Lawn Spreader Questions? How to Choose (+ Use) the Best

A Guide to Seed & Fertilizer Spreaders 2022

Are you searching for how to use a lawn spreader? Getting confused with jargon, and anxious about which tool for which job?

Is it a fertilizer spreader, or a seed spreader you need? Is a grass seed spreader worth it?

Or is how to choose the right lawn spreader proving to be a headache you hadn’t anticipated?

Lawn care is important to you. You’ve committed to improving the look of your lawn this year and now you can’t decide which is the best lawn spreader for your needs. The choice of which to buy is baffling and you’re not sure whether you need a drop spreader or a broadcast spreader, or something else entirely.


This article will help you decide on:

  • Benefits of using a lawn spreader
  • What type of spreader is best for your lawn
  • How to choose the best spreader for your job
  • Guide to how to use a lawn spreader
  • What to take into consideration to get the most out of your equipment
  • Tip-Top Tips for Lawn Spreader Success
Operator spreading fertiliser with a Cresco 20

Benefits of Using a Lawn Spreader

Why, you may ask, do you use a spreader at all? After all, from time immemorial seed has been spread by flinging handfuls to the wind. And, indeed, it is still possible to do so!

However, have you ever thought there is an easier, more cost and time effective way to spread fertilizer or seed?

Whether the area of your lawn is small or large, you’ll find that a good lawn spreader will save you both time and money.

Using the correct spreader for your lawn will save you time.

Efficiency in using the correct amount of fertilizer or seed; neither spreading too little nor too much, and therefore cutting back on wasted material will save money.

What Type of Spreader is Best For Your Lawn

Essentially, there are 3 types of lawn spreader:

  • A Hand-Held Spreader
  • A Drop Spreader
  • A Broadcast Spreader

Hand-Held Lawn Spreader

If you have a small area of lawn to seed or fertilize, you may choose to use a hand-held spreader.

As the name implies you hold a small hopper and turn a handle to operate the wheel. Some of these hand-held spreaders are battery operated. Or you could choose an over the shoulder spreader bag, which is bigger.

Fill the hopper with seed or fertilizer and allow it to drop through the holes onto the disk. Use the handle to crank the wheel. The wheel then spins the seed or fertilizer out in an arc in front of you as you walk across the lawn.

  • Pros: Good if you only have a tiny space to complete; easy to use; portable
  • Cons: Batteries run out quickly; can be hit and miss with efficiency, costing time and money
Operator holding a Cresco 1 handheld spreader

Drop Lawn Spreader

This lawn spreader is great for precision along borders or in tight spots. The rectangular box shaped hopper is mounted on wheels. And as you push the machine along, the holes in the bottom of the hopper release the seed or fertilizer straight onto the turf.

  • Pros: Great in tight spots or along borders and pathways
  • Cons: Limited width of spread means it is easy to make mistakes and either distribute too much or too little product, costing time and money to rectify; unintentional striped effect lawn if not carefully administered

Broadcast Lawn Spreader

A broadcast lawn spreader is the modern alternative to casting seed to the wind! Rather like a large hand-held spreader with a spinning disk, the hopper is mounted on wheels. This lawn spreader is also called a rotary spreader and works by pushing it over the turf.

As the seed or fertilizer drops down through the holes above the disk, it is spun out in an arc in front of you.

There is control over the width of the arc and the size of the holes, so you get the correct amount of seed or fertilizer for your lawn.

As you have a much larger hopper, you are able to cover a greater area of turf in a shorter amount of time. You are also able to eliminate the (unintentional) striped effect which can happen with a drop spreader.

  • Pros: Cuts down on time and effort; works well on larger lawns; greater control of product
  • Cons: May be more difficult to control spread into areas such as flower borders, or pathways
A Cresco 20 spreading fertiliser next to a path

How To Choose The Best Spreader for your Fertilizer or Seed

There are several factors you’ll want to take into account when buying a lawn spreader. Knowing these will help determine which type of spreader you’ll buy:

  • Lawn size
  • Fertilizer, Seed, Salt – products you’ll want to spread
  • Frequency of use

Lawn Size

If you only want to spread fertilizer or seed infrequently on a small plot of land, you will find a hand-held spreader more than adequate for your work.

If, however, your lawn is larger and you will be using your spreader for multiple applications with different types of fertilizer and seed, either a drop spreader or broadcast spreader may be best.

Also consider what type of lawn you have. Is it hilly, or has obstacles, or perhaps it’s in an exposed position?

These will all affect the ultimate workings of the lawn spreader.

Fertilizer, Seed, Salt – Products You’ll Want to Spread

Fertilizer and seeds, not to mention salt or ice melt come in a multitude of different sizes and shapes! Can your spreader handle everything you will want to use it for?

Look for features such as border control, and summer and winter sliders, which will allow you much greater control over the material you’ll be using.

Frequency of Use

How often will you be using your lawn spreader? If you are going to be using it a lot, summer and winter, you’ll want a robust build that can stand up to the rigors of the job.

Is it easy to calibrate to the different materials you’ll want to use? Can it deal with rough terrain?

Choosing a lawn spreader on the cheapest price can often lead to spending more money in the long run. Poor quality build and materials lead to breakdown of the machine at crucial moments, forcing you to fix the issue immediately.

Spillage of fertilizer or lawn seed can cause damage to the grass.

Choose the best spreader you can afford at the time. Maintain it well and it will give you years of service.

Based on these 3 factors, you’ll be able to buy with confidence.

Top Tips for Lawn Spreader Success

Here are our top tips for lawn spreader success:

  • Buy the best lawn spreader you can afford to do the job
  • Calibrate your lawn spreader before using
  • Walk at a slow, steady pace in a straight line
  • Close the holes when not walking to eliminate spills
  • Don’t spread on windy days
  • Maintain your spreader for years of duty

Cresco Lawn Spreader: From the Spreader Experts

Hopefully, your lawn spreader doubts are now a thing of the past. And you’ll be keen to put your knowledge of fertilizer and lawn spreaders to the test.

Cresco Spreaders have spent years perfecting the technology to bring you the best of both worlds – summer or winter.

Take the Cresco 10SW for homeowners. Due to the Slide System technology incorporated into every lawn spreader, you’ll find a high quality, hassle-free spread. Easy to use, adaptable to a full range of different materials, you’ll be able to use your lawn spreader throughout the year.

Convenient, high-quality spreading at an affordable price. This is what you should demand from your lawn spreader.

Fertilizer spreader
Share on:
Other Products

Cresco 30SWS

Cresco 5

Cresco 8SW

We'll Get Back to You Immediately

Contact Us

Play Video
Play Video