8 Best Fertilizer Spreaders in 2024 [Reviews]

person holding a Fertilizer Spreader with text overlay on it

Fertilizer spreaders apply dry materials to grass, sidewalks, and driveways. They’re very handy, helping homeowners with year-round yard work, such as fertilization, weed control, and snow removal. But they aren’t all created equal. The easiest way to ensure an even application is to use one of the best fertilizer spreaders. 

We researched models from America’s leading lawn care retailers—Home Depot, Lowe’s, Amazon, and Walmart. After carefully comparing each one, we found the best fertilizer spreaders. To help you find the best spreader for your yard, we review our top picks and include a fertilizer spreader buying guide.  

Our Top Picks

Best Fertilizer Spreaders for Small Yards
1. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini (76121-3)
2. Vigoro Hand Spot Shaker (690103)
Best Fertilizer Spreaders for Medium Yards
1. Agri-Fab Push Broadcast Spreader (45-0462)
2. Scotts Elite Spreader (75902-1)
3. Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader (76565)
4. Earthway Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader (2600A-Plus)
Best Fertilizer Spreaders for Large Yards
1. John Deere Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader (LPBS36JD)
2. Agri-Fab Poly-Pro Tow Drop Spreader (45-0288)

Top 2 Fertilizer Spreaders for Small Yards  – Reviews

1. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini (76121-3)

Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader for Seed,Fertilizer,Salt,Ice Melt, Holds up to 5,000 sq.ft. Product

Our favorite fertilizer spreader for lawns 1,500 to 5,000 square feet is Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini. Finding a lightweight walk-behind that’s feature-packed and efficient is tough. But Scotts delivers all of the above in an affordable spreader that works well on lawns and pavement. 

With the EdgeGuard Mini, applying granular products to small spaces is easy. It has many terrific traits, including:

  • Ready-to-use: It comes pre-calibrated and fully assembled.
  • Consistent coverage: Its dual-bladed agitator and curved hopper smoothly disperse materials for even coverage. 
  • Precision: It blocks the right side of the spread pattern, preventing lawn products from leaking into unintended areas.
  • Compact: It’s easy to store and maneuver with a petite frame and foldable handles. 

It’s our list’s lightest push spreader, weighing just over 10 pounds. The spreader’s easy to push over flat terrain but challenging to navigate over bumpy or uneven ground. It quickly covers up to 5,000 square feet with a 15-pound holding capacity and 5-foot spread width. 


  • Handling: Walk-behind
  • Holding capacity: 15 lb.
  • Lawn size: Up to 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Max spread width: 5 feet
  • Spreader type: Broadcast
  • Weight: 10.67 lb.

Pros and Cons

What we liked What we didn’t like
✓ Comes fully assembled
✓ Comes pre-calibrated 
✓ Affordable
✓ Consistent coverage on even ground
✓ Lightweight
✓ Foldable handles
✗ It’s hard to push over uneven round
✗ Dispersal is erratic when pushing over uneven ground

Where to buy

2. Vigoro Hand Spot Shaker (690103)

Sometimes, all you need is a simple salt-shaker-style drop spreader. And that’s when we recommend the Vigoro Hand Spot Shaker. It’s the lowest-priced spreader on our list, featuring a straightforward design that weighs less than 1 pound. But, with a 5-pound capacity and three spreader settings, it’s the best drop spreader for spaces less than 1,500 square feet. 

Made of high-quality plastic, the handheld drop spreader is very durable. It’s also ergonomic and small enough to fit comfortably in most users’ hands. It gives you much control over where dry products drop, so applications are precise.


  • Handling: Handheld
  • Holding capacity: 5.8 lb.
  • Lawn size: Up to 1,500 sq. ft.
  • Spreader type: Drop
  • Weight: .83 lb.

Pros and Cons

What we liked What we didn’t like
✓ Affordable
✓ Easy to use
✓ Durable
✓ Ergonomic
✓ Precise
✓ Three spreader settings
✗ Not good for dispersing powders
✗ Application’s too slow for spaces over 1,500 sq. ft.

Where to buy

Top 4 Fertilizer Spreaders for Medium Yards  – Reviews

1. Agri-Fab Push Broadcast Spreader (45-0462)

Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader,Orange & Black,130-lb Capacity

The best fertilizer spreader for ⅓ to ¾ acre lawns is the Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader. It has a pro design that’s durable and easy to maneuver. Its hopper holds up to 130 pounds of granular material, such as fertilizer, herbicide, or ice melt. And it has up to a 12 foot spread. As a result, homeowners can quickly treat medium-sized lawns and driveways. 

It’s handy all year long with fantastic features, including: 

  • Commercial-grade gearbox: It has a durable gearbox that’s fully enclosed.
  • Large pneumatic tires: It’s easy to push, even on uneven ground, with 13-inch pneumatic tires that have heavy-duty tread. 
  • Hand-control: It has an adjustable direct rod hand control for precise application. 
  • Ergonomic handle: The t-style handle has comfortable grips.

It makes DIY lawn treatments quick and easy and is backed by a 3-year consumer warranty. 


  • Handling: Walk-behind
  • Holding capacity: 130 lb.
  • Lawn Size: ⅓ – ¾ acre 
  • Max spread width: 12 feet
  • Spreader type: Broadcast
  • Weight: 37 lb.

Pros and Cons

What we liked What we didn’t like
✓ Large hopper
✓ Wide spread
✓ Fully enclosed gear box
✓ Ergonomic
✓ Smooth movement, even on uneven terrain
✓ Hand-control for spread adjustment 
✓ Rustproof hopper
✗ Heavy
✗ Difficult to assemble
✗ Most expensive push spreader on our list 

Where to buy

2. Scotts Elite Spreader (75902-1)

Scotts Elite Spreader for Grass Seed, Fertilizer, Salt, Ice Melt, Durable Push Spreader Holds up to 20,000 sq.ft. Product

Scotts Elite Spreader provides tremendous value to homeowners with ¼ to ½ acre lawns. It holds less product than the Agri-Fab 45-0462 and has a shorter broadcast range but costs much less. It’s the best broadcast spreader for ¼ to ⅓ acre lawns. It’s also best for ⅓ to ½ acre lawns if you’re on a budget or unable to push more than 100 pounds.

It’s one of the most popular spreaders sold, and it’s easy to see why. Scotts carefully engineered it with these cunning characteristics:

  • Speed: It applies dry products 20% faster than most spreaders with a similar spread width. 
  • Accuracy: Its dual rotors provide superb accuracy. And its EdgeGuard technology blocks the spread’s right side, preventing spillover to unintended areas. 
  • Ergonomics: Its handle is comfortable and comes with a smartphone holder.
  • Lifetime Guarantee: It’s built to last. Scotts backs its quality with a lifetime warranty. 

It’s a high-quality broadcast spreader with an unbeatable price.


  • Handling: Walk-behind
  • Holding capacity: 80 lb.
  • Lawn size: ¼ acre – ½ acre
  • Max spread width: 6 feet
  • Spreader type: Broadcast
  • Weight: 20 lb.

Pros and Cons

What we liked What we didn’t like
✓ Fast
✓ Ergonomic
✓ Lifetime warranty 
✓ Accurate spread
✓ Reasonably priced
✗ It’s challenging to push over uneven ground
✗ It’s hard to squeeze the handle adjustment lock button

Where to buy

3. Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader (76565)

Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, Great for Applying Grass Seed and Fertilizer, Holds up to 10,000 sq. ft of Product

The best drop spreader for medium-sized yards is Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader. Due to its durability, accuracy, and ease of use, we recommend it to homeowners with 5,000 to 10,000 square-foot awns. Its precision makes it ideal for spaces with lots of landscaping and other obstacles.

Its persuasive perks include the following:

  • Ready to use: It comes pre-calibrated and assembled. 
  • Heavy-duty frame: The all-metal frame is tough to stand the test of time.
  • Lifetime warranty: Scotts backs the spreader’s durability with a limited lifetime warranty. 
  • Wide spread: Its 22-inch spread pattern is wider than most drop spreaders. 

Scotts is one of the biggest names in lawn care, and their classic drop spreader does not disappoint. It’s lightweight and easy to push on even terrain, but getting it across uneven ground is a bit challenging. 


  • Handling: Walk-behind
  • Holding capacity: 32 lb.
  • Lawn size: 5,000 sq. ft. – ¼ acre
  • Max spread width: 1.9 feet
  • Spreader type: Drop
  • Weight: 13 lb.

Pros and Cons

What we liked What we didn’t like
✓ Comes fully assembled
✓ Comes pre-calibrated 
✓ Lifetime warranty 
✓ Wide spread for a drop spreader
✓ Accurate application
✓ Great for lawns with many obstacles 
✗ It’s challenging to push over uneven ground
✗ Only holds enough product for lawns up to ¼ acre

Where to buy

4. Earthway Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader (2600A-Plus)

The best broadcast spreader for 5,000 to 10,000 square foot lawns is the Earthway Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader. It’s durable and accurate, providing commercial-grade quality at a consumer-friendly cost. 

Its advantageous attributes include:

  • Consistent Coverage: Its patented 3-hole Drop Shut-Off System consistently gives even coverage.
  • T-bar handle: It has a durable steel handle with comfortable grips.
  • High-speed gearbox: You can quickly change the broadcast rate. 
  • Pneumatic tires: It has 9-inch, high-floatation tires with rustproof rims. 
  • Epoxy powder coating: Its chassis has a weather-resistant coating.
  • Lifetime tech support: If you need technical help, Earthway’s there for you, even years after your purchase. 

It’s well-built and backed by a 5-year consumer warranty. 


  • Handling: Walk-behind
  • Holding capacity: 40 lb.
  • Lawn size: 5,000 sq. ft. – ¼ acre
  • Max spread width: 3 feet
  • Spreader type: Broadcast
  • Weight: 15 lb.

Pros and Cons

What we liked What we didn’t like
✓ Easy to push, even on rough terrain
✓ Ergonomic
✓ Fast
✓ Lifetime tech support
✓ Weather-resistant coating
✓ Smooth maneuverability 
✗ The assembly instructions are hard to follow
✗ On lower settings it has a left-heavy spread

Where to buy

Top 2 Fertilizer Spreaders for Large Yards  – Reviews

1. John Deere Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader (LPBS36JD)

John Deere Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader - LPBS36JD

The best broadcast spreader for large yards is the John Deere Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader. If you have a lawn tractor, zero-turn mower, or garden tractor, it attaches to the rear hitch plate so you can drive it around the yard. The hopper holds up to 175 pounds of material, and its spread goes up to 12 feet. It’s ideal for homeowners with ¾ to 2-acre lawns. 

The tow-behind spreader durable and accurate with fancy features including:

  • Heavy-duty gearbox:  The gearbox is fully enclosed to prevent corrosion.
  • Hardy hopper: Its hopper is durable. It doesn’t dent or rust and can hold up to 3.5 cu. ft. of dry material.
  • Pneumatic tires: It smoothly glides across your lawn with turf-treaded, tubeless tires. They have excellent traction and resist wear and tear. 
  • Stainless steel hardware: Its parts are sturdy and long-lasting. 
  • Autoflow: John Deere’s patented autoflow system provides precise distribution and automatically stops spreading when the tractor is idle. 
  • Directional flow control: You can adjust the spread pattern so it doesn’t reach unwanted areas, such as pavement and landscaping. 
  • Easy calibration: They carefully placed the spreader’s calibration dial for easy access. And it comes with hundreds of pre-calibrated settings. 

John Deere has been America’s most respected farm and lawn equipment manufacturer since 1837. Like much of their merchandise, they make the LPBS36JD in the USA. They carefully monitor the production processes to ensure quality and back this spreader with a 2-year warranty. 


  • Attachment: Universal
  • Handling: Tow-behind
  • Holding capacity: 175 lb.
  • Lawn size: ¾ – 2 acres
  • Max spread width: 12 feet
  • Spreader type: Broadcast
  • Weight: 49 lb.

Pros and Cons

What we liked What we didn’t like
✓ Large hopper
✓ Wide spread
✓ Durable construction
✓ Smooth maneuverability 
✓ Precise coverage
✓ Automatically stops spreading when the tractor stops
✗ Expensive
✗ Challenging to assemble

Where to buy

2. Agri-Fab Poly-Pro Tow Drop Spreader (45-0288)

Agri-Fab Polypropylene 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader, Black 42 Inch

The best drop spreader for large yards is the Agri-Fab Poly-Pro Tow Drop Spreader. Like the John Deere LPBS36JD, it conveniently attaches to your riding mower. The Agri-Fab 45-0288 holds up to 175 pounds of granules and has a 3.5-foot spread width, making it the perfect appliance for lawns as large as an acre. 

It’s adorned with delightful details, including:

  • Rustproof hopper: Its durable hopper lasts long, even with heavy-duty use. 
  • Reliable agitator: It has a galvanized steel agitator that’s easy to clean, rust-resistant, and enduring. 
  • Pneumatic tires: The spreader smoothly trails behind your riding mower or garden tractor. 
  • Consistent spread: You control how much product touches your lawn with a constant 3.5-foot spread pattern. Because its spread equals the distance between tires, you only have to worry about getting product on landscaping or pavement if you drive directly over it. 

It’s a reliable drop spreader that comes with a 3-year warranty. 


  • Attachment: Universal 
  • Handling: Tow-behind
  • Holding capacity: 175 lb.
  • Lawn size: Up to 1 acre
  • Max spread width: 3.5 feet
  • Spreader type: Drop
  • Weight: 50 lb.

Pros and Cons

What we liked What we didn’t like
✓ Consistant coverage
✓ Easy to control where it drops product
✓ Smooth maneuverability 
✓ Galvanized steel agitator
✓ Heavy-duty hopper
✗ Hard to reach the shutoff switch while sitting in the tractor
✗ Sometimes clogs
✗ Instructions are difficult to follow

Where to buy

Buyer’s Guide

It’s essential to choose the right fertilizer spreader for your yard. So, before you buy one, please consider the following:

When to Use a Fertilizer Spreader

Spreaders are handy year-round tools used to apply granular products, such as:

  • Fertilizer: Most of the best lawn fertilizers are granular. They’re more cost-effective than liquid fertilizers and rarely burn grass. But you want to spread fertilizer evenly, which requires a good-quality spreader.
  • Preventive pesticide: Prevent common lawn pests by applying pesticide in early spring, early summer, and fall.
  • Grass seed: You need a seed spreader or fertilizer spreader for DIY overseeding.
  • Ice melt: You also can use a fertilizer spreader to apply ice melt or salt on sidewalks and driveways. 

What do I use for liquid treatments? Liquid lawn products are typically applied using a sprayer.

Parts of a Fertilizer Spreader

When shopping for a spreader, be mindful of the following spreader parts:

  • Hopper: The part that holds granular material. All spreaders have a hopper.
  • Agitator: A rotating apparatus inside the hopper that helps control the flow of dispersed materials. You mainly see them in broadcast spreaders.
  • Gear box: Mechanically operated spreaders have a gear box that houses its gears.
  • Wheels: Walk-behind and tow-behind spreaders have wheels. Some models have pneumatic tires, the same type of tires cars have. Pneumatic tires have durable tread, and they’re great at absorbing shock. 

Types of Fertilizer Spreaders

Broadcast spreaders and drop spreaders are the two main types of spreaders. They differ in how they disperse material:

  • Broadcast spreaders (also called rotary spreaders) pour granules from the hopper onto a rotating plate. The plate throws or “broadcasts” the material several feet in all directions. They are faster than drop spreaders but less accurate.
  • Drop spreaders release granules in one spot, right below the hopper. They are more accurate than broadcast spreads because they give you better flow control. But it takes a long time to distribute the material.

For a visual comparison, watch this video from Grass Daddy on broadcast vs. drop spreaders:

Broadcast and drop spreaders come in the following handling styles:

  • Handheld spreaders are carried in your hands, so they’re small, lightweight, and preferably used in small spaces. Handheld drop spreaders have a salt-shaker style that’s very easy to use. Although handheld broadcast spreaders are heavier and more complex, they’re quicker to cover the grass. 
  • Shoulder or chest-mounted spreaders are a level above handhelds, but still ideal for small spaces. Because they’re larger and heavier than the handhelds, they have shoulder or chest straps to help homeowners carry the weight. 
  • Walk-behind spreaders (also called push spreaders) are the best choice for most homeowners. They have wheels and a long handle, so you push them around like a push lawn mower. Because weight is easier to push than carry, they have a higher holding capacity than handheld or mounted models,  
  • Tow-behind spreaders (also called pull behind spreaders) make lawn care easy for homeowners with large yards. They connect to the back of your riding lawn mower, golf cart, or ATV. Most models have large hoppers that hold a massive amount of material. As a result, it’s quick and easy to apply dry products to large lawns. 

Your Lawn

The best type of spreader for your lawn depends on its size and characteristics.

Lawn Size

Before purchasing a lawn spreader, consider the size of your lawn. See our guidelines in the table below.

Lawn SizeBest Spreader Type
< 1,500 sq. ft.Handheld 
1,500 sq. ft. – ¼ acreShoulder/Chest-Mounted 
¼ acre – ½ acreWalk-Behind
½ acre – 1 acreWalk-Behind or Tow Behind
> 1 acreTow-Behind 

It’s also important to consider the following:

  • Holding capacity: Choose a spreader that holds enough material to cover your yard so you don’t have to stop and refill in the middle of working.
  • Spread width: The wider the spread, the less time it takes to cover your yard. 

The table below shows the average holding capacity of spreaders by type.

Spreader TypeHolding Capacity 
Drop 60 lb.
Broadcast70 lb.
Handheld5 lb.
Shoulder/Chest-Mounted20 lb.
Walk-behind75 lb.
Tow130 lb.


Consider the layout of your landscape:

  • Lawns with many obstacles: If you have flower beds, vegetable gardens, or landscaping where you don’t want the grass’s granules (i.e., herbicides, fertilizer) touching, you should consider a drop spreader
  • Large wide-open space: If your yard has large areas of grass and few obstructions, a broadcast spreader is your easiest option. 
  • Uneven terrain: Larger wheels maneuver better over rough terrain.

Steel Vs. Plastic

Most fertilizer spreaders have a plastic or steel frame and a plastic hopper. However, there are a few models with steel hoppers.

Steel and plastic differ in the following ways:

  • Durability: Plastic isn’t as heavy-duty as steel, so plastic hoppers must be much thicker to match steel’s durability. 
  • Accuracy: Push spreaders with a steel hooper tend to be more accurate, especially when comparing drop spreaders. Because plastic hoppers are thicker, the spread pattern depends on handle position. All else equal, a tall person applies much more fertilizer than a short person. This makes it challenging to apply a precise amount. 
  • Corrosion: Some steel is prone to rust and corrosion, but plastic and stainless steel are corrosion resistant. 
  • Cost: Steel costs more than plastic.

Cost of Fertilizer Spreaders

Most fertilizer spreaders cost $30 to $425, but prices vary by spreader type, holding capacity, and hopper material.

Average Fertilizer Spread Price$225
Typical Price Range$30 – $425
Extreme Low$10
Extreme High$1,400

Spreader Type: The table below shows handheld spreaders tend to be the cheapest and walk-behinds are the most expensive.

Spreader TypeAverage PriceTypical Range
Handheld25$10 – $65
Shoulder/Chest-Mounted70$45 – $90
Broadcast215$85 – $345
Drop240$20 – $1,200
Tow290$120 – $400
Walk-behind345$80 – $600

Holding Capacity: Spreaders with a higher holding capacity tend to cost more, as shown in the table below.

Holding Capacity (lb.)Average Price
< 11$25
15 – 35$60
40 – 60 $235
80 – 100$325
> 100$400

Hopper material: Spreaders with a steel hopper cost a lot more than spreaders with a plastic hopper, as shown in the table below.

Hopper MaterialAverage Price

FAQ about Spreading Fertilizer

1. How Do You Maintain a Fertilizer Spreader?

Keep your spreader clean. Empty out the hopper first. Use compressed air to remove the tiny particles that are stuck in small spaces. Once the hopper is empty, wash the spreader with soap and water, including all the small moving parts. 

Store your spreader in a dry location with weather protection, such as a shed or garage.

2. How Do I Choose the Right Lawn Fertilizer?

To choose the right fertilizer for your grass, consider the following:

  • NPK ratio: NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are the primary nutrients grass needs, but these needs vary by grass type, soil type, season, and cultural practices.
  • Quick-release vs. Slow-release: Quick-release fertilizers give the grass an instant burst of nutrients, whereas slow-release fertilizers slowly disperse nutrients over several weeks. Quick-release formulas give faster results but are much more likely to burn the grass. Quick-release products also require more frequent applications than slow-release fertilizers.
  • Liquid vs. Granular: Granular fertilizers are typically slow-release and can be applied less often than liquids. In contrast, liquid fertilizers are quick-release, so they give faster green-up. Liquids are easier to use, but granules apply more evenly. 
  • Organic vs. Synthetic: Organic fertilizers are best for the long-term sustainability of your soil, but they’re also more expensive. Synthetic fertilizers yield faster results than organic compounds but can degrade soil over time. 

3. What is the Easiest Lawn Spreader to Use?

Handheld drop spreaders like the Vigoro Hand Spot Shaker are the easiest to operate. However, they take a long time to cover ground, so they’re best for areas less than 1,500 square feet.

Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader is the easiest to use on medium flat lawns because it’s lightweight, pre-calibrated, and fully assembled. However, if you have uneven terrain, a model with large pneumatic tires, such as the Agri-Fab Push Broadcast Spreader, will be the easiest to maneuver. 

When to Call a Lawn Treatment Pro

DIY lawn treatments are labor-intensive, and many of the best fertilizer spreaders cost hundreds of dollars. Thankfully, affordable lawn care is just a mouse click away. LawnStarter links you to qualified lawn treatment pros with unbeatable prices.

We support local lawn care companies with free marketing, specialized routes, and a user-friendly mobile app. Because we save them so much time and money, they can pass that savings on to their customers. See how much money you can save this season by getting a free online quote today. 

LawnStarter participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other retailer affiliate programs. LawnStarter may earn revenue from products promoted in this article.

Main Image Credit: Robin Gentry / Canva Pro / License wih Text Overlay using Canva Pro

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin is a writer and editor with a passion for sustainable, earth-friendly gardening and lawn care practices. When she isn't sharing her knowledge about lawn care and landscaping, you can find her curled up with a good book and a cat in her lap.