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Hopefully, it’s safe to assume you’re not following the Clark Griswold approach to lawn care. Using a fertilizer spreader to “write” your name in your lawn, or perhaps write something less mentionable on your neighbor’s, will probably not make you Mr. Popular with the homeowner’s association. But even if you are, you have choices you can make as to the type of spreader that works best for you (hint: a drop spreader is best for “writing”). Use a broadcast spreader for large lawns or a hand-held for small lawns. Save the drop spreader for where precision and control are needed.

This one features a side-guard to limit overspread, enabling a more accurate job along edges. Scotts

A broadcast spreader uses a rotary mechanism to propel and disperse seed, fertilizer, etc. beyond the drop zone between the wheels and under the spreader bin. When you’re covering a large area and precision isn’t required, a broadcast spreader is just the ticket. You’ll accomplish your spreading project faster with a broadcaster. Broadcasters are available as push spreaders, or tow-behind a garden tractor. Some are directionally adjustable.

Large Capacity

This model covers a 22-inch swath with an adjustable rate. Scotts

A drop spreader is the best choice where precision control and accuracy are needed. A lawn with lots of flower beds or intricate landscaping calls for a spreader that only disburses directly beneath the spreader box. This is particularly true when using “weed-and-feed” products. Drop spreaders work well for medium-sized projects.

This hand-crank version features an arm support for ease of use. Scotts

Hand spreaders are great for small lawns and projects. Some versions offer straps and chest mounts for ease of carrying, and others feature ergonomic supports for ease of use. Hand-cranking and battery-powered models are available, and mostly use a rotary device for spreading.