Even if you recognize the importance of fertilizing and seeding your lawn, you may not understand how important it is to apply these products correctly. You might think you can just toss them around your yard and hope for the best, but that can easily result in a patchy and uneven lawn once they do their job. These dedicated fertilizer and seed spreaders distribute material in an even, uniform pattern, giving you the full, lush yard you’re looking for. Just make sure the product you’re using is appropriate for your specific type of grass.
What to Consider
The first thing you’ll want to figure out when choosing a spreader is the size and shape off your lawn. Since different spreaders have varying spread widths and ranges, it’s important to choose one that fits best with your specific yard. The physical size of your potential spreader is another factor to consider, since some of the larger models can take up a significant amount of space. It’s usually better to have a smaller unit that you may have to refill a few times, but still fits in your garage or toolshed, than a larger spreader that will be impractical to store.
How We Selected
When assembling this list, we made sure to include a variety of spreader types and styles to choose from, ensuring that the majority of homeowners will find an option that fits their needs. The majority of our picks are standard walk-behind models for medium-sized yards, but we also included several handheld units for those with smaller lawns, or who just have a patch of grass they want to cover. For those with larger areas to cover, we also included a tow-behind option that can be attached and pulled by a lawn tractor or riding lawnmower.
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Scotts Turf Builder Mini Broadcast Spreader
This walk-behind model from Scotts is an affordable machine that can still deliver a decent amount of material, thanks to its 5000 sq. foot capacity hopper.
Our favorite feature of this model is its EdgeGuard, which allows you to run the machine along the edge of your yard without sending seed or fertilizer onto the street or landscaping. By reducing the amount of product wasted, this feature isn’t just convenient for cleanup, but also a money-saver in the long run. We also love the easy-to-read instructions on the rear of the unit, eliminating any confusion about its operation.
- Comes fully assembled
- Can be used for salting
- Too small for larger lawns
Best walk-behind option for large yards
Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader
$174.82 (27% off)
This heavy-duty spreader is built like a tank and has the capacity to hold enough fertilizer and seed to cover 25,000 square feet of space, making it well-suited for anyone with a lot of ground to cover. Its oversized pneumatic tires are huge—13 inches—making it comfortable to maneuver, especially if you have to traverse any uneven ground or debris.
Its rugged construction can support up to 130 pounds of material in the hopper, and a convenient control rod next to the handles allows users to easily adjust the flow while you work.
- Spread of 10 to 12 feet
- Enclosed gearbox
- Assembly is required
Best Automatic Handheld Option
Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader
It might not have the capacity of larger walk-behind options, but the battery powered motor of this handheld model makes it considerably less effort to use—you just have to hold the handle and squeeze the trigger. It utilizes an EdgeGuard like other Scotts products, allowing you to project your material exactly where you want it.
If you’re short on space, or just don’t want to deal with a bulkier model, this could be a great fit. It does require four AA batteries, but those are included with the unit, which is always a nice perk.
- 23 control settings
- Can cover 2,500 square feet
- If batteries fail, it cannot be used
Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
This tow-behind model features a universal hitch that makes it simple to connect to nearly any lawn tractor or riding mower.
It also has an impressive 10-12 foot spread, which, combined with the 130-pound capacity of its hopper, allows this spreader to cover lawns up to 25,000 square feet. Its control lever can also be reached from your mower seat, so you won’t need to stop and get off your machine whenever you want to adjust the flow of seed or fertilizer. If you have the need—and the machine to tow it—this could be a great choice.
- Optional hopper cover can be purchased
- Extra-large pneumatic wheels
- Not practical for smaller yards
Best affordable handheld option
Stalwart 82-YJ487 Handheld Seed Spreader
This compact handheld model doesn’t have the capacity of larger spreaders, but its straightforward operation and lack of moving parts would be ideal for anyone looking for a quick, no-frills option. Its small footprint allows it to be easily stored practically anywhere, but at 10.5-inches high, this 2.3-liter container is still large enough to fit a decent amount of seed or fertilizer.
The long handle makes for a comfortable grip while you work, and the wide mouth makes it easy to fill. This small size also makes it great for spreading ice on the steps in winter.
- Very affordable
- Easy to store
- Lacks the precision of other spreaders
- Small capacity compared to other options
Best twin-rotor model
Scotts 75902 Elite Seed Spreader
This Scotts model uses a twin rotor design to evenly spread material while you push, and can hold up to 20,000 square feet of material. Although its plastic tires don’t have the bounce of pneumatic rubber ones, they still have a nice amount of tread to them, plus you won’t have to worry about them getting punctured and deflating.
Keep in mind that plastic wheels tend to slip and slide on ice, so you may want to reconsider if you also plan on using this for salt spreading in the winter. The integrated smart phone holder is a nifty little feature as well.
- Some assembly is required
Best Handheld Option
Scotts Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader
Great for smaller yards and gardens, this handheld option has five spreading settings, allowing you to easily customize the amount of material being distributed. And unlike other handheld units that require batteries, this model uses a hand-crank to spin its spreader, allowing for maximum control while you work. This does put more of the responsibility on you to maintain an even spread, though, so keep that in mind.
The adjustable support arm gives you a nice solid grip on the unit, and reduces the arm fatigue that can result from lengthy yard tasks.
- Affordable price
- Holds 1,500 square feet of product
- Compact size
Best Drop Spreader
Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader
Capable of delivering targeted accuracy, this drop-style spreader is well-suited for yards that are too small or overly landscaped for broadcast spreaders. It’s also just 12.6 pounds, making it easy to maneuver around, or load into the back of a truck for transport. Its control knob is straightforward and located right on the handle, allowing you to easily make any adjustments without bending over.
Its 22-inch spread isn’t wide enough for large yards, though, so you’ll probably want a broadcast model if that’s the case. It’s hopper can hold an impressive 10,000 square feet of product.
- Comes fully assembled
- Oversized trigger
- Plastic wheels aren’t the most durable
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