If you’re a senior with joint mobility issues, then make sure you don’t choose a model that exceeds your physical limitations.

Fertilizer Spreader FAQ

We put together some of the most commonly asked questions we get about fertilizer spreaders. Read through this section for helpful advice on selecting and using your fertilizer spreader.

Fertilizer Spreader FAQ
Fertilizer Spreader FAQ

Is fertilizer useful for my garden?

Fertilizing your garden is a good idea in the late spring and throughout the summertime. By feeding your plants and grass, it grows stronger and blooms harder. Plant fertilizers involve the use of nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that supplement your plant’s growth during the season.

How do fertilizer spreaders work?

Most fertilizer spreaders have a manual operation. The device comes with a spray dispenser to help you evenly disperse the fertilizer onto the ground in liquid format. Some high-capacity spreaders throw granules out at a distance much like a sprinkler. You can hook-up mobile spreaders to trucks and tractors and drag them around your fields.

Do I need a fertilizer spreader for my garden?

If you have a large lawn or a few square feet, a fertilizer spreader can help you keep your yard looking great through the growing season. Fertilizer spreaders come in a range of capacities and sizes to suit any application.

There’s a suitable fertilizer spreader for your garden, but you need to know what you want. Fertilizer spreaders keep your lawn looking fantastic by feeding it the right nutrients throughout the spring and summertime. You’ll experience fuller, thicker grass with a darker green color.

Can I use both liquid and granules in my fertilizer spreader?

Some models come with duals functionality for both liquids and granules. The handheld units are excellent examples of spreaders that use both types of fertilizer. Chest-mounted spreaders are also usually dual-based, but most cart spreaders only work with granules.

Conclusion

By now, you should have a clear idea of how fertilizer spreaders work, how they can benefit your garden, and which model is best for your needs. If you’re still having trouble with making your decision, you can rely on one of our top three choices.

With the Solo 421, you get a chest-mounted model that ideal for use around the garden. It’s suitable form small to large homes and carries enough fertilizer to feed a 1,000-square-foot lawn. The user-friendly operation is ideal for newbie gardeners that are trying fertilizing for the first time.

For apartment gardens, indoor pot plants, and patio plants, we recommend you try out the Spot handheld spreader. The markings make it easy to mix your fertilizer and water, and the controlled hand operation ensures accurate feeding.

The Lesco high-wheel is the ideal choice for estates and landscaping professionals that maintain large areas. This unit carries 80-lbs of fertilizer, and it’s perfect for wide dispersion in farming as well.

Whatever your needs, we hope that you gain some insight from the tips and tricks in our buyer’s guide. Use your new knowledge to get your garden the fertilizer spreader that’s right for your lawn and flowerbeds.

Robin Watson

Robin owns his own Landscape Gardening company based in the UK and has over 10 years professional experience working outdoors, creating beautiful landscapes for his clients in the UK. He is also a keen garden-grower and maintains his own fruit and vegetable gardens. He also has a level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture from The Royal Horticultural Society and is currently working on his first book about gardening. Contact him at Robin@gardenbeast.com

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